Oscar Night Proves Movie Stars Cannot Do Television

The Oscars Logo

There was a lot of hype for the 93rd Annual Oscar Awards – a lot.  It was to be different – more exciting – more entertaining.  We should not expect less since they ARE the entertainment industry.

They did make a lot of changes.  There was no celebrity host to stitch the show together – and provide some comic relief as a counterpoint to the droning acceptance speeches. 

If I were to give a summary critique of the evening, I would say that everyone was well dressed.  As might be expected on such an occasion, the men were mostly wearing traditional conservative tuxedos and the women were mostly in sparkling long dresses baring as much bosom as the public airwaves would allow.  In terms of attire, apparently outrageous is out in Hollywood.

The main stage was small and unimpressive.  I have seen as good or better at political fundraisers.  And then there were the masks – or lack thereof.  There was hardly a mask to be found among the guests, nominees, recipients or presenters.  There was some evidence of social distancing, but not much.  Groups sat together –and there was a lot of hugging.

From my conservative viewpoint, I was annoyed by the occasional dips into political controversies – always with a port perspective – alluding to the left side of a ship, not the libation.  Although that might explain some of the acceptance speeches.  But there was not as much as I anticipated.

The few political attacks from the left were blunted by Black filmmaker Tyler Perry, who received a humanitarian Oscar for a whole bunch of good deeds.  He called on the audience – in the room and on my side of the camera – to reject hate.  To meet in the middle where understanding takes place.  He admonished the folks to not hate Black people or White people – and he specifically included police among those who should not be hated.

I have never liked using the celebrity of winning an Oscar as an opportunity to push narrow political agendas.  I see it as an entertainment industry, and I prefer to be entertained.

The entire event – from the speeches to the selection of nominees wreaked of political correctness and identity politics.  That is a pity – but that is what Hollywood has become.  The movie industry has long been criticized for his lack of recognition of Black movies and Black actors.  In making a correction, they mat have overshot the balance point.  While most of the recipients were relatively unknown White folks, the center ring looked like a production on Black Entertainment Television.  And that is an observation, not a racist statement.

But all that aforementioned is nuance.  It was the main production – the very reason for the program — that was pathetic.  It was boring.  Without a host to knit things together, individuals popped up like the creatures in Whack-A-Mole – except I did not have the pugil stick to put them back from whence they came.  For the most part, I did not recognize them – and contrary to good television, there were no scrolls that could have identified many of them.

Winners were announced and they came to the podium to give their painfully similar –and entirely too long and too irrelevant acceptance speeches.  Too many of the recipients could not express their feeling and their gratitude without naming a long list of associates, friends and families.  It is hard to imagine them having soooooo many relatives to thank. 

In much civic involvement in Chicago, I often ran major awards dinners.  I would advise the presenters and the recipients to keep it short.  In one case I limited them to a one-sentence response.  That is because I understood a truth that the Oscar Academy has failed to appreciate in 93 years of giving out the little golden statuettes.  The people with the most interest in the award is the presenter and the recipient.  The audience would care less about how much these actors love their children at home.

It was that sameness that made the entire show drone on like a Dickens novel.  Even worse that those who came with prepared text to be read from folded-up pieces of paper they retrieved from their pockets.  Those without prepared acceptance speech were more likely to babble – proving that without a script and a director to shout “cut,” they are not very articulate public speakers.

After spending too many hours absorbing all that Hollywood and Netflix had to offer, I was not moved to want to see any of the movies on the program.   Perhaps that is just me – or maybe that is why the movie industry is suffering at the box office.

Perhaps the obituary on the evening was the fact the morning news did very little reporting on the event.  In fact, I cruised the morning news for more than an hour without finding a single mention.

So, there ‘tis.

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4 Thoughts to “Oscar Night Proves Movie Stars Cannot Do Television”

  1. Kathy

    I have NOT watched the Oscar event since 1957, back when the actors were good people and the movies kept decent and wonderful events. Today’s “people” are a waste of ones dime to get into a movie which we can assume ahead of time that the movie is not worth a dime, let alone a few dollars.

  2. Carlton Sargent

    This editorial was spot on, that is why I have been done with the awards shows for a long time along with professional sports- MLB, NFL, NBA, etc…

  3. N. Morris White

    Loved your comments on the Oscars! True for red states and blue states. Boring is boring, and politically correct can get very tedious and boring.

  4. Arlene

    Oh brother, do not even have the time or desire to comment!

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