Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com.


No thanks, Golden Globes

Friday, January 10, 2020

Growing up, I loved to check the mail. My mom and I lived in a little house less than five minutes from the post office, so she’d often give me the key and let me go get the mail myself. I vividly remember approaching our box and inserting the key, excitedly peering inside at our bounty. Once a week, we’d receive my favorite kind of mail: US Weekly, Hilights Magazine and People Magazine.

Boy, do I love a good magazine. I’d tear through Hilights before approaching the other two with care, much like the way I eat meals. Why would you ever start by eating the mac and cheese? Save the best part for last! For me, People Magazine was the mac and cheese –– the big cheese, if you will. I read that magazine from cover to cover, taking in every single headline, cutline and article. You’d never catch me skimming anything in that magazine. The celebrity gossip drew me in every single time and the clever writing kept bringing me back.

I especially loved that magazine during award show season. The Grammys, the Oscars, the Tonys, the Golden Globes –– whatever the ceremony was, People Magazine dedicated a huge spread to predictions on which film would rake in the most awards or which celebrity would cause the biggest ruckus on the red carpet. I’ll never forget reading about Bjork’s swan dress at the 2001 Academy Awards. It was iconic.

I didn’t just read about these award shows. I watched it all, including five hours of E! Live from the Red Carpet and the Fashion Police specials that would follow. There was something so exciting about watching a live show full of famous celebrities. You could never know what was going to happen. Seeing actors and filmmakers and screenwriters achieve their biggest dream made me feel like dreaming. I have nothing but positive memories of the Hollywood award shows of my childhood.

As an adult, I haven’t felt so keen on these shows. I think it started with Anne Hathaway and James Franco hosting the Academy Awards in 2011. There was no Billy Crystal to set the scene with a clever song and dance. It felt like the show was starting to lose its identity. I wasn’t the only one feeling that way; viewership was way down that year and has only continued to decrease in the modern era of streaming and binge-watching. When you can watch anything you want with nearly zero commercials, why would you tune in to a live show at all?

That’s not my only issue with these Hollywood award shows. My biggest problem is with Hollywood itself and how the film industry has long protected alleged rapists like Harvey Weinstein just because they have money and power. Weinstein has certainly fallen from his pedestal today, but that doesn’t make me like Hollywood more. After all, the same bunch of hypocrites who protected Weinstein still pack the room at events like the Golden Globe Awards. My rose-colored glasses are off and I don’t like what I see.

That’s why I didn’t tune in to the 77th Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night. I couldn’t stomach the thought of sitting through a four-hour event where privileged people are idolized in a broken system they either helped create or continue to perpetuate. These actors I used to love claim to be progressive but where were they when monsters like Weinstein or Woody Allen or Roman Polanski repeatedly abused their power?

They were starring in their movies. They were promoting their movies. The were siphoning the magic out of every award show I loved as a kid, slow but sure. The film industry claims to be changing some things and maybe that’s true. Maybe award shows will start to reflect diversity and reject powerful predators.

But in the meantime, I won’t be tuning in.