Hollywood’s biggest night just took its biggest blow.
In yet another sign of the continuing disinterest Americans are showing in listening to the beautiful people talk about how beautiful they are, ratings for the 92nd annual Academy Awards were even lower than their previous low point in 2018, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
It was the latest bad news for the entertainment industry’s exercises in ego gratification.
And it had to hurt.
The TV ratings for this year’s Oscars ceremony were the lowest in history. The Nielsen company says the audience of 23.6 million people who saw “Parasite” win best picture was down from 29.6 million in 2019. https://t.co/SR1QNZxWwc
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 10, 2020
The September Emmy Awards fell an astounding 32 percent from 2018, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
January’s Golden Globes came in at a not-quite-as-embarrassing 4 percent below last year’s the newspaper reported.
And the Oscars’ reported number of 23.6 million viewers was down 20 percent compared to 2019, according to USA Today.
So, what’s behind the drop in interest?
Industry watchers seem puzzled, judging by the USA Today report. The Academy’s dismal decision to choose the South Korean movie “Parasite” as Best Picture couldn’t have been it, because none of the viewers knew a subtitled foreign-language film would be considered the best Hollywood had to offer.
(Seriously? “The Irishman” was more than three hours of unrelieved boredom, pretentious tedium that insulted the intellect and assaulted the soul, but at least it was in English.)
A lack of a host doesn’t explain it, since the show didn’t have a host last year.
One very strong possibility, which USA Today apparently didn’t consider, is that Americans had just been through a week where the whole country saw the collapse of a cynical, politically driven effort to oust the duly elected president, and didn’t have the stomach to sit through a bunch of bloviating Hollywood liberals preach about how benighted all those folks in flyover land really are.
The star turn by comedian Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes, where he ably voiced the contempt millions of Americans have come to feel about these shows, doesn’t seem to have penetrated.
Three years into President Donald Trump’s time in office, it seems like Hollywood liberals really should be getting the message by now.
Ricky Gervais already told them why. Get your trophy for your acting, thank your people and keep your out of touch political opinions to yourselves!! The second Brad Pitt went in with his Bolton line, we turned it off! The House already had witnesses, apparently he missed it.
— Summer (@sunnynodak) February 10, 2020
Oscar’s have turned into a Social Justice Warriors platform to lecture from.
Who needs it?
— John ✨ (@Digikriden) February 10, 2020
I don’t like political lectures from entertainers
— Julia Dugan (@juju_Dugan18) February 10, 2020
Fortunately, barbs aimed specifically at President Donald Trump (or Republicans) played a relatively small part in the proceedings – the sudden affection of Best Supporting Actor Brad Pitt for John Bolton and a plug for the Communist Manifesto notwithstanding.
But no one had any way of knowing that was going to be the case until after the awards ended. (And a foreign-language movie called “Parasite” took the top honors.)
Still, liberal politics infested much of the evening. Hardly a segment between commercial breaks could go by without exactly the kind of stomach-turning, knee-jerk political correctness when it comes to gender and racial issues that sane Americans – liberal or conservative – should loathe in an atmosphere that’s supposed to be about entertainment.
(The acceptance speech by Best Actor Joaquin Phoenix — an arch-hypocrite in real life as well the archvillain of “Joker” — apparently was intended to cover bovine issues too, given that it seemed to have something to do with cows’ milk, but really it was tough to tell it was so weird.)
The fact is, the glitterati have never been shy about preaching to the lower orders about the superiority of the liberal outlook, and for a long time, millions of Americans were willing to put up with it because the entertainment value outweighed the annoyance value.
But after three years of relentless hounding from the airheads with agents about Trump’s alleged unworthiness to hold the Oval Office, even while the underlying rot of the celebrity world has been exposed in the #MeToo movement, millions of Americans are weighing those factors anew, and even the richest, most famous personalities in the world are being found wanting.
The biggest blow behind Sunday’s ratings might be the statement that Hollywood has blown it for much of the country – quite possibly for good.
America knows by now how “woke” the beautiful people are. The only question is whether they will wake up any time soon.
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