Does “Billboards” Absolve Racism?

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” has received a lot of love this week from the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes). But Ira Madison III isn’t enamored: ‘In 2006, Paul Haggis’ awful movie about racism that nevertheless made white people feel good about racism won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. You might recall this film. It was Crash. As this year’s awards season hurdles forward, it’s become clear that Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri might just end up the next Crash. The film stars Sam Rockwell as a violent and racist cop who finds

redemption not through owning up to his racism or doing jail time for his crimes, but because he’s determined to solve the mystery of who raped and murdered Frances McDormand‘s daughter. It’s not only an attempt at emotional manipulation that runs cold, but it’s also a journey that’s played for comedy throughout Three Billboards. Altogether, it’s wholly offensive — so is it any wonder that it’s a frontrunner at the Golden Globes and most likely the Oscars?’

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