Republicans Misdiagnose Emmy Ratings Slump, by Tyler Smith
If there’s one thing that my fellow conservatives love to do, it’s proclaim the increasing irrelevance of Hollywood. President Trump, along with several notable conservative political commentators, including Bill O’Reilly, have scoffed at the poor ratings of the most recent Emmys telecast. They see it as proof that the Hollywood community is slowly but surely turning off the majority of American viewers, whose exasperation with the constant injection of liberal politics into a simple awards show is growing. And while I myself can’t help but roll my eyes when the host, presenters, and winners all make political proclamations to the most sympathetic room they can find, I think that Republican commentators are wrong on this. I don’t think the flagging viewership of the Emmys (and the Oscars) have anything to do with politics.
Instead, the ratings slump can be blamed – like so many other things – on the internet. When I was a kid, awards shows were a big deal. Where else could you see many of your favorite movie stars, decked out in beautiful dresses and tuxedos, having fun and celebrating the movies? Of course, there were shows like Entertainment Tonight, and the two notable late night talk shows, but that was kind of it.
Now, though, you can find celebrities everywhere, from the seemingly dozens of talk shows to variety show cameos; and that’s just on television. On the internet, we have podcast interviews, fan pages, gossip sites, and the Twitter accounts of the celebrities themselves. We have constant access to celebrities now, so why sit through a three-hour awards show? What used to be exclusive is now public, often annoyingly so.
It even extends to politics. Why watch an important Presidential speech in real time when you can catch the highlights, commentary, and response tweets later on in the evening online? It was the utilization of the internet that allowed President Trump to gain political momentum in the first place; you’d think that he’d be able to recognize the impact that it has had in other industries.
But then, of course, he and other conservative commentators wouldn’t be able to draw a clear dividing line between their supporters and liberal Hollywood, constantly perpetuating the “us and them” mentality that is so vital in politics today. Although Hollywood itself is often more than happy to affirm that divide, with a lot of those jokes and speeches, so maybe the conservatives have a point. Who’s to say?
What an exhausting time we live in…