Two weeks ago, the Golden Globes kicked off what may be the most politically-charged awards season in Hollywood history, playing out against the backdrop of Donald Trump’s inauguration. Meryl Streep’s glorious, devastating speech against Trump drew a groundswell of support across the industry along with plenty of ire, not least (predictably) from the president-elect himself.
While it should be no surprise to anyone that Hollywood is overwhelmingly liberal, progressive, and anti-Trump, moments like this are a double-edged sword for the producers behind awards shows. A speech like Streep’s can draw more attention and publicity to the awards, but also risks alienating a huge segment of the audience. But Michael De Luca, producer of this year’s Oscars ceremony, is all for it.
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“These forums are rare,” De Luca told The Hollywood Reporter. “Spontaneity helps all these shows. The Globes were dull. One or two of these moments made the show spontaneous. I don’t like this attitude that just because someone’s a celebrity, their right of free speech is taken away.” Amen to that.
“If you’re watching the Oscars, you’re not going to turn off the TV because there’s a political speech,” added Joe Roth, producer of the 2004 Oscars. “At most, you’re annoyed by it. If they don’t turn the TV off at some of those eight-minute [montages] that go on and on and have nothing to do with the moment, they’re not going to turn off a speech about politics.”
The 2017 Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 24.