Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Emmy Awards Showcase TV’s Glitz, Glamour, and Lack of Political Diversity

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The television industry held their annual self-congratulation festival, the Emmy Awards, on Monday night at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The event was hosted by Colin Jost and Michael Che (I had to look up who they were, too) of NBC’s Saturday Night Live. As usual, the event was not left wanting for uninformed political opinions.

The red carpet prior to the broadcast was alive with opinions about the current state of the world as Hollywood sees it. Jennifer Lewis, the star of the ABC sitcom Black-ish appeared wearing custom-made Nike products in support of ex-football player and National Anthem protester Colin Kaepernick. Nike’s current ad campaign features Kaepernick and his disrespect of American traditions prominently.

“I am wearing Nike to applaud them for supporting Colin Kaepernick and his protests against racial injustice and police brutality,” Lewis told Variety on the red carpet. “What can I do? What can I do that’s meaningful? I’ll wear Nike. I’ll wear Nike to say, thank you. Thank you for leading the resistance! We need more corporate America to stand up also.”

The wife of Glow director Jesse Peretz wrote on her arm with a black marker pen to protest the Brett Kavanaugh nomination to the Supreme Court. Sarah Sophie Flicker strutted along the carpet with “Stop Kavanaugh” scribbled on her bicep. Hopefully, Flicker, one of the founders of the Women’s March movement, got all the attention she was seeking with the stunt.

President Trump got off fairly lightly throughout the evening, but his Supreme Court nominee did not. Pink buttons furnished by the Times Up organization, a promoter of the #MeToo movement, stated, “We believe Christine Blasey-Ford” and “We still believe Anita Hill.” Blasey-Ford is the woman who, at the 11th hour of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, suddenly “remembered” that she was sexually assaulted by the nominee back in high school. Hill is the woman who claimed during the 1991 confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas that Thomas sexually harassed her while she was in his employ.

Tatiana Maslany, star of the BBC America show Orphan Black, wore a Planned Parenthood pin. “I’ve always stood by Planned Parenthood. I support a woman’s right to choose and autonomy over their bodies. I feel that’s threatened,” the actress said to USA Today. Referring to the Kavanaugh nomination, she went on to say, “That someone would try to take away [legal abortions] from us is horrifying.”

Would a pro-life opinion even be allowed at the Emmys? What about an opinion in support of Brett Kavanaugh? Or President Trump?

Comedienne Roseanne Barr, whose re-booted show was cancelled in May after an allegedly “racist” tweet, was the brunt of many jokes. While listing many of the shows that were cancelled in the past year, host Colin Jost cracked, “Roseanne was cancelled by herself, but picked up by white nationalists.”

Co-host Che picked up from there, saying, “I heard Roseanne is moving to Israel. I mean, damn, how messed up is your life you have to go to the Middle East to get peace of mind?”

There was also a moment of self-chastisement as the hosts took their own to task for the many examples of sexual predation in the entertainment industry. “You know it’s an honor to be here sharing this night with the many talented and creative people who haven’t been caught yet,” the hosts joked. In the past year, with the rise of the #MeToo movement, several prominent television executives and stars, including Les Moonves, Matt Lauer, Louis CK, and Charlie Rose have been forced to leave the industry over sexual-harassment charges.

All in all, Monday night’s broadcast might have been the most political entertainment awards show ever, with commentary about diversity (not diversity of thought, of course), the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, and the #MeToo movement garnering the most airtime and outrage from the celebrities in attendance.

Producers of the Emmys had hoped that moving the broadcast from CBS to NBC and from Sunday to Monday night might help ratings rebound from their moribund state of the last few years. However, early numbers show that the ratings for this year’s program, which was produced by Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels, were down 10 percent from last year.

So, the television industry again celebrated in its own little leftist bubble. The good news is that that bubble is quickly shrinking as America continues to tune out these awards shows and the toxic opinions from the so-called stars.

Photo: AP Images

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