With the 2019 Golden Globe Awards now upon us, only one thing is for sure: Not a lot of people are going to watch. Ratings for the event last year fell 5 percent from their 2017 numbers and have fallen three out of the last four years. Oscars and Emmys? Even worse, with the 2018 shows declining 20 percent and 10 percent respectively from their 2017 ratings numbers.
The New York Post reports:
Reversing this moribund picture calls for more than just tinkering along the edges. How can the creative class convince millions of Americans who have tuned out to give them a second chance? To answer that, I have two words.
Woods, notable for roles in movies like “Casino,” “Videodrome” and “Once Upon a Time in America” with two Emmy awards, a Golden Globe and two Oscar nominations under his belt, is also a Trump-loving conservative who has called the billionaire’s presidency a “once-in-a-century miracle.” Woods would give viewers a lot to chew on.
He regularly inveighs against liberal sacred cows to his nearly 2 million Twitter followers. When Congresswoman Frederica Wilson criticized Trump, for example, Woods called her a “#ParasiteRodeoClown” — a nod to her distinctive cowboy hat.
He has developed a passionate cult following among the same audience that briefly powered Roseanne Barr to the No. 1 show on television. That audience is still out there, still looking for someone who can be their ambassador to the cultural elite.
Plus, the actor knows how to improvise and can get laughs from liberals. His 2010 salute to Martin Scorsese at the AFI Life Achievement Awards — and a story about overly starched bell-bottom denim jeans — had the director in stitches.
“Marty actually has the oldest pair of denim bell-bottom jeans in history,” Woods said. “He has them done at like a sheet-metal place. I mean if you tripped over the guy you would get a gash in your ankle.”
Yes, there would be “outrage.” Hollywood’s Jacobins of propriety would express their horror. Screenshots of trollish old tweets (and there have been many) would make the rounds. Words like “racist” and “sexist” would fly a mile a minute. But those costs would be a pittance compared to the millions of new viewers he’d bring in (along with the old viewers who’d be excited to see something different for a change).
The current crop of awards shows are not working. They have become celebrations of rich and beautiful people basking in their own glory. From the stage, righteous political sermons are delivered, alienating huge swaths of a potential audience. This year’s Golden Globe hosts, Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg, seem like nice, perfectly wholesome people — and that’s precisely the point.
Anyone who might offend is out. Kevin Hart’s tweets from 2011, which joked about homosexuality, led to a controversy that forced him to quit this year’s Oscars hosting gig, though he’s recently said he is “evaluating” whether or not to return. If he decides against it, the Oscars will struggle to find a replacement. Jimmy Kimmel, who has hosted the last two Oscars and the 2012 Emmys has, in the past, donned blackface for his comedy routines. And I also seem to remember a “chicks with d—s” joke from Jon Stewart, another Academy Awards veteran, that would likely be disqualifying today.
It’s hard to think of any comic in history who would escape today’s censors. Joan Rivers’ fashion police? I doubt it. Don Rickles’ insult comedy? Probably not. Even Jerry Seinfeld is now too hot for college campuses. Nobody who’s any fun can go through life without ruffling a feather or two.
So, in that spirit, why not go full bore with James Woods? Embracing the offensive and learning to laugh at ourselves should be things that bring us together.
An impromptu appearance by Woods at the 2017 Writers Guild Awards was proof of that. There was politics and a bit of tension — and it worked.
“Donald Trump I want to be very careful making jokes about, one, because I don’t want to be kicked to death by James Woods backstage,” Patton Oswalt said from the podium.
“Buy a pair of shoes,” Woods shot back, mounting the stage, ripping off one of Oswalt’s sneakers and brandishing it to the audience. “This is an awards show!”
The audience ate it up. For all this and more, you can mark me down as #TeamWoods. He may not be the host you want, but for struggling awards shows, he’s what America needs.