The Academy Awards were once something so celebrated. A show meant to bestow honor upon outstanding performances in cinema. Not so much now however, because what the 2020 Oscars had in store was an opening monologue that aimed to call out Hollywood, but it fell flat.
There hasn’t been a host in two years for the Oscars, so it is not surprising there wasn’t much to expect from the once respectable awards show. But when it was revealed that Steve Martin and Chris Rock would be delivering the welcome, there was a little sliver of hope. That hope was to be quickly washed away.
As soon as they issued out one joke together, I just couldn’t help but wonder why they should continue from that point. Because not only could I observe that the timing of the jokes was all over the place, it was clear to me Martin and Rock were not well matched together. Although they are both decent comedians, their comedic styles could not be more different.
As soon as Rock attempted to make a joke about the huge homelessness issue in Hollywood, Martin interrupted him by going on to talk about the mass amount of different stars at the ceremony. Not only did this emit serious laughs from the audience, it had me as a viewer shaking my head. What I got from that joke is that Hollywood knows of the darkness surrounding it yet they have no intention of wanting to talk about it.
For what it’s worth, the message has always been that Hollywood is magic and can turn anyone into a star. If that’s their image, why would celebrities want to hear anything about a homelessness problem, especially at the Academy Awards? It’s pretty much a situation they can laugh at…which they did. As far as A-list celebrities are concerned, the only thing they want to hear about is themselves and their own talents. Everything else is literally a bad joke.
The jokes about the lack of acknowledgement of diversity and race were the only ones that seemed to strike the nerve of anyone in the audience. Even with all of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy of a few years back, the only black performance nominated this year was Cynthia Erivo for “Harriet”. The joke that Cynthia was so good as Harriet Tubman that she managed to hide all the black nominees, went right over many audience goers’ heads but it was still awkward to say the least.
Hollywood has so many unresolved issues involving everything from race to abuse, that telling the truth is not going to get anyone much of anywhere. That appears to be the main reason why Martin and Rock’s opening did all but put everyone to sleep. It was untimely, not well done and ultimately not well received. The only question anyone could ask after was “Is there really any point in calling Hollywood out anymore?”