When It Comes to the Oscars, God is Less Important Than Harvey Weinstein

How often do Academy Award winners thank God?

Not nearly as often as I suspected. Rebecca Rolfe, a grad student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, put together a database of the speeches given by every major Oscar winner and you can now search through her results.

In the screenshot below, for example, the colored dots represent when anyone in the main categories made a religious reference of any sort:

But when it comes to explicitly thanking God, as opposed to saying something like “oh my god,” it doesn’t happen all that often:

Nearly half of all the winners thank their family, but only 11 total have thanked God, according to Ms. Rolfe’s research. And even God loses out to his Hollywood counterpart: Harvey Weinstein has been thanked the most times (12) in Oscar history.

Interestingly enough, a good portion of those Godly mentions have come from African-American actors: Jennifer Hudson, Denzel Washington, Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Forest Whitaker.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/travis.myers.102977 Travis Myers

    It’s too bad they didn’t include Golden Globe winners. It would be funny to see if they would count Ricky Gervais’ “Thank God for making me an atheist.”

    • Rain

      Daniel Day-Lewis received an award for playing ET’s finger, and then congratulated his own finger. The most brilliant actor of our time.

    • Rain

      Daniel Day-Lewis received an award for playing ET’s finger, and then congratulated his own finger. The most brilliant actor of our time.

    • Freak

      How about Kathy Griffin’s speech?

  • Miss_Beara

    If they combined the Oscars and Golden Globes, Harvey Weinstein would skyrocket. 12 times in Oscar history seems kind of low though. It seems like everyone has been thanking Weinstein for the last 10 years.

  • MyScienceCanBeatUpYourGod

    In showbiz, if there is a god, his name is Harvey Weinstein.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Of course, when it comes to sports, people have to thank Baby Jesus as well.

  • Claude

    Interestingly enough, a good portion of those Godly mentions have come from African-American actors: Jennifer Hudson, Denzel Washington, Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Forest Whitaker.

    African Americans are more religious than Americans overall.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    After Harvey Weinstein passes away, should I ask everyone to give me 10% of their income in exchange for a bracelet that says WWHWD?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Am I the only one who didn’t know the name Harvey Weinstein.

    • Baby_Raptor

      No. We can be clueless together.

    • anniewhoo

      No. I had to google him. ;-)

    • ImRike

      No, you’re not!

  • C Peterson

    When it comes to… anything, God is less important than… anything.

  • http://twitter.com/yjmbobllns Yojimbo Billions

    God never gave us anything like Harvey gave us Tarantino. I agree with the headline wholeheartedly.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

      not really thanking gawd or Harvey for T.

      he’s a racist, for one thing. he enjoys mocking people in violent ways. he’s a poor actor who feels the need to put himself into his own films. did i mention the senseless violence part? KB2 had its charms, but most of the rest of his films have been bloodbaths for the sake of gore on the screen.

      i suppose there’s a market for that. but i keep waiting for him to stop wasting his considerable talent and make a movie where “BLAM!” is not the ending/whole film. he needs to grow up and make something other than a glamorized video game.

      he’s like the annoying white version of Ang Lee, only spoiled and allowed to keep making the same shoot em up film, over and over. at least Ang graduated and started making real movies worthy of watching, like “Lust, Caution.” too bad he had to go to China to do it, Hollywood only wants to produce adolescent crap.

  • Paul D.

    I wonder what percentage of Oscar-winning directors are secular Jews. I suspect it’s quite high.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

      please. have you been to LA? LA parties? no one “believes.” not the jews, muslims, xtians… that’s all for the public, on the advice of agents. sure, there are a few exceptions. but like in politics, the number of non-believers in hollywood is as high as in DC. which is to say: very high. just like the number of gays is.

      it’s not “cool” or “trending” to be a fundie or orthodox believer of any kind, in either place. this little known truth is because both groups make a lot of $$$$$ manipulating the little people, who assume those people are like them, and love gawd. vote for me/buy a movie b/c i love (fill in gawd here) just like you do, really!

  • pagansister

    Why should they thank god? He/she didn’t had nothing to do with their wins? Now if they were football players, then it is almost mandatory to point to the sky every time they make a touchdown—-or do a bended knee thing!

    • pagansister

      2nd sentence —–should be: He/she had nothing to do with their wins!


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