In an effort to curb outcry against snubs like Adam Sandler and Jennifer Lopez in this year’s Academy Awards nominations, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to begin issuing preemptive bans on actors and filmmakers as a way of alleviating the public from any confusion regarding future snubs. Their first target: the entire AV club of Inglewood Middle School. After an exclusive screening of their first feature, Fartosaurus Butts in the school’s gymnasium, Academy members were left aghast.
“I was invited to this screening by a relative of one of the film’s ‘creators,’ if you can call them that. I suppose they’re creators in the same way that man is a creator of his own destruction,” said director Herbert Picket, Oscar winner for 1967’s A Flower in Spring Is Still a Flower in Summer. “If it was meant to be a puerile assault on the senses that makes one imagine all the world is nothing but a Porta Potty behind a Denny’s, then I suppose they succeeded, but there’s no possibility that I could take them seriously as film professionals after such a display. Such a shame. Perhaps someday they’ll have talent, but they’ve already squandered it.”
Fartosaurus Butts is a 72-minute comedy with a budget of $228 financed primarily through bake sale donations, though the club’s teacher Mary Gibbons had covered some costs of the production from her own pocket, making her the film’s sole producer. She couldn’t be reached for comment.
The bulk of the film focuses on a little boy named Stinky who, we’re told, smells very bad. He goes to use the school’s bathroom but accidentally enters the girls’ room. While in a stall, he becomes trapped when he hears girls talking outside. Soon he begins to fart uncontrollably, and the girls run away to fetch a teacher, knowing the smell couldn’t come from anyone but Stinky. When the teacher (played by producer Mary Gibbons) opens the door, the boy is now a dinosaur–one that breathes farts. It’s then up to the teacher and a ragtag group of students to save the school from the creature and prevent a fartpocalypse.
“What an embarrassment,” offered actor Hugh Flanders. “I was invited to the event by my granddaughter, because my great granddaughter is in the film. I figured the screening would be good for some friends from the Academy, and now I’m mortified. I have to live down this shame. Honestly, I’m wondering if this wasn’t an elaborate attempt to try to kill me, to get at my money.”
Other Academy members who hadn’t seen the film had their own takes, claiming to have heard the film was “Satanic” and “irredeemable.” The decision to bar everyone involved with the project was swift and unanimous.
“Sure, I think there’s a chance my great granddaughter might someday play Queen Elizabeth in a film I’ll sleep through but pretend I loved. That won’t erase this atrocity from my mind,” Flanders, Best Actor winner for 1954’s baseball musical Aw Shucks!, went on. “This movie will always be out there on the iPhone, the deep web, or whatever. It’s going to haunt them. It’s going to mark the rest of their lives, and I think it absolutely should. People who care about film would never be involved with degenerate filth like this.”
The AV club was shocked and devastated by the news. It was most surprising since they did earn an A+ on the project. Some wonder if the sterling grade wasn’t influenced by the fact that Ms. Gibbons was so attached to the project that she couldn’t give Fartosaurus Butts the critique it deserved. That controversy aside, parents are determined to fight the ban, though there’s no clear path to do so.
“I just think it’s a bunch of bologna,” said Margret Bush, mother of the actor who played Stinky. “What, they think they’re so great? Didn’t even recognize any of their names on that gold-stamped letter they sent. I don’t know who they think they are, making my boy cry, but I don’t see their report cards up on my refrigerator door. Maybe they’re banned from that, huh? Maybe that’ll teach them a lesson.”
The Academy informed me through its legal council that its members do intend to fight for fair space on Mrs. Bush’s refrigerator door and hopes that any discrimination against them can be settled amicably in court.
The Academy Awards will air on February 24, 2020 at 7:00 PM CST. Perhaps we will receive a formal statement addressing the controversy then.