The latest Hollywood awards show will go light on politics. And we have a bridge we'd like to sell you...
There are few things more grating than celebrities interviewing each other.
Media outlets often choose this approach. They cede their reportorial ground so that Star A and Star B can chat away. The rationale? It lets the stars lower their guards, barriers erected after one too many probing Q&As.
The theory is removing the journalist from the equation could lead to more honest dialogue.
Part snooze, part suck-up fest. Don’t blame the stars. They aren’t interviewers. More importantly, their guards are still up, but in a different way. It’s like overhearing a conversation at a studio head’s cocktail party where each reveler hopes to curry favor with every syllable.
It’s acting sans script.
That still hardly captures what’s going on with this chat between Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg. The actors, each below the A-list, will be co-hosting this weekend’s Golden Globes telecast.
The conversation is a prime example of how Woke Stars communicate. It’s also a sign that Hollywood denizens know political awards shows draw small ratings, but they can’t stop with the partisan sniping.
Let’s go through the following quotes, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, to share what’s spoken between the lines:
SAMBERG … Everyone is depressed [Hollywood liberals haven’t gotten over Hillary Clinton’s loss … yet!], and maybe that’s as good a reason as any that everyone could use a little time to laugh and celebrate. Not to ignore anything [I’m already hedging my bets], but we spend so much time every day wallowing in a lot of things that are happening in our world that are really depressing [like record low unemployment rates?], and with good reason — that stuff needs to be paid attention to — but there’s also power to being positive and celebratory in the tougher times as well.
OH: …I don’t really think that [getting political] is for the hosts necessarily [reciting talking points from the show producers who fear a ratings debacle]. You make it an open and safe place for whoever wants to use that platform to speak. [of course we openly encourage anti-Trump rants despite our ‘no politics’ pledge]
SAMBERG: The most memorable moments from the last two years of the Globes have been the DeMille speeches, Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey. [Remember when I said the show should shy away from politics? Just kidding!]
OH: …And I’m not interested in [talking about Trump] at all. What I’m interested in is pointing to actual real change. [returning to said talking points…]
Each host is officially on record saying they’ll avoid Trump jokes and politics in general during their part of the ceremony.
Later in the interview, Oh asks Samberg about “Saturday Night Live” and comedy in the Woke Age – even though she doesn’t say that, it’s precisely what she’s asking. The comments are more than a bit revealing.
SAMBERG: And now it’s obvious that’s what everyone is talking about, and because SNL is this establishment that’s known for it, people really put a lot of pressure on them to be the ones that have the take [on politics].
OH And the correct take, which is a tremendous amount of pressure.
Next, the duo throw their support behind Outrage Nation and comedians getting punished for saying the “wrong” thing.
OH You don’t want to pre-censor your own self before you discover what you really want to say. But when you put things out there, you’re also responsible for them. [please don’t arrest me, PC Police … I’m saying all the right things!]
SAMBERG Without a doubt. But a lot of people have told jokes that you think are edgy and funny at the time [i.e. jokes that are funny], and then when they’re exposed in the broad daylight of the world and to people who are actually going through their lives and their own experiences that you really have no idea about, it’s not excusable. [That’s a chilling statement coming from a fellow who makes comedy for a living]
Now, let’s go back to their “no politics” pledge. For context, 2018 Golden Globes host Seth Meyers teased that he wouldn’t bring up President Trump during his monologue.
The producers behind last year’s Oscars telecast also promised a less political show.
They lied, too.
So when Samberg and Oh wax on about the need for less politics, more celebration, know there’s a better than average chance that they, too, may be pulling our legs.