As Expected, The Golden Globes Were Ethically Incoherent

It is not surprising that last night’s Golden Globes award, pre-hyped as some kind of virtuous purging of the old, bad Hollywood culture where men used their power to sexually abuse women, and women submitted–and stayed silent—to achieve power and wealth of their own, was self-contradictory, hypocritical and incoherent.

What, for example, did the all-black outfits mean? Here is B-list actress Amber Tamblyn trying to explain in the New York Times:

“We actresses are not just modeling clothing when we walk a red carpet on award show night. We are modeling a kind of behavior. We are speaking in a coded language to other women — even young girls — that says: The way I look and what I wear and how I wear it is the standard for women. What is being worn is not an exception. It is the rule. You must dress a certain way and look a certain way if you want to be valued as a woman, no matter what you do for a living or who you are. We never intend for this to be the message we are sending with what we wear, but often it is the perceived one, whether we like it or not…Tonight, you will see just such an experiment as myself and hundreds of women from the Time’s Up movement will reject colorful gowns for black ones on the Golden Globes’ red carpet and at related events across the country. Wearing black is not all we will be doing. We will be doing away with the old spoken codes in favor of communicating boldly and directly: What we are wearing is not a statement of fashion. It is a statement of action. It is a direct message of resistance. Black because we are powerful when we stand together with all women across industry lines. Black because we’re starting over, resetting the standard. Black because we’re done being silenced and we’re done with the silencers. Tonight is not a mourning. Tonight is an awakening.”

Oh. What? This is Authentic Frontier Gibberish. I sincerely doubt that what actresses wear on the red carpet has as much influence, or even close to it, on young women as what the actresses wear in films and TV. The black is a statement of action? What action? Resistance to what? Anyone who thinks that now, suddenly, a hundred years of a corrupt culture has been erased, and that if a message is sent by a male director, producer or star that an ambitious young actress can prevail over her competition by acceding to a date, a grope, or a night of sex, that won’t get essentially the same results it always has is naive. Tamblyn doesn’t think that, and I guarantee that  Meryl Streep doesn’t think that. This means that the all-black stunt was just grandstanding, and a mass deception upon the public.

If this was genuinely turning the page, why didn’t any of the actors—not one–mention Harvey Weinstein? They didn’t because they are afraid that he might come back, that’s why. Mel Gibson came back. David Begelman came back. Hollywood has a cruel, venal, ethics free,culture, and all of these women and actors know it. They won’t burn bridges, not completely. This is why Rose McGowan, who was the most vocal and audacious of the abused actresses, one who took grave personal risks to accuse Weinstein of raping her and then paying her off, as well as Ashley Judd and Salma Hayek, who both went public with the abuse before other stars felt secure enough to come forward–Hayek wrote that Weinstein threatened to have her killed —were completely ignored during the ceremony. Nobody saluted them. Nobody thanked them. Harvey might take it personally.

When host Seth Meyers, in his opening monologue, mentioned Weinstein, it was with this  jibe “Harvey Weinstein can’t be here tonight because, well, I’ve heard rumors that he’s crazy and difficult to work with.”  (That was an anti-Trump shot, of course) “But don’t worry — he’ll be back in 20 years when he becomes the first person ever booed during the ‘In Memoriam’ segment.”

The crowd, supposedly there explicitly rejecting the Weinstein culture,  moaned and booed. What bad taste for Myers! Imagine, being mean to a rapist! (“See Harvey? I didn’t laugh! Can I read for that part?”)

The ceremony was still not devoid of sexism—against men. “And here are the all-male nominees,” said Natalie Portman, before reading the names of the nominees for best director. Translation: This isn’t an  awards show, it’s about social justice, and assigning a new power structure! Why aren’t the nominees balanced among genders, races, ethnicity and sexual orientation?

It was also not devoid of garbled values and messages. Allison Janney won a Golden Globe for playing Tonya Harding’s mother in “I, Tonya,” and  thanked Harding, an invited guest, for “sharing her story . . . a story about truth and the perception of truth in the media.”

Tonya Harding got off lightly, thanks to a plea deal, after conspiring with her boy-friend to injure her Olympic rival Nancy Kerrigan. Kerrigan has said that the FBI told her they believed Harding was the mastermind and showed her transcripts detailing a plot to have her killed. But Harding is a woman, so hear her roar. Or something. This is Hollywood. Just because the actresses are all wearing black doesn’t mean that they know right from wrong.

 

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Pointer and Facts: NY Post

82 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Popular Culture, Romance and Relationships, Workplace

82 responses to “As Expected, The Golden Globes Were Ethically Incoherent

  1. Rick M.

    I’ve always liked Sharon Stone. I didn’t know she had eyes….first time I ever looked up.

  2. Other Bill

    But the good news is, evidently Oprah Winfrey has won the 2020 Presidential election and will be installed immediately. So we’ve got that going for us.

    • ”evidently Oprah Winfrey has won the 2020 Presidential election”

      That mean her book club won’t be rating HRC’s screed “What Happened”?

      • Rick M.

        This was an honest mistake (*cough*cough*). I am sure if Trump made such an honest mistake it would be treated as such.

        • Other Bill

          I guess is anyone needs any evidence of the paucity of potential Democratic nominees, the gushing coverage of Oprah’s apparent campaign commencement should suffice. The media really consider her a viable candidate? Absolutely amazing. But then again, who is? I still think it’s going to be “I’m with Her (Still)” in 2020. I mean, she almost won.

          • Chris

            Interestingly, the most convincing case I’ve seen for Oprah came from a conservative who reminds me a lot of Jack, John Podheretz:

            https://nypost.com/2017/09/27/democrats-best-hope-for-2020-oprah/

            I’m not convinced, but he makes a better case than most.

            • Other Bill

              I’d say that column by Podheretz is a Trojan horse, Chris. Something along the lines of “Don’t throw me in the briar patch!” The Dems have been complaining about Trump being a reality TV star and they’re going to nominate one? Fight fire with fire if you want but I think it’s absolutely preposterous. If Trump is successful, why replace him with a celebrity? If he’s a failure, why replace him with a celebrity?

              • The Oprah story isn’t fake news, its ersatz news. She isn’t a politician. She has never evinced any interest in running for anything. She has repeatedly said that she isn’t interested, and there is no reason to doubt her. Oprah is gay, but has chosen not to go public with that. I assume she would not want to endure a whole campaign where that would be an issue. She has a lot of TV tape that does not show her at her best, like the “A Million Little Pieces” fiasco. One thing we have learned, and my research has confirmed it, is that Presidents have to really want the job. She doesn’t, and would be a fool to, at this point in her life.

                The story doe how devoid of real candidates the Democrats are, however.

                I’d vote for Oprah over any of them, and probably over Trump, too.

                • Mrs. Q

                  Oprah is gay? How did I not know that? Is there concrete proof? My gaydar failed.

                  • I’m surprised. Steadman was about as obvious a beard as there has ever been, and the constant “will they marry?” suspense was pretty transparently a sham. She would do a lot for gay woemn if she would come out, but it’s her choice. But a Presidential run would require candor.

                    • Chris

                      That seems like the sort of speculation and inference stated as fact that is usually frowned upon here.

                    • I was not citing every piece of evidence, because outing Oprah is not my objective. I’m saying that this is one factor that makes her candidacy unlikely, and it is.

                    • Other Bill

                      Personally, I’d bet Jack’s gaydar is pretty darned reliable.

                    • Chris

                      Better than the “Trump is mentally unfit” contingent’s craydar?

                    • Ugh. You still miss the point of all of those posts and comments. Unfit isn’t “unable.” I’ve said Trump was unfit for years. But the voters define what fit is, and fit or not, he’s still able to perform the job, as well as he can.

                    • Chris

                      No, you’re missing the point. I wasn’t defending the “Trump is unfit” contingent. My point was that stating “Oprah is gay” as fact is no better than stating “Trump has a mental illness” as fact.

                    • Chris, being gay is not a disease, and anyone can come to an informed and accurate conclusion. As with Jodie Foster ( who was obviously gay, but refused to say so, as is her right) and Kevin Spacey (ditto, until it served his purposes) and many, many others, the evidence is well-known and clear with Oprah, she chooses to deny it, and as with Foster and Spacey, people let it go out of respect and fairness. When someone runs for President, however, this kind of denial becomes a legitimate issue.

                      I have had quite a few good friends give that awkward “I am gay and I wanted you to know” speech with me, and in no case was I surprised. What was awkward was having to pretend to be surprised. In every case, what I wanted to say was, “Uh, yes, I’ve known for years, and I really, really don’t care one way or the other.”

                    • Other Bill

                      Then there are all the photos of Oprah yucking it up with Mr. Weinstein.

                      I don’t think Jack is trying to make an assertion to have Oprah removed from office as president of the united states. Slight difference, Chris. Just one of the various reasons he’s citing as making it unlikely she’d run for elective office.

    • Was she running against Jeb Bush?

  3. Still Spartan

    Wearing a black dress to the Golden Globes is no different than wearing a flag pin, a pink ribbon, a rainbow pin, etc. — just showing support for a particular issue or drawing attention to it.

  4. Regarding Seth Meyers line “Harvey Weinstein can’t be here tonight because, well, I’ve heard rumors that he’s crazy and difficult to work with.” I’m pretty sure that’s not about Trump, but about the things Weinstein’s people said about blacklisted actresses such as Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino.

    • Glenn Logan

      If it’s coming from Hollywood and contains the word “crazy,” it’s probably about Trump.

    • Hollywood jokes can’t be packed with double entendres?

      Like the hidden jab in the very funny Jumanji sequel:

      “Albino RHINOS!!! They’re huge, white, scary and stupid! (AND THEY EAT PEOPLE!)”

      Come now, Seth Meyers line could easily be about BOTH.

      • Chris

        It could be, but it’s a stretch. I think inferring an anti-Trump meaning into that joke is anti-anti-Trump-hysteria-hysteria.

  5. Glenn Logan

    The ceremony was still not devoid of sexism—against men. “And here are the all-male nominees,” said Natalie Portman, before reading the names of the nominees for best director. Translation: This isn’t an awards show, it’s about social justice, and assigning a new power structure! Why aren’t the nominees balanced among genders, races, ethnicity and sexual orientation?

    I’m just shocked she didn’t say “Here are the all-white, all-male, all gender conforming nominees.” Why stop at men? She was probably overwhelmed by all the estrogen in the air.

    Remember, Jack, you can’t be sexist if you’re a woman, just like a black person can’t be racist — oppressed groups, you know. And don’t we all know how oppressed Hollywood actresses are? Poor little things. They could’ve said “No,” but they said “Yes, if you’ll give me the part!” Then, after waiting decades, they come out pointing fingers at ancient misbehavior and call themselves empowered.

    Okay, whatever floats ya boat. Black is the new… black?

  6. [yawning] Great. Another TV show that I missed, showing show people, showing people which show people showed with distinction what they were paid to show – but who also showed everybody what to show and what not to show when showing what a show ought to show, and how to show what NOT to show when being shown that showing what ought never be shown gets a show person a part on a show. Because showing and being shown show the rest of us how the show must and will go on. So I guess they showed me, and I showed them. Or something.[yawn]

  7. Rick M.

    For decades Hollywood has continued to lower the bar until even a flea could not do a limbo under it.

  8. Chris

    If this was genuinely turning the page, why didn’t any of the actors—not one–mention Harvey Weinstein? They didn’t because they are afraid that he might come back, that’s why. Mel Gibson came back. David Begelman came back. Hollywood has a cruel, venal, ethics free,culture, and all of these women and actors know it. They won’t burn bridges, not completely. This is why Rose McGowan, who was the most vocal and audacious of the abused actresses, one who took grave personal risks to accuse Weinstein of raping her and then paying her off, as well as Ashley Judd and Salma Hayek, who both went public with the abuse before other stars felt secure enough to come forward–Hayek wrote that Weinstein threatened to have her killed —were completely ignored during the ceremony. Nobody saluted them. Nobody thanked them. Harvey might take it personally.

    When host Seth Meyers, in his opening monologue, mentioned Weinstein, it was with this jibe “Harvey Weinstein can’t be here tonight because, well, I’ve heard rumors that he’s crazy and difficult to work with.” (That was an anti-Trump shot, of course) “But don’t worry — he’ll be back in 20 years when he becomes the first person ever booed during the ‘In Memoriam’ segment.”

    I don’t think Weinstein is ever coming back. He’s patient zero. Mel Gibson didn’t cross Hollywood.

    I didn’t infer an anti-Trump shot in that joke at all–“He’s crazy and difficult to work with” is said about a number of directors and stars in Hollywood, and always has been. And are you sure they were booing the joke, or were they booing Weinstein?

    The ceremony was not devoid of sexism—against men. “And here are the all-male nominees,” said Natalie Portman, before reading the names of the nominees for best director. Translation: This isn’t an awards show, it’s about social justice, and assigning a new power structure! Why aren’t the nominees balanced among genders, races, ethnicity and sexual orientation?

    Nonsense. We know why it isn’t more balanced than it is–female directors face sexism in the industry. Pointing that the industry is biased towards male directors is not sexism against men. You can argue it was unfair to the individual directors who were being honored with the nominations to distract from their accomplishments, but it wasn’t misandrist.

    • Maybe Natalie Portman was playing the next level of chess…and was taking a jab a female directors not doing as good of a job as the nominees did.

      Maybe?

      Of course not. It’s sexisms fault there were no female nominees…not possibly that female directors didn’t do as well as their male counterparts this year.

      Oh for an America that can be comfortable with those outcomes.

      • Chris

        It’s possible that female directors didn’t do as well as their male counterparts this year. It’s improbable that female directors don’t do as well 75 years in a row, unless there are forces keeping them from fully competing. Given what has emerged from Hollywood in the past year, “Is Hollywood sexist?” isn’t even a question a rational person could be undecided on. Directors are about as close to the stereotype of a “boys’ club” as one could imagine.

        If you’re comfortable with Hollywood being a toxic sexist swamp that actively drives female directors out of the business, then you’re part of the problem. America shouldn’t be comfortable with it. This isn’t about outcomes. It’s about opportunity.

        • With such a spotlight on ensuring EVERYONE gets a fair shake THIS year, it is even safer to make the assumption that the lack of female nominees for director would imply that they didn’t do as well this year and the group of people who were nominated, who happened to be men.

          Who’s comfortable with Hollywood being a toxic sexist swamp?

          • Chris

            I don’t see most award-nominated movies; I’ve heard the female director of Lady Bird was “snubbed,” but I barely even knew that *movie existed. Some have also said Patty Jenkins should have been nominated, but as much as I loved Wonder Woman, I don’t know if she deserves a nomination. And *if she was snubbed, it wasn’t because she’s a woman, it was because comic book movies don’t get nominated for awards.

            Even if female directors just did objectively worse this year, that doesn’t invalidate Portman’s point or my own, which is that the industry is less welcoming to female directors in the first place. If there are so few female directors as a result of discrimination, it doesn’t really matter how hard the Hollywood Foreign Press tries to give them “their fair shake;” there simply will be far more notable male directors than female directors. Portman’s comments weren’t just about this year; they were about a long-running trend.

            Like I said, I can see the argument that it wasn’t the time and place to bring attention to that issue, given that she ran the risk of spoiling the award for the male director who won, and he likely did not deserve that. But that doesn’t mean the issue she was drawing attention to wasn’t worthy.

            • Except the fact that there were no women doesn’t mean there was bias against women. There might have been no women nominated with a completely gender blind process. So her comment is like the reflex race card: if women don’t prevail, it’s only because of bias.

              I know for a FACT that female directors are discriminated against in show business, but the Golden Globe nominations aren’t evidence.

              • Phlinn

                I would be truly surprised if a woman won the golden gloves, since women boxers are pretty rare. 😉

              • Chris

                The trend is evidence, Jack. 75 years and only one female director has won? Of course that’s evidence.

                • It’s like anything else: one data point isn’t evidence. The 2017 nominations don’t prove anything—and beyond that, the number of female directors is incredibly small. Quick, without googling, name 5 prominent female film directors and two of their films. Its such a small part of the whole that even the lack of nominees and women doesn’t prove anything.

                  No Asian pitcher has won the Cy Young award, but that doesn’t prove the voters are biased.

                  • Still Spartan

                    I suck at recalling names/movies, but Kathryn Bigelow has had a pretty impressive body of work, and she hasn’t won a Golden Globe.

                    • Nominated twice, though, and she’s won an Oscar. The GG’s are voted on by foreign press association members, and their criteria and culture is different. Generally the GG’s like box office, and that’s not Bigelow.

                      Why Penny Marshall (“Big”, “A League of Their Own”) was never nominated is a mystery.

                  • Chris

                    It’s like anything else: one data point isn’t evidence. The 2017 nominations don’t prove anything—and beyond that, the number of female directors is incredibly small. Quick, without googling, name 5 prominent female film directors and two of their films.

                    How did you miss the point that the lack of female directors in Hollywood is exactly the problem, and evidence of sexism, after I already explicitly made that point?

                    • Chris

                      It’s like anything else: one data point isn’t evidence. The 2017 nominations don’t prove anything

                      You simply did not read the comment you were responding to. I just said the 75-year trend is evidence, not one data point.

                    • No, we were talking about that single slate of nominees. And that proved nothing. I suspect that the number of female directors nominated as a % of the total is larger than the % of male directors as compared to that pool.

                    • Why is it necessarily a problem? What if not as many women want to be directors? Many professions appeal to some genders more than others. The women who do decide to direct face bias, but also more men than women seem to be drawn to the profession. Directing requires a lot of conflict. It’s an authoritarian role. I have tried to recruit female directors from the acting ranks, without great success. There is a chicken and egg element to it, to be sure.

                    • Chris

                      . The women who do decide to direct face bias, but

                      Why even add the but? “Women who direct face bias.” That’s my argument. That’s Natalie Portman’s argument. The rest of what you said may be true, but doesn’t change the fact that women who direct face bias.

                      Making this argument isn’t sexist against men, which is what you originally claimed, and haven’t supported at all.

                    • The presumption that the men nominated aren’t deserving because they are men is sexist by definition. If the nominees were women having done the same work, she would not have made a similar comment. Sexist.

                    • Chris

                      The presumption that the men nominated aren’t deserving because they are men is sexist by definition.

                      That presumption was not remotely implied by her statement. You’re reading something into it that just wasn’t there.

                      If the nominees were women having done the same work, she would not have made a similar comment. Sexist.

                      What?! If the nominees were all women, it wouldn’t be following a seventy-five year trend of all men and only one woman winning. It wouldn’t follow a trend of women directors being excluded from Hollywood. You are still arguing that pointing out sexism is sexism. It isn’t.

                    • Chris

                      Jack, imagine if a black person commented on the fact that a country club with a historical record of discrimination still had an all-white membership and was known to show bias against blacks who applied for membership, and your response was “That’s anti-white racism.” That is the exact argument you are making right now in relation to Portman’s comments about the all-male Golden Globes slate.

                    • It’s not withing 2 million miles of the same thing. The Golden Globes have nominated female directors. Her statement makes the foolish and unfair assertion that it has to nominate a quota of specific groups every time. Here’s a real analogy: many years, all of the Oscar nominees for supporting actor or actress are elderly, black, Hispanic, Asian, or other minority. A presenter saying, “No white men, I see!” would be misrepresenting and impugning the process. In a club, race should have no relevance at all. In GG nomination, there is a separate qualification that has nothing to do with gender: the work being honored. Does a work have to be honored BECAUSE of the gender of the director. No, of course not.

                    • Chris

                      It’s not withing 2 million miles of the same thing. The Golden Globes have nominated female directors. Her statement makes the foolish and unfair assertion that it has to nominate a quota of specific groups every time.

                      No, it does not make the assertion.

                      Here’s a real analogy: many years, all of the Oscar nominees for supporting actor or actress are elderly, black, Hispanic, Asian, or other minority. A presenter saying, “No white men, I see!” would be misrepresenting and impugning the process.

                      If 75 years went by and only one white man won and few were ever nominated, no, they would not be misrepresenting and impugning the process. You’re just completely ignoring history and social context.

                      In a club, race should have no relevance at all. In GG nomination, there is a separate qualification that has nothing to do with gender: the work being honored. Does a work have to be honored BECAUSE of the gender of the director. No, of course not.

                      No one is arguing the work should be honored because of the gender of the director.

                  • therealslimshellstropeleanor

                    Agree and it’s insulting to the nominees who did hard work to belittle their work by pushing social justice politics on them. The 2017 GG doesn’t have the obligation to remedy 74 years of history

                    • Chris

                      That last sentence really means “The GG doesn’t have the obligation to remedy 74 years of the GG’s own history.” Which…come on.

      • Still Spartan

        Reese Witherspoon has been pretty vocal about this — which is why she started her own production company. Apparently she is doing gangbusters, Big Little Lies and other popular shows and movies. But she had to do it on her own because the male establishment in Hollywood showed no interest. And she is at the top of her game, wildly popular, and rich and no one would bite.

        • therealslimshellstropeleanor

          Nothing against Reese Witherspoon, she’s great, but not getting your pet project greenlit by studios that isn’t an already established property, is a problem from every producer. I’m sure that Guillermo del Toro and Martin McDonaugh faced these problems too.

          • Chris

            Are you really arguing that female directors face no additional discrimination in Hollywood?

            • Once they are bankable and have a blockbuster film, they will face no discrimination at all. Neither would an aardvark.

              • FYI: here are the 17 top grossing films directed by women. Animated films, romcoms, a superhero film, and junk. I wouldn’t have complained if “Sleepless in Seattle” got a nomination for the direction.

              • Chris

                How naive. Patty Jenkins already had a blockbuster film. I doubt that magically ended the boys’ club. Ending discrimination is a process. It takes work. It takes boldness. Which is what Portman demonstrated.

                • How intellectually dishonest and ethically obtuse. How often are directors of superhero films nominated for directing awards? “Logan” was twice the film Wonder Woman was—no GG nominations there. Portman unfairly insulted the good work of male directors who are not responsible for the discrimination against female directors. That wasn’t boldness; that was a cheap shot and being an asshole. A presenter is not supposed to diminish the nominees.

                  • Chris

                    You’re losing track of the argument. You said “Once they are bankable and have a blockbuster film, they will face no discrimination at all.” I responded with a female-directed blockbuster. Then you turned the subject back to awards. See how that’s non-responsive? You also brought up the fact that superhero films don’t win awards, which I had already conceded.

                    I never said the Golden Globes discriminate against women. I said Hollywood discriminates against women. The lack of female directors nominated at the GG is a result of that discrimination.

                    I agree that Portman’s comments were unfair to the directors nominated because they overshadowed their accomplishments, but she still did not imply those directors weren’t worthy, and she certainly didn’t imply that they weren’t worthy because they are men.

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