The So-Called Oscar Curse

If you’re as much of a Sandra Bullock fan as I am, I’m sure you’re fuming right now over the reports of her husband’s affair. But some say that instead being furious with Jesse James we should blame Oscar. 

The New York Post reports that in the past dozen years, nearly every woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress has broken up with her husband, boyfriend or lover — some just months after thanking them from the award show stage. There’s Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe, Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Philippe, Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt, and Halle Berry and Eric Benet. 

The Daily Beast, also writing on how Oscar breaks up happy homes, quotes Hilary Black, the author of The Secret Currency of Love: The Unabashed Truth About Women, Money, and Relationships, on the matter. “I think there’s a true cultural expectation implanted in people’s minds, unconsciously or consciously, where men feel obligated to be more successful. That can put a lot of pressure on a marriage,” she said. “People talk of this gender-equity game that’s the result of a post-feminism culture, but I think that a lot of these people grew up watching the man be more successful.”

The article also quotes New York divorce lawyer Raoul Felder who says, “Money equals sex equals masculinity. Many men find it demeaning and emasculating when they’re outdone by their spouse. It doesn’t play well at the bowling alley to be second to the wife.”

Before we get carried away, though, let’s remember that lots of people cheat and many marriages, especially those in the limelight of celebrity, fail.

As Jessica Grose points out over at Slate’s Double X Factor, “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…”

Further more, as Irin Carmon aptly states at, this Oscar curse nonsense simply implies, “That’s what you get for trying to have it all.”

Give it a rest, people. 



  1. Awww, you beat me to it. I was gonna post something on this too.

    The worst is that this guy was cheating with an alleged wannabe Nazi. Apparently her ex said she goose-steps around the house and spelled out “white power” with refrigerator magnets.

    Sounds like a class act.

  2. im so tired of folks talking about this mess!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.