Trump blasts best-picture Oscar for South Korean film Parasite

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday ridiculed the historic best-picture Oscar win for South Korean film Parasite, telling a Colorado campaign rally he wished for the return of Hollywood classics like 1939’s Gone with the Wind.

Earlier this month, Parasite became the first non-English-language film to take Hollywood’s top prize. A dark social satire about the gap between rich and poor in modern Seoul, the movie follows an unemployed family who comically infiltrates a wealthy family before things unravel violently and tragically.

Parasite also won three other Oscars: best director for Bong Joon Ho, original screenplay (shared between Bong and co-writer Han Jin Won) and best international feature film.
“How bad were the Academy Awards this year?” Trump declared at the rally in Colorado Springs on Thursday.

“And the winner is a movie from South Korea,” he went on, imitating an Academy Awards presenter.

“What the hell was that all about? We’ve got enough problems with South Korea, with trade. And after all that, they give them best movie of the year?” Trump added.

“Was it good? I don’t know.”

Neon, the U.S. distributor for the subtitled film, shot back on Twitter: “Understandable, he can’t read.”

The Colorado campaign rally audience booed when Trump began his rant about the Academy Awards, but cheered as he continued.

“Can we get Gone with the Wind back, please?” he said to thousands of supporters, referring to the film about the Civil War-era South that won the best-picture Oscar 80 years ago.

Trump also dismissed actor Brad Pitt, who won an Oscar for best supporting actor for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Pitt said in accepting the award that he got more time to speak — 45 seconds — than former national security adviser John Bolton received at Trump’s Senate impeachment trial.

“I was never a big fan of his. He’s a little wise guy,” Trump said of Pitt.

Trump, who is on a four-day western U.S. swing, also gave a harsh review of Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential debate, particularly the performance of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Trump is set to return to Washington after speaking at a rally in Las Vegas on Friday. 

Pro-North paper praises film, criticizes South Korea

Meanwhile, a pro-North Korea daily praised Parasite on Friday, calling it a masterpiece that “starkly exposed the reality” of the rich-poor gap in South Korea.

“A masterpiece that has artfully and sharply cut through the reality of a handful of loan sharks living well while ruling over an overwhelming majority, who they consider as dogs or pigs, has been recognized as No. 1 in the U.S.- and Caucasian-centric film industry,” said the Japan-based Choson Sinbo newspaper.

Parasite filmmaker Bong Joon Ho, right, reacts as Jane Fonda presents him with the best-picture Oscar at the Academy Awards on Feb. 9. (Chris Pizzello/Associated Press)

The film, which has struck a chord with global audiences, juxtaposes two South Korean families — the wealthy Parks and the poor Kims — and showcases the deepening disparities of Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

In June 2019, less than a month after Parasite began showing in South Korea, North Korean propaganda website DPRK Today had said that the movie was “making people realize again that the capitalist system is a rotten, sick society with a malignant tumour of rich-becoming-richer and poor-becoming-poorer, a society with no hope or future.”