There Is No Such Thing as the Best Actress "Oscar Curse"

What Women Really Think
March 17 2010 5:11 PM

There Is No Such Thing as the Best Actress "Oscar Curse"

/blogs/xx_factor/2010/03/17/there_is_no_such_thing_as_the_best_actress_oscar_curse/jcr:content/body/slate_image

Michelle "Bombshell" McGee's name is all over the Internet today because the tabloid In Touch claims that she is having an affair with Oscar winner Sandra Bullock's husband, Jesse James. This news comes just a few days after reports the end of about fellow Academy Award-winner Kate Winslet's marriage to director Sam Mendes, and lots of blogs are talking about the so-called "Oscar Curse" : If you win the Oscar for best actress, it's curtains for your long-term relationship. Needless to say, the notion of a such a curse is a load of bull.

Advertisement

The implicit (sexist) idea behind the "curse" is that men are so uncomfortable with their wives and girlfriends' mega-success, they are driven to cheat or flee. But if you take one look at the list of best actor nominees and winners, you'll see that their relationship track-records are not much better: 2008 winner Sean Penn's relationship with Robin Wright broke up about seven times; when Russell Crowe won in 2000, he was busy breaking up Meg Ryan's marriage to Dennis Quaid. Though he's never won, George Clooney's love life is pretty checkered-ditto fellow best actor nominees Bill Murray and Mickey Rourke . Hollywood relationships are notoriously hard to maintain independent of Oscar wins, and the notion that Sandra Bullock's success is related to her husband's alleged affair is pure, gross speculation.

Jessica Grose is a frequent Slate contributor and the author of the novel Sad Desk Salad. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.