When Joaquin Phoenix lamented, “We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal,” Hollywood hit peak woke. At the Golden Globes, he thought telling us he would be wearing only one tuxedo for the entire awards season while eating vegan would be a hit with mainstream Americans to highlight doing his bit for the planet. At the BAFTAs, Phoenix ran the “systemic racism” line. Yet he didn’t hand his gong to a person of colour that he believed was deserving of the award.
Hypocrisy sadly doesn’t resonate very well with mainstream Americans.
Essentially the Oscars has become a light-hearted entertainment version of the Democratic primary debates. The policy platform was all in there – speeches about feminism, gender equality, LGBTQI, climate change, healthcare and living with less. Basically, every “woke” politically correct subject got a mention, delivered by the very people who have zero place lecturing the rest of the world, as Ricky Gervais told them.
Celebrities, coming off the highs of the second-lowest audience total ever recorded in 2019 (after a 12% bump on 2018 which was 40% down on the prior 5 years), must have hoped that the 2020 Oscars ceremony would recover with more of the same social justice. Sadly 2020 was watched by the smallest audience ever.
23.6 million viewers watched (-20% or 6 million down). Among the 18-49 demographic, the audience plunged 31% vs 2019.
Joaquin Phoenix closed his speech by saying,
“I have been a scoundrel all my life, I’ve been selfish. I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with, and I’m grateful that so many of you in this room have given me a second chance.”
FNF Media would prefer Hollywood gave Phoenix a third chance to revert to type. Because this act isn’t fooling anyone.