Another year, another ratings tumble for the “Billboard Music Awards,” which this year opened with an anti-gun speech from host Kelly Clarkson.
Although the show was the top finisher in its time slot for the evening, its 2.1 rating was below last year’s 2.3 rating, and well below the show’s 3.1 rating in 2016, according to Broadcasting Cable. The show migrated this year from ABC to NBC.
Clarkson, a country singer, began the show with a reference to last week’s tragedy at a Texas high school, in which a student killed 10 other students.
“Before we start tonight’s show, there’s something I’d like to say,” Clarkson said, according to Deadline.
“I’m a Texas girl and my home state has had so much heartbreak over this past year — and once again, y’all, we’re grieving for more kids that have died for just no reason at all. And tonight they wanted me to say — that obviously we want to pray for all the victims and their families.”
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) May 21, 2018
“And mamas and daddies should be able to send their kids to school, to church, to movie theaters to clubs. You should be able to live your life without that kind of fear. So we need to do better. We need to do better as a people. We’re failing our children, we’re failing our communities, we’re failing our families,” she said.
“I’m so sick of moments of silence. It’s not working, obviously. Why don’t we do a moment of action, a moment of change? We need to do better,” she said.
Clarkson’s comments came under scrutiny from Variety in its review of the show.
Variety was kinder to pop star Khalid, who appeared on the show with students from Marjory Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, site of a February school shooting that left 17 people dead.
The website Jezebel also had issues with Clarkson’s vagueness.
“She offered zero guidance to accompany her plea for change. She didn’t say the word ‘gun,’ ‘control,’ or ‘shoot,’ or ‘stop shooting people with guns; we need stricter gun control,” Jezebel’s commentary on her speech read.
“We need to stop shooting people with guns. We need stricter gun control. We need to actually say something when we say things,” the magazine added.
Clarkson is a gun owner, according to The New York Times, which reported that in past interviews, Clarkson had said she slept with a gun.
“I live alone, so I’m not going out like that,” Clarkson said in a 2012 interview with NPR. “I got no chance if some man breaks into my house. So, yeah, I have a gun.”
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