What does Straight Outta Compton have to do to get some Oscar nominations? Not make tons of money at the box office, or garner critical acclaim–instead, it would have to recenter itself around the white character.
Super Deluxe has posted a recut trailer of Straight Outta Compton, in which the narrative focuses on Paul Giamatti’s “hip-hop pioneer” character, Jerry Heller, and how he supposedly created NWA, and “sparked a music revolution.”
The trailer basically features every scene that Giamatti/Heller are in, introducing the action with lines like “I thought your album was good, man,” and “you cannot come down here and harass these guys because they’re black.” Meanwhile, some generic inspirational orchestral music that Hollywood likes so much plays over it all. We don’t even hear NWA rapping in this version, and we’re led to believe that the white guy came up with “f*ck tha police.”
This recut trailer is a “funny cause it’s true” response to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, in which Hollywood, including its biggest awards show, rewards white actors for starring in movies where white people drive the action, especially when it comes to race relations. The Blind Side and Crash are just a couple of movies that come to mind. If Straight Outta Compton was about how Jerry Heller “took a chance on six troubled youth,” maybe the outcome would’ve been different.