A respectful salute is hereby offered to Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone for laying her feelings on the line about Academy members who seem reluctant to even see 12 Years A Slave, much less afford it the respect and Best Picture consideration it obviously deserves. She was responding to the implications of Steve Pond’s 10.14 Wrap story about how a recent Academy screening of Gravity drew a huge crowd but only 500 to 600 Academy members showed up for Sunday night’s Slave screening –a respectable tally but obviously indicating a certain reluctance to see McQueen’s film given all the talk (which is 100% on-the-money) about it being a masterpiece and a Best Picture nominee slamdunk, etc.

“There’s no denying that Gravity has the ‘wanna see’ factor and 12 Years a Slave doesn’t,” Stone writes. “People are afraid of it. They’re afraid of the seriousness, the confrontational aspect and what they’ve heard [about] the violence. And that’s fine. It’s fine if they choose Best Picture the same way they hit ‘like’ on Facebook when they see five baby pigs poking out of a picnic basket. They should, however, stop pretending that their top prize is about the ‘highest achievement in film’ because it isn’t.

An Academy vote-tally on a Best Picture Oscar “is a snapshot of a moment in time when they felt good for a few minutes,” Stone claims. “It is about anything but finding the best film of the year.

“Lest we forget, 12 Years a Slave won the audience award in Toronto — that means if enough people see it, chances are they’re going to vote for it. And if they don’t see it? Throw their asses out of the Academy stat. If Academy members can’t be bothered to see this film, at the very least, they can’t be called anything but totally useless and incompetent. They should certainly not be in charge of deciding what should be called Best Picture of the Year. They should be put out to pasture where they can sink into the warm bath that is nostalgia TV for the rest of their lives. If they can’t show up and do their jobs they should get out of the fucking way so other more responsible people can do it for them.”