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Reading the Room

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Steven Senne

That Hollywood sun must generate the thinnest of skins.

Last night, Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais warned his elitist audience, “If you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world.”

Meryl Streep was upset. Leftwing journalists were outraged.  And across the nation, Americans smiled.  For years, we’ve seen condescending actors tell us how to live our lives.  For once, they were on the receiving end of a lecture, albeit in jest. Sadly, most of them couldn’t take the joke.

Americans turn to cinema as a form of escapism.  If we wanted to listen to smarmy, self-involved preaching, we’d tune into Rachel Maddow. Hollywood’s role is to entertain with drama, action, intrigue, and yes, humor. 

Some celebrities will naturally make the case that they don’t desire to be roasted at their own awards show.  That might be a fair point if this was a small, private affair. Instead this is a primetime network spectacle that attracts millions of viewers and as such the primary goal should be to entertain the entire audience.  In that regard Gervais was a tremendous success.

In addition, the laughter continued well after the awards show when the left-wing press clutched their pearls in astonishment after finding their ideological heroes to be the butt of the joke, for once.  

Slate argued that Gervais was, “just plain mean.”  That’s odd, I don’t recall them being bothered by “mean” comments after Robert de Niro called Donald Trump an idiot and openly desired for someone to hit the President in the face with a bag of sh-t.  And unlike de Niro, at least Gervais’s jabs had a punchline.

But at least Slate waited until the show concluded to attack Gervais. Indiewire had been demanding the Brit be replaced as host since Thanksgiving.  His crime? Mocking Caitlyn Jenner in his previous hosting gig. We should pray that Indiewire never watches a rerun of any Comedy Central Roast featuring Jenner or perhaps they’ll demand that the entire network be cancelled. If Jenner can take jokes so well, why can’t the Left?

Forbes made the case that the show would’ve been better off without a host at all.  Some of us might make the case that Forbes would be better off not covering the entertainment industry.

These actors fail to understand something that filmmakers and comedians have known for decades -- no one likes to be preached to.  When James Cameron pushes his ideas on us he uses drama combined with dazzling special effects. When John Oliver advances his ideas he uses humor.  After all, humor is the most effective “sugar” to help the political “medicine” go down. Acceptance-speech actors, however, only offer bitter pills.

The Los Angeles Times barely waited for the show to conclude before publishing a column attacking the host. The closing zinger to their screed was an attack on Gervais for his inability to “read the room.”  Perhaps Ricky Gervais realized what the Times did not...that “the room” wasn’t just the condescending elitists in attendance, but rather the millions of Americans watching at home.

Adam Guillette is the president of Accuracy in Media, www.aim.org

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