Like millions of other Americans, I settled onto my couch on March 23 to watch the Oscars. Was I being un-American for indulging in a little celebrity voyeurism? I didn’t think so. After having been soaked in nothing but reports from Iraq’s front lines, I was looking forward to a little escape from the media free-for-all.
Apparently, Hollywood didn’t think it was appropriate to provide us with such a reprieve.
The entertainment media during the pre-broadcast kept reminding us that this year’s show would be much more subdued, more tactful. Our country is at war. Thousands of young men and women are putting their lives in jeopardy, facing the threat of chemical and biological warfare thousands of miles from home.
In an apparent gesture of solidarity and respect, in order to show the American public that celebrities have feelings too, that celebrities are sensitive to the issues facing America’s everyday citizens, the glitterati boldly declared, “There will be no red carpet this year.” And so it was — no glitz, no glamour, no flashing bulbs and no flirting with spectators in the stands.
The gesture was absurd, not to mention grotesquely insincere and just a little patronizing. It did nothing but deprive viewers of the very reason we Americans are fascinated with our stars to begin with — the allure, the extravagance, the escapism. To the Hollywood elite I say, “Give me a break and get over yourselves!”