Did Chris Rock Hollywood?
In principle, Oscar night gives Hollywood a chance to celebrate itself. It’s the time when the movie industry honors the significant achievements of its members. It’s a democratic process. Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science vote for the nominees, in a primary election, and then cast another vote for the winners.
What could be wrong with that?
Apparently, some people decided that the members of the Academy had committed a thought crime: they did not vote for a sufficient number of African-American nominees.
So Chris Rock got up to emcee the proceedings and spent a goodly portion of his time chastising and guilt-tripping the assembled artists. Thus, he was diminishing their achievements by making them feel that they had earned their plaudits on the backs of excluded black artists. Effectively, Rock ruined the celebratory atmosphere of the evening. One suspects that he will not be invited back.
You might think that liberal Hollywood had it coming. Its denizens have supported every crackpot left wing cause that there is. Thus, it was hoist on its own petard, as Shakespeare might have put it. If anyone had had a sense of humor he would have been selling hair shirts at the door. It would have been the right fashion statement.
Hollywood moguls and actors and actresses allowed themselves to be trashed on a very large stage by a stand-up comedian last night. And they were obliged, by the laws of decorum, to laugh at his lame jokes.
Rock was wildly out of line. Besides, now, every time a black artist is nominated for an Oscar everyone will be thinking that he did not earn it but that he was given it to shut up people like Chris Rock.
As for the ratings, the broadcast achieved the lowest ratings in eight years. They were down 6% over last year’s bad ratings.