Jokeless & hostless: Entertainment industry facing PC onslaught
Oscars 2019 is the latest victim of a struggle the entertainment industry is facing – staying entertaining and relevant, while avoiding scandal. Is it possible in a new era when everyone constantly takes offense?
ABC, which airs the Oscars, was reportedly struggling to find a host after comedian Kevin Hart pulled out following a controversy over his decade-old homophobic tweets. The posts came to light just days after his Oscars role was announced.
It isn’t the first time the Academy Awards went without a host, though the last time was in 1989. Nowadays, when a single ill-considered word, even from years ago, could land someone in hot water, many candidates would think twice before signing up for a high profile job (and reviewing all the Tweets since 2011).
The host of the Oscars is traditionally responsible for comic monologues and entertainment between announcements.
So, the ideal candidate must be funny, but not tasteless, relevant, but avoid controversial topics, politically savvy, but not too partisan and recognizable enough to boost ratings. No wonder ABC was struggling.Also on rt.com ‘Is it OK if I still don’t want my son to be gay?’ What Kevin Hart should’ve said as he quit Oscars
And the Oscars isn’t the only show grappling with PC standards. Those marketing the biggest US sporting event – the Super Bowl – tried to play it as safe as they could, dropping political topics and risky jokes. And even then the strategy didn’t work quite well.
Vegans lashed out at Hyundai after the firm made fun of the non-meat-eaters. Whilst journalists criticized Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos for a $5.25 million Tom Hanks-narrated ad, saying money should have been spent on employees.
And, last but not least, Bud Light managed to offend the US Corn Growers Association by making fun of Miller Lite for using corn syrup in its beer.
Meanwhile, Super Bowl LIII pulled the lowest overnight ratings for the big game in a decade. Apparently advertisers put all their efforts into trying not to hurt anyone’s feelings but forgot to keep us entertained.
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