Jon Levine — the media editor for the entertainment site The Wrap — has penned an opinion piece for The New York Post that’s sure to get him a glare or two at the office on Monday.
Levine suggests that conservative actor James Woods might just be what the Academy Awards needs to inject some life into the show’s ever-dwindling viewership.
With the 2019 Golden Globe Awards now upon us, only one thing is for sure: Not a lot of people are going to watch. Ratings for the event last year fell 5 percent from their 2017 numbers and have fallen three out of the last four years. Oscars and Emmys? Even worse, with the 2018 shows declining 20 percent and 10 percent respectively from their 2017 ratings numbers.
Reversing this moribund picture calls for more than just tinkering along the edges. How can the creative class convince millions of Americans who have tuned out to give them a second chance? To answer that, I have two words.
That’s a very bold, outside-box-idea that will of course be rejected out of hand by liberals. However, the Academy is almost at the point where it shouldn’t reject any suggestions. This year’s show is set to air at the end of February and it is still without a host after the professional scolds ran Kevin Hart out because they didn’t like some old tweets of his. Despite recent lobbying by Ellen DeGeneres to reinstate Hart, the comedian says he won’t do it.
One of the big reasons that the awards shows have been cratering in recent years is that the people who produce and perform on them have consciously decided to alienate half of America.
Levine makes a good case for Woods to help remedy this situation:
He regularly inveighs against liberal sacred cows to his nearly 2 million Twitter followers. When Congresswoman Frederica Wilson criticized Trump, for example, Woods called her a “#ParasiteRodeoClown” — a nod to her distinctive cowboy hat.
He has developed a passionate cult following among the same audience that briefly powered Roseanne Barr to the No. 1 show on television. That audience is still out there, still looking for someone who can be their ambassador to the cultural elite.
Liberals are offended by everything. Liberals run Hollywood. There may be no one with the talent to host who could survive the scrutiny, which Levine goes into in detail, and which leads him to his ultimate rationale:
So, in that spirit, why not go full bore with James Woods? Embracing the offensive and learning to laugh at ourselves should be things that bring us together.
This could be the kind of thing that saves America from having to watch awards shows that are all hosted by a gender-neutral robot that’s programmed with all of those cringe-worthy jokes the almost talent-free writers of the awards shows are known for.
Even with all of the plummeting ratings, the awards shows aren’t going anywhere. Remember that the primary reason that the shows exist is for the entertainment industry do what it does best: spend an evening spraining their shoulders while patting themselves on the back.
If viewership for any one of the shows were reduced to just the people actually in attendance, it would still be televised.
So why not make them fun to watch again? They used to be, I swear. Especially the Golden Globes, which features drunk foreigners and drunk Americans saying drunk things on camera.
Sure, I can go on not watching any of the shows. However, I would like to not have to not watch them.