How Marlon Brando Made Hollywood Face Its Racism-at the Oscars


December 16, 2019

In 1973, Marlon Brando turned down an Oscar, and the whole world turned on him, calling him an ingrate, a dilettante, a publicity hound, a traitor. But for Brando—as William J. Mann writes in his biography, The Contender: The Story of Marlon Brando (HarperCollins)—the country under Richard Nixon was in a constitutional crisis, and systemic racism was undercutting the American dream.

Under these conditions, he believed, business as usual would be complicit with the problem. Forty-six years later, can we understand his reasons better?


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