I was saddened to see how bad the ratings were on the Emmys last night – the worst ever. Smartest people of them all are the “DEPLORABLES.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2017
Of course, President Trump was anything but sad. The 2017 Emmy Awards were a Trump-bashing fest, and their low ratings do indeed demonstrate that Americans are getting tired of tuning in to entertainment that is more about haranguing them than entertaining them.
Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway has a similar assessment when asked about the low ratings for TV’s award show:
The Emmys, the Miss America pageant was very politicized,” she told “Fox & Friends” the day after the broadcast. “Our sports are very politicized. It looks like the ratings are suffering. It looks like Americans are tuning out. They want you to stick to your knitting. They want you to stick to the stuff that other people write for you.
Of course they do. But what do they know? They’ve never had dinner with Leonardo DiCaprio or George Clooney; they’re just the hot polloi from flyover country. It’s up to the beautiful people to educate the Deplorables about what they ought to want.
There’s no law that requires anyone to sit through smug and sanctimonious shows where the big stars lecture the little people on how to live.
But there’s also no law that stops stars from displaying their contempt for everyday folk at every opportunity. But it certainly demonstrates a short-sighted business model for the entertainment industry.
It’s all about alienating the audience
Consider this reality: Every time a movie star opines on politics, she or he risks alienating half of their audience.
Marc Giller, writing at, describes both Hollywood and the news media as industries that “never…miss the opportunity to tell its customers that they’re always wrong,” and notes:
[Hollywood] is determined to show Middle America the middle finger, a rather novel spin for people who are supposed to be in the entertainment biz. On Broadway, the old joke with critics was that nobody likes the show but the public. These days, the denizens of La La Land just say, “Screw the show and screw the public. They don’t deserve us anyway.”
That attitude is on display for all the world to see, but the only people who can’t see are the people who are producing it., director of the Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California, Hollywood is only interested in making money, and their politics are made malleable by box office receipts. So their leftism is just good business sense:
If there were big money to be made telling stories celebrating home schooling, semi-automatic rifle ownership, the bullying of gays, white supremacism, misogyny or xenophobia, Hollywood would be racing to make them.
It’s impossible to miss the condescending caricature inherent in Kaplan’s observation. In his estimation, and the estimation of those who made the Emmys unbearable for anyone to the right of Bernie Sanders, you’re either a normal person, or you’re a racist, gay-hating nutjob living in the mountains eating possum and setting up sniper stations to pick off foreigners.
As long as Hollywood is incapable of seeing others – let along conservatives –as human beings, they will continue to demonstrate contempt for the people they’re supposed to be entertaining, which means more and more people will continue to tune them out.
(Photo of actor Alec Baldwin, winner of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for ‘Saturday Night Live’, during the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)