You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Party animals

Variety Editorial

The Golden Globes were held Sunday; the presidential inauguration will be held Thursday.

On the surface, these glitzy spectacles bear a sharp resemblance to each other: Tuxedo-clad A-listers (in Hollywood and Washington, respectively) mingling at parties, basking in the attention of the international media, reveling in their own success.

But the two towns have rarely seemed so far apart.

President Bush thumbed his nose at Hollywood when he took office four years ago. His relationship with the entertainment biz is no more chummy today.

Under Bush’s first term, the FCC clamped down on media companies, sending broadcasters into a panic over indecency fines.

Few Hollywood luminaries have visited the Lincoln bedroom in the last four years. Instead, liberal stars like Michael Moore, Ben Affleck and Leonardo DiCaprio were regularly skewered by Bush’s re-election campaign. Bush even gained political currency by scoffing that John Kerry thought you could find “the heart and soul of America in Hollywood.”

Bush’s inaugural committee is working hard to camouflage that rift.

Invited guests including Hilary Duff, Ruben Studdard, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Gary Sinise, Buzz Aldrin and Don King have been carefully selected to project an image of diversity and solidarity.

Big media companies are throwing inaugural parties, beginning with an NBC Universal lunch Wednesday.

The theme of the inauguration is “Celebrating Freedom, Honoring Service.” Partisanship and controversy will be airbrushed from the lineup of black-tie balls, concerts and candlelight dinners.

President Bush has been criticized for the lavish nature of the inauguration. That criticism is misguided. Like a big Hollywood awards show, the inauguration is a necessary event, a festive ritual marking the end of one political cycle and the start of the next.

But the show of unity is misleading. Political divisions within the country run deep, and those divisions are most visible in the bad attitudes that persist between Hollywood and Washington.

More Scene

  • AMAs Afterparty at Watt's with Niall

    Niall Horan, Chainsmokers, Rae Sremmurd Bring the AMAs After-Party to Beverly Hills

    The Golden Globes were held Sunday; the presidential inauguration will be held Thursday. On the surface, these glitzy spectacles bear a sharp resemblance to each other: Tuxedo-clad A-listers (in Hollywood and Washington, respectively) mingling at parties, basking in the attention of the international media, reveling in their own success. But the two towns have rarely […]

  • Tig Notaro Writers Room

    Tig Notaro on Louis C.K. Scandal: Only Positive Is 'Victims Were Not Told They're Lying Anymore'

    The Golden Globes were held Sunday; the presidential inauguration will be held Thursday. On the surface, these glitzy spectacles bear a sharp resemblance to each other: Tuxedo-clad A-listers (in Hollywood and Washington, respectively) mingling at parties, basking in the attention of the international media, reveling in their own success. But the two towns have rarely […]

  • HBO Presents-Night of Too Many Stars

    Jon Stewart, Other A-List Comics Skip Over Louis C.K. at 'Night of Too Many Stars'

    The Golden Globes were held Sunday; the presidential inauguration will be held Thursday. On the surface, these glitzy spectacles bear a sharp resemblance to each other: Tuxedo-clad A-listers (in Hollywood and Washington, respectively) mingling at parties, basking in the attention of the international media, reveling in their own success. But the two towns have rarely […]

  • Variety Hitmakers Brunch

    Kendrick Lamar, DJ Khaled, Hailee Steinfeld Honored at Inaugural Variety Hitmakers Event

    The Golden Globes were held Sunday; the presidential inauguration will be held Thursday. On the surface, these glitzy spectacles bear a sharp resemblance to each other: Tuxedo-clad A-listers (in Hollywood and Washington, respectively) mingling at parties, basking in the attention of the international media, reveling in their own success. But the two towns have rarely […]

  • The 'Runaways' Praise Series' Diversity at

    'Marvel's Runaways' Stars Praise Series' Diversity at Hulu Premiere

    The Golden Globes were held Sunday; the presidential inauguration will be held Thursday. On the surface, these glitzy spectacles bear a sharp resemblance to each other: Tuxedo-clad A-listers (in Hollywood and Washington, respectively) mingling at parties, basking in the attention of the international media, reveling in their own success. But the two towns have rarely […]

  • 'Molly's Game' film premiere, Arrivals, AFI

    Jessica Chastain Praises Bravery of Sexual Assault Victims at 'Molly's Game' Premiere, AFI Fest Tribute to Aaron Sorkin

    The Golden Globes were held Sunday; the presidential inauguration will be held Thursday. On the surface, these glitzy spectacles bear a sharp resemblance to each other: Tuxedo-clad A-listers (in Hollywood and Washington, respectively) mingling at parties, basking in the attention of the international media, reveling in their own success. But the two towns have rarely […]

  • 'The Shape of Water' film premiere

    Guillermo del Toro Calls 'The Shape of Water' a New Type of 'Beauty and the Beast'

    The Golden Globes were held Sunday; the presidential inauguration will be held Thursday. On the surface, these glitzy spectacles bear a sharp resemblance to each other: Tuxedo-clad A-listers (in Hollywood and Washington, respectively) mingling at parties, basking in the attention of the international media, reveling in their own success. But the two towns have rarely […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content