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‘Star Trek’ fans are feeling salty about ‘Suicide Squad’ winning the makeup Oscar

Did Harley Quinn and Killer Croc really have more impressive makeup than the aliens in 'Star Trek Beyond'?


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 27, 2017   Updated on May 24, 2021, 10:28 pm CDT

It wouldn’t be Oscar night without disgruntled fans complaining that the wrong movie won an award, and this year Star Trek fandom had a reason to weigh in.

Three movies were nominated in the Makeup and Hairstyling category this year: A Man Called Ove, Suicide Squad, and Star Trek Beyond. Suicide Squad ended up winning, and Star Trek fans aren’t happy.

It’s easy to understand this response. Star Trek Beyond featured intensive prosthetic makeup for its alien characters, including several in lead roles. Meanwhile Suicide Squad had one character with similar levels of prosthetics (Killer Croc), plus the iconic clown makeup for Harley Quinn and the Joker. (A Man Called Ove required highly realistic “old person” makeup to transform its lead actor into an older man, but as a Swedish comedy drama, it didn’t inspire the fannish backlash of Star Trek.)

Technical categories are often controversial at the Oscars, because while the nominees are chosen by their immediate professional peers, the entire Academy votes for the eventual winner. Actors, producers, and assorted Academy members know less about technical jobs like sound mixing or makeup, and Suicide Squad may have benefited from being such a high-profile movie with memorable makeup for characters like Harley Quinn—even if it wasn’t technically complex as Star Trek.

Or, of course, Suicide Squad might simply have included the best makeup after all, and Star Trek fans are just feeling salty.

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*First Published: Feb 27, 2017, 10:07 am CST