Emmys 2011: The Gag that Ruined the Party

By , Columnist

After The Summer of Our Discontent we all need a bit of light relief.  Cue the Emmys:  a pointless but merry distraction which gives celebrities the chance to clench teeny Neil Lane purses next to their teeny spanxed thighs and put their fake modesty -- “I didn’t even prepare a speech!” -- acting classes to good use.

Just like the fragile summer of 2011 that had the black clouds of stock market crashes, phone hacking scandals and hurricanes ever present on the horizon, the Emmy’s light relief balloon was pricked by something very sharp and nasty: Rupert Murdoch.

Murdoch, who owns the Fox channel that broadcasts the ceremony, apparimages-6.jpegently axed a gag in the opening skit by Alec Baldwin about News Corp.’s UK phone hacking scandal. Baldwin pulled out of the skit altogether and hit back tweeting “If I were enmeshed in a scandal where I hacked phones of families of innocent victims purely 4 profit, I’d want that 2 go away 2”.

Although Alec and I have not always seen eye to eye, in this case he has my full support. Having the phone hacking king gag your gag is not the way to kick off the Emmy party.

Since the Emmys began in 1949, there has been an unspoken agreement between celebrity and public:  celebs will pretend to care about getting the trophy while really using the whole thing as a PR opportunity, and the public will pretend to care about who wins while really just waiting to judge the best/worst dressed lists.  

A big post-Labor day fluff fest it may be, but it is our fluff fest and we don't want it to be hijacked by News Corp.

After being bruised and battered over the summer by Irene and Wall St., we should be left to wonder unfettered at Gwyneth’s ‘belly dancer at a Halloween party’ dress; to raise an eyebrow at Kate Winslet’s childhood crush on Guy Pearce; to hold our breath as Charlie Sheen finished a sentence without using the word “winner”.

It is all good, clean fun that helps muffle our brains from thinking too much about all the depressing stuff that is going on in the world, even if just for a moment.

It’s 2011: our financial balloons may feel like they are all about to burst, but we still want to party at the Emmys. So, Murdoch, keep your sharp little pr…ess stranglehold to yourself and leave the Emmy gags to the professionals.

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Victoria Robertson is a freelance current affairs columnist and founder of thecolumnista.com. With her back foot firmly planted in some commonsense and a lively swing of the bat, she knocks today's big news stories straight out of the park.

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