Imagine a door-to-door salesman telling a customer, “I really hate cat people.”
The door might get slammed in his or her face if Fuzzy is lurking between the homeowner’s feet.
It’s essentially what Hollywood pulled off Sunday night during the annual Golden Globes telecast. Once again, celebrities turned a night meant to honor their best and brightest into a one-sided political screed. In doing so, the assembled glitterati told roughly half the nation to take a hike.
The evening, though, may leave a mark on their purses and wallets.
The telecast began beautifully, with show host Jimmy Fallon paying tribute to “La La Land” with an extravagant musical number. It was silly and inspired, a blast of wit suggesting the focus might stay where it belongs: entertainment.
It didn’t last long.
Fallon, who got excoriated by liberals for treating “Tonight Show” guest Donald Trump like a guest late last year, fired off a number of Trump jokes in his brief monologue.
The evening’s big political broadsides were yet to come.
First, “The Night Manager’s” Hugh Laurie whined this would be the last Golden Globes telecast because, you know, President Trump doesn’t like “Hollywood” “Foreign” and “Press.”
— The Hill (@thehill) January 9, 2017
Later, the team behind Disney’s “Zootopia” railed that the film’s message about diversity was needed more than ever in Trump’s America.
Then, Hollywood royalty Meryl Streep took the stage.
The three-time Oscar winner personally accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her lifetime in the arts. It’s a rare, and perfectly deserved, honor for the gifted star.
Did she thank all the people who helped her along the way? Was she humbled to receive such an honor?
We’ll never know. She spent her entire speech slamming Trump. It would have been just as inappropriate if Streep had given a stem-winder on Trump’s business acumen.
— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) January 9, 2017
Now, no one says Streep can’t speak her mind. But would you sound off on abortion, gun control or legal marijuana on a first date? A family reunion? A stockholder’s meeting? There’s simply no reason to uncork a hard-partisan speech during a Hollywood awards ceremony.
Doesn’t she realize Red State voters see movies, too? Are they going to line up for her next film after she just grossly insulted their preferred presidential candidate? In what other industry do workers routinely trash half of their customer base?
This isn’t the first time a celebrity has mocked the American consumer. Stars routinely slam Republicans in press interviews. Case in point: Here’s “Mad Men” star January Jones telling us why she prefers to stay single:
“I want a manly man in flannel, with a beard and an axe. But then there’s always something wrong. Like he’s a Republican.”
Late last year, “Nocturnal Animals” co-star Michael Shannon said “it’s time for the urn” for Trump voters. Shannon stars primarily in indie fare, movies that struggle to find an audience. Does anyone think that statement will help his next movie’s box office tally?
The era of the movie star is essentially over. Brands, reboots and franchises sell tickets, not A listers. Brad Pitt’s 2015 film “By the Sea” co-starring Oscar winner Angelina Jolie was a massive flop. Pitt’s recent drama, “Allied,” will lose millions after a rough box office haul. And he’s a certified superstar with talent, charm and good looks to spare.
Audiences didn’t care.
Maybe it’s because they keep hearing stars insult their politics and lifestyle choices. They’ve had enough, and consumers can spend their leisure time in a number of ways that don’t involve lining up at the multiplex.
And that was before an awards night teeming with insufferable speeches like Streep and Co. delivered.