Frank Rich is certainly correct in pointing out the drastic decline in viewers for this year’s Golden Globes and Grammys and, most probably, the forthcoming Oscars, but I question his explanation. Rich thinks people are being turned off by the growing blue-nosed censorship of the current administration. Well, I’m no defender of censorship, but I don’t think that has much to do with why they’re not watching. The problem is a lot greater and possibly more enduring than that. (Blue laws have been cyclical since the days of our Puritan ancestors.)
The real reason the public isn’t watching those award shows is that they are turned off by the work itself. The product of the music business has been mediocre and plastic for the better part of two decades. Ray Charles was a great musical genius, but the sad part of the Grammys is that he deserved to win and he’s dead! No wonder people, particularly the younger generation, aren’t interested.
The situation for the Golden Globes/Oscars is similar, because the position of movies in our culture has been on a continual decline (with minor bumps) since the 1970s. I hate to say it as someone who works in the Industry but glamour in the movie business disappeared with Robert Evans’ last cigar. (Okay, he’s still puffing but you know what I mean). Nobody cares. The most popular movies are now animations and deserve to be. Maybe if Sponge Bob was the host of the Oscars instead of Chris Rock people would tune in.