Oprah is getting an honorary Oscar. Wait, what?

In a move that’s not at all a shameless ploy for TV ratings, the Academy of Motion Picture Farts and Scientologists has announced that they’ll be Oprah Winfrey with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, given to an “individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.’” Oprah of course having proven herself in the motion picture industry by putting her name on Precious and starring in The Color Purple in 1986. Reached for comment, last year’s co-host James Franco said, “Huh? …Oh. Heh, whatever.”

Not everyone is applauding the move, because Winfrey hasn’t exactly shown a laserlike focus on movies since her 1986 Oscar nomination for The Color Purple. “She’s in the motion picture industry?” New York Film Critics Circle chair John Anderson asks THR sarcastically. “It seems like a shameless bid for a ratings boost — although once they start showing clips from Beloved and The Color Purple the numbers will plummet.” Many charge that giving Winfrey the philanthropic award is really an attempt to get her to be philanthropic to the academy, by showing up at the February Oscar broadcast as well as the untelevised Governor’s Awards.

The Los Angeles Times’ Patrick Goldstein called Winfrey’s award “boneheaded.” Even a Winfrey fan like former NWFCC chair Armond White, who enthusiastically voted for her in the 1986 National Society of Film Critics Awards and the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, was appalled. “Does this newly announced Academy prize prove that Oprah means the same thing to Hollywood as past Jean Hersholt Award winners Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Lew Wasserman, Charlton Heston?” White asks THR rhetorically. “Is this just another way for the academy to continue to grovel for TV ratings?” [TRUTHBOMB’D!] [THR]

I’ve never watched Oprah, and honorary awards don’t matter anyway, but you know what would be an awesome show? A talk show starring a lovable Italian stereotype from the 20s, Woprah. Hey! Wheech-a one-a you-a skeefozo stole alla my cabbage? Come-a listen to-a Papa! I guana give-a you some-a tips for to a-make-a the weight-a loss! Mama Mia, you-a too skeeny! Madonn’, now-a who-a gonna eat-a all thees-a pizza pie!? Manga, manga, you make-a you mama cry!

[via Conan]