Monday, January 14, 2013

And the Golden Globes went to… the political gutter

You knew how it was going to go from the very beginning, with all of the references to Sarah Palin and the like.

Last night's Golden Globes show was a full-on display of how political, and how overtly-liberal, Hollywood has become.

It wasn't surprising. But, it was disappointing.

It's more than just the fact that most of the works in contention for awards last night were political in nature (Argo, Game Change, Political Animals, Lincoln, even Les Miserables).

It's that nearly everyone, from the hosts, to the introducers, to the award recipients, felt the need to politicize the evening and to make a connection between art and political life.

We wonder, was last night really intended to showcase and recognize acting talent, or was it to praise and reward those who successfully mocked Republicans on the Silver Screen?

Take, for example, Jay Roach, director of the movie Game Change. He praised HBO for its support of the movie, which he said earned HBO the title "Huge Brave Operation".

Apparently, what Roach meant was that HBO deserved credit for helping to mock Sarah Palin and her campaign. Roach said, "With you and Tina Fey, we now have the three most incredible impersonations of Sarah Palin, counting Sarah Palin". He was talking, of course, about fellow award recipient Julianne Moore, who played Palin in the movie and who took the opportunity to "give a shout out to two people who I think made a significant difference in the 2008 election – Tina Fey and Katie Couric".

It's almost amusing how obsessed Hollywood is with Sarah Palin. Most of the rest of America has already moved on. Then again, maybe it's not surprising, considering many in the room last night and others in their industry have made a lot of money poking fun at Sarah Palin and her family. (And then, of course, there are the rest of the people in the room, who made their fortunes making shoot-em-up violent movies and now want more gun control. But, that's for another post.)

Sadly, it appears to be in vogue to make fun of women like Palin who have the courage to run for elective office, even when you're in an industry that normally prides itself in supporting rights for women in society. And everyone who supports women's rights should be ashamed by that.

We wonder what Lena Dunham, who won two awards for her role in HBO's comedy Girls, thought of all this. She herself starred in a 2012 Obama for America campaign ad, "Your First Time," where (in the context of comparing voting to losing her virginity), she said she wanted to vote for someone who cares about women.

Dunham, of course, wasn't the top Democrat in the room. In fact, not even Eva Longoria, outspoken 2012 National Co-chair for Obama for America, could claim that honor. That award went to Bill Clinton, who was called upon to introduce clips from the movie Lincoln. In so doing, Clinton invoked Lincoln's legacy to encourage Democrats and Republicans to work together. We're thinking Lincoln himself wouldn't take kindly to having his legacy being used to encourage Republicans to give in to Democrats on the debt ceiling. But it was.

We know some people will tell us to lighten up, that it's just entertainment. But one man's entertainment is another man's political intolerance. Imagine if you replaced Republicans with any other group as the butt of all the jokes last night. There would be widespread (justifiable) disapproval. But, since it's Hollywood, and it's Republicans, it's OK. We think that's unfortunate. And, as Republicans, we just don't feel welcome anymore.

If Hollywood is going to talk politics, let's make it equal opportunity. Otherwise, it's just gratuitous piling on, and there's nothing funny about that.

We're going to think twice about dropping money on tickets to the next Steven Spielberg or Tom Hanks movie. These days, it seems like you're just making a direct donation to the Democratic Party, and we're not in a giving mood.