News & Politics

Politicized Entertainment Award Shows Continue to Hemorrhage Viewers

Politicized Entertainment Award Shows Continue to Hemorrhage Viewers
(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

The Hill, of all sites, has offered a brutal assessment of the ever-plummeting ratings for televised entertainment awards shows in the wake of an all-time low Emmy Awards broadcast:

From the post:

The Emmy ratings embarrassment is consistent with other televised awards shows in the last year. The Oscars broadcast last spring also hit an all-time low. The Grammys ceremony last winter was down 24 percent from the previous year, and the Golden Globes broadcast was also down. Only the Tony awards, broadcast in June, showed a modest gain this year but still was down 25 percent from 2016.

Bear in mind that in terms of overall viewership the Tony broadcast is the least watched. Getting an uptick there is easier.

Because of the source, I was prepared for a litany of excuses for why the connection with the audience wasn’t happening that never got near the truth. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least, even if at first it appeared I may be right:

These awards shows have become over-the-top, self-congratulatory binges of the entertainment elite celebrating each other. Many average Americans apparently have a hard time viewing these extravaganzas and figuring out how they fit in. The entertainment establishment is, indeed, now an establishment of sorts, and it is detached from the rest of the country.

Yeah, famous people are self-absorbed and detached from reality. The writer then concluded that paragraph with this:

That always has been true, to some extent, but it is increasingly more obvious now as entertainers posture on various causes and political high-horses.

I wouldn’t say that incessant knee-jerk bashing of a president they don’t like qualifies as a political high-horse, but the overall sentiment is valid. This entire analysis is very astute but this next point is what stuck out more than anything:

Average consumers of mediated content want most to be entertained and/or distracted through television or film. Viewers like popular actors for their acting abilities and characterizations.

More and more, actors don’t understand that we really don’t like them, we like the characters they portray. They believe the masses want to know what they are thinking because we are heavily invested in them as human beings. If they can act I honestly don’t care if they ever think at all. On the occasions that they do, I’d rather get my neighbor’s opinion than theirs.

A lot of actors also mistakenly believe that they are interesting people simply because they can portray interesting people. I have never been able to sit through an interview with Robert De Niro. He’s painfully uninteresting and expresses himself as if he were in the throes of a concussion.

One last bit here that perfectly sums up the insular nature of the environment in which most entertainers operate:

The Emmy hosts this year, Colin Jost and Michael Che of “Saturday Night Live,” were believed by NBC to be so cool that they could turn around the slumping ratings of awards shows. SNL, however, appeals to a rather narrow audience niche and is known for its clear ideological thrust. Thus, these hosts were unable to draw a broader audience. What chance they did have to broaden audience appeal disappeared early when Che said, “The only white people who thank Jesus are Republicans and ex-crackheads.”

That’s funny to Che because virtually everyone he encounters on a daily basis believes the same things he does. There’s really no  joke there, it’s just a put-down that all the kids in a particular middle school clique will giggle at.

The average leftist prefers not to have his or her ideals challenged because they believe in things emotionally and aren’t good at backing them up intellectually. As such, they avoid any encounters with ideological or intellectual diversity. No one involved in the Emmy broadcast has knowingly spoken to a Republican or conservative in a long time. They have a vague idea that we’re out here, but they think there aren’t that many of us. They never quite grasp the fact that they are alienating half the country.

As the author notes, live broadcasts are still money makers so shows like this will be around for a while. As viewing options rapidly evolve, most of the network television model will probably go by the wayside. At some point in the near future even the leftist entertainers are going to have to start, you know, entertaining.

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