There are a lot of things one can say about the Oscars on the morning after, but what struck me was what happened just before Ellen DeGeneres walked onto the stage.
Near the end of the painful red carpet marathon, ABC ran a Jimmy Kimmel segment that was the epitome of hating your audience. In it, Kimmel went through a TV set into a couple’s living room to dress them down for sending snarky tweets about celebrities. The couple, of course, was presented in the worst light – obese and wearing basically their underwear, eating cheese snacks.
Kimmel Is funnier than this skit
What was the point of that? If I send out a sarcastic tweet during the telecast, Kimmel is gonna come through my TV and berate me? And wasn’t it just the pot calling the kettle black? The skit itself was snarky in the worst way.
The Oscars, of course, are full of narcissism, showcasing that celebrities are both better than we are (we’re artists!) and just like us (let’s order pizza!). But that’s to be expected, and not really all that offensive.
But you wonder. Does the Kimmel segment really show the underbelly of fame? That celebrities are secretly hate their fans? That they think we are all just stupid slobs who love nothing better than to put other people down when, as Kimmel said, we live in glass houses? (Even while Kimmel was putting people down. Just not those delicate celebrities.)
My guess is that Kimmel and his writers thought it might be funny and somehow appropriate in light of today’s social media domination. Instead, it came off as mean and, in a way, behind the times. (Ooooh, social media is baaaad.)
From a brand perspective, this is, of course, not the route you want to take. The Oscar telecast itself was just OK, but that’s fine. Criticizing the show for what is and always will be seems as foolish as Kimmel’s skit.
But considering the show featured a selfie that was promised to “break Twitter,” you have to wonder if celebrities are really like us. They’re not and our own self-identification with a movie star says more about us than about them. We choose, for example, to like what a Sandra Bullock represents than who they really are.