Hypocrisy, thy name is Hollywood.
In a world where Hollywood refuses to even speak to Christopher Plummer and Ryan Seacrest on the Red Carpet because they have been accused of sexual “harassment,” and whose (Hollywood’s) negativity kept last year’s Best Actor Oscar winner, Casey Affleck, from presenting the Best Actress Award this year just because he had been subject to “allegations” of “sexual misconduct,” it awards an Oscar to former Laker Kobe Bryant.
Bryant, a married man, was not just accused, but formally charged with criminal sexual assault by the Eagle County, Colorado sheriff’s office, a felonious offense that could have been punished by life in prison.
Sunday’s Oscar telecast ranks with the worst television shows of all time.
The details are too tawdry to mention here and Bryant eventually admitted to them, despite lying repeatedly about it. He wasn’t tried because he allegedly bought off the accuser to the tune of several million dollars so she refused to testify against him (something most rich rapists do), which raises the question, why isn’t that obstruction of justice? And now he has an Oscar…from “Me Too” Hollywood!
But these Hollywood Hypocrites who voted it to him won’t talk to Plummer, Seacrest and Affleck, who have never been formally charged with anything. They are worse than hypocrites; they are sanctimonious cowards.
Sunday’s Oscar telecast wasn’t just the worst Oscar show in history by a long shot, it ranks with the worst television shows of all time. The Academy is partly at fault for nominating the foulest list of films for awards ever seen. But the show was far worse than the films nominated.
Probably the lowest point was when host Jimmy Kimmel (a shockingly inadequate successor to Bob Hope, Johnny Carson and Billy Crystal, and who is host through nepotism, solely because he runs ABC’s late night talk show) stopped the show halfway through to take some Hollywood actors to another theater to hand out treats. While the pace of the show had been dismal up until then, this nonsensical act completely stopped it entirely.
But there were lots of other low points like Best Actress winner Frances McDormand’s acceptance speech, which led a friend of mine to threaten to join SPOWGE (the Society for the Prevention Of Women Getting Everything). I could go on and on.
Because of all this, it lost its audience. I gave a small dinner party for the show at a private club that was having an Oscar dinner. There were 80 people in attendance at all the tables of the club when the show started. When the show finally ended there were only about 15 people left in the club, most of whom were my guests. Everyone else had left before learning who won Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Movie. The show was so bad that even the people at my table were getting up and wandering around talking instead of watching the boring, unfunny, unentertaining drivel being shown on ABC.
I think that this show, maladroitly produced by Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd, put a big nail in the coffin of the popularity of the Academy Awards show for the future.
Reports said viewership was down 19 percent. But that wasn’t the worst of it. That measures how many people saw part of the show, probably the beginning. If they measured what viewership was just before the big awards at the end, I imagine it would have been closer to down 50 percent if not more.
Tony Medley is the author of three books including “UCLA Basketball: The Real Story,” the first book written on UCLA basketball. Visit TonyMedley.com.