Controversial comedian (and by that, I mean, “says true things powerful people don’t like,” which used to just mean, “comedian”) Ricky Gervais believes that the ratings implosion of TV awards shows isn’t due to pandemic downsizing, since even the ones that still have big stars and production numbers are cratering. Gervais blamed the audience tune-out on all the PC wokeism and leftist politics.
Gervais pulled big ratings when he hosted the Golden Globes, but while his gleeful mockery of Hollywood hypocrites was loved by viewers, it ticked off the celebrities, so he was replaced. Since then, the Globes have gone from one of the most star-studded nights in Hollywood to a Twitter thread announcing the winners that hardly anyone noticed. This was largely because of attacks on the awards organization, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, for not being diverse enough. But that was hardly the reason that TV audiences gave up on it.
Writing in the British newspaper The Sun, Gervais said people “just got sick of virtue signaling…The people with nothing became tired of being lectured by people who had everything…They think, ‘Why are these people lecturing me? They’re going?? to an awards ceremony in a limo and are telling me to recycle?'”
Assessing the damage woke virtue signaling has done to Hollywood’s image, Gervais wrote, “The first time I did it, ten years ago, everyone was like, ‘Ah, how can you talk to these wonderful multi-millionaires, how can you talk to these beautiful people, like that? We love celebrities.' By the last one it was like, ‘God, give it to them, we hate celebrities!'”
Gervais said you can’t predict the future, and maybe awards shows will enjoy a return to popularity. But I doubt it. If Hollywood can’t even figure out that they shouldn’t spend hundreds of millions of dollars making movies that insult America and expect Americans to pay to see them (they don’t, by the way), or hire stars who spew hatred of half of Americans on Twitter and fire those who defend them, what are the odds that anyone will ever want to watch them give themselves awards for doing that?