Academy says Oscars museum will examine areas of harm from film history

Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
·2-min read

The film academy has promised to explore “areas of harm, hurt and complexity” in the history of cinema when it opens its long-awaited museum.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is set to welcome visitors in September following a reported 388 million dollar (£278 million) funding campaign.

Academy Museum
The long-awaited Academy Museum is set to open its doors in September (Academy/PA)

During a virtual tour, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the body which oversees the Oscars, revealed the museum, based at the historic Saban Building in Los Angeles, will “not shy away from” looking at controversies from its past.

It promised to present conversations looking at the #MeToo movement, pay equity, Black Lives Matter, climate change and the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.

The academy used the example of cartoon sailor Popeye to announce it was going to look at problematic depictions in animation, including the “objectification of women”.

Academy Museum
The Academy Museum is based in Los Angeles (Academy/PA)

And it will look at other topics including “racialised make-up” and “degrading depictions of Indigenous peoples” with the aim of “increasing empathy and knowledge”.

The Academy Museum is set to open on September 30 and will include two theatres, an education studio, restaurant and retail store.

Italian screen titan Sophia Loren and independent filmmaker Haile Gerima will receive special awards at the opening gala, while actors Tom Hanks and Annette Bening and Disney executive Bob Iger will also be recognised.

Some of the most famous items from cinema’s history will be on display at the museum, including the “Bruce the Shark” model from Jaws and the ruby red slippers from The Wizard Of Oz.

In April, to coincide with the Oscars, the academy has planned a series of virtual programmes, with acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee and Academy Award-winning composer Hildur Guonadottir taking part in a conversation series.

The building, designed by renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano, is located at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue.