Undoubtedly, African-Americans, women and gays all face challenges in the unique work environment of the media industry. An opaque compensation system combined with an endless supply of willing and capable workers eager to fill acting slots opens the door for unequal contracts and sweetheart deals for those connected to insiders — who are disproportionately white men. Despite all the liberal preening, sexism, homophobia and racism may still play a role in Hollywood.
Yet the Oscars controversy speaks to a larger trend with important, lasting implications. Increasingly, a hierarchy appears to be emerging among groups that have been historically oppressed, along with an expectation that, rather than judging their behavior or treatment on the merits, the public is supposed to give greater leeway to those who have had it worse.
This is one way to explain recent events in Europe. On New Year’s Eve, scores of women were attacked in Cologne, Hamburg, Stuttgart and several other major EU cities by groups of men whom the victims described as of Arab and North African descent. Women were harassed, groped, assaulted and, in at least a few cases, raped. Evidence suggests this was an orchestrated effort by radical Islamists to terrorize Westerners, particularly women.