Roll Out The Red Carpet
For those of you who haven't noticed, Award Season is well under way.
In the past, awards like the BAFTAs, the Oscars and the Brits have passed me by. And even now I don't watch them. Even the ceremonies that I take the most interest in, The Oliviers and the Tonys, I never watch live; I look up the results and YouTube specific performances if I want to see them.
But this year there has been a lot of discussion around televised awards that has caught my attention.
It started with a friend of mine, who shared this article from The Guardian on Facebook. Written by Suzanne Moore, the article depicts high profile Award Ceremonies as a way of the high players in the Film and Music industries to show off how great they are, whilst the stars model designer goods and the public stand and gawk. And it does seem like that's the case; whenever I see clips of award ceremonies on the news, it tends to be beautiful A-Listers being snapped in pretty outfits.
But does that make award ceremonies themselves a bad thing?
Today I saw this article in The Stage Online, written by Matthew Hemley. In response to a BBC viewer who was “heartily sick of actors slapping each other on the back at ceremonies like the BAFTAs or Oscars” (which is completely unfair in my opinion, but I'll talk about that another time) he compared televised film, TV and music awards ceremonies to un-televised journalism and health sector awards.
I doubt that recipients of those awards would be dismissed as patting themselves on the back. But then, they aren't mega-famous.
So what can be done?
As far as I can tell, not much. The Brits, Oscars, Tonys, Oliviers, BAFTAs and every other trophy, medal and plaque that is up for grabs is important within their respective industries. They are something for artists, actors and musicians to aspire to and strive for, and should not be done away with. It's the celebrity-focused coverage that is the issue here.
However, toppling the cult of celebrity isn't going to happen over night ('Rome not built in a day' and all that jazz). As long as the media provides star-centric content audiences will consume it, and while audiences carry on consuming the media will provide. Until someone gives, that ain't changing.
So until then, I'll just turn off the TV and Google the results the next day.
What is your opinion?