This year’s Oscars was a boring mélange of warmed-over jokes from milquetoast host Ellen Degeneres and uncontroversial speeches from the Oscar winners. And that was a welcome respite from the normal Oscar tendency toward political controversy.
Nonetheless, the Oscars left a slightly bitter aftertaste, largely because this year, even more than most, the self-worship of the elites took center stage.
It wasn’t just Ellen’s repeated use of selfies to highlight that she was a special person in a room full of special people; it wasn’t merely the self-congratulatory atmosphere of the red carpet, in which reporters like Robin Roberts fawned over stars who largely can’t string three words together; it wasn’t even the preening socialists wearing million-dollar outfits and walking away with thousand-dollar gift bags. It was the air of superiority that pervaded the entire proceeding.
Take, for example, ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who invaded the red carpet to listen to the laments of one of the hosts about mean people on Twitter criticizing her gown. He then popped through the television set into a fat couple’s living room, where he proceeded to mock their outfits. “Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones, because you’ll ruin your house,” he said. The message: Don’t be mean to those rich, famous celebrities peacocking before millions. Because you’re just a shlub. And those folks are special.
The cult of celebrity continues to thrive. At least this year, the stars chose to celebrate themselves rather than to attempt to expand their purview to areas of life beyond the camera.
— Ben Shapiro is author of Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV.