“Hey, do you want to do [a joke]?” Seth Meyers asks in his opening monologue, looking to Amy Poehler for the punch line.
“I’ll do one but I don’t need your help,” Poehler snaps back at Meyers, as he stood on the stage and she sat in the front row with a glass of white wine at her feet.
“Yeah,” he says, “but I do the setup and you do the punch line.”
Poehler looks indignant. “Is that how it works? You’re explaining something I already know. Is this the mainsplaining part of the evening?
“No,” Meyers says. “I just don’t think it will work without a setup to your punch line.”
“Oh,” Poehler says. “I’m glad to know what you think, first of all.” She rolls her eyes. “Thank you for telling me what to think. And secondly, I’m a woman in Hollywood, Seth. We’ve all been through a lot. I don’t need a setup to make a punch line work. Okay?! You’re sadly mistaken.”
Meyers backs up a pace. “I’m sorry. I apologize.” (Good boy, Seth)
“Another apology,” Poehler says, followed by smirks from women in the audience. “How wonderful. Okay, let’s just get started. I’m reclaiming my wine, ok?!” She leans down and picks up her glass, takes a sip.
‘So you’re just going to do a punch line with no setup?” Meyers asks.
“Everybody gets it!” she yells. “You already explained it! Stop explaining it. Oh my god!” (In other words, I don’t need a man!!!)
Meyers looks around awkwardly hoping for help that never comes. The “Time’s Up” pins most of the men are wearing are like weights holding them in their seats.
“Okay,” Poehler says. “Punch line. No setup, here we go. … Said the peach in ‘Call Me By Your Name,’ this scene is the pits.”
I hope that was the point, because that scene was the pits. It made just about as much sense as the entire Time’s Up movement, with its goal to remove men from leadership positions and replace them with women because a few men in certain industries have been abusive narcissists. Like the joke and the entire Golden Globes moment — it doesn’t work.
From the red carpet to the stage, celebrities in black dresses showed seductive figures, plunging necklines, and plenty of side boobs, claiming the night was a celebration. Funny. Most people don’t wear black to a celebration, and the tense atmosphere was anything but celebratory. The jokes were rooted in anger, bitterness, and politically correct clichés. The laughter was tense and uncomfortable. The applause forced. When will Hollywood learn that liberalism is never funny?
Just like the dialogue between Poehler and Meyers, the entire evening was more like a voyeuristic look into a family squabble. Watching Meyers and Poehler was like watching your drunk aunt and uncle fight at Christmas dinner about something you know little about. You have hints, but not the full story. You just know these two people really don’t like each other.
Their staged spat was also painfully cliché: Man wants to do something. Woman doesn’t want to be told how to do it even though the man hasn’t made that assumption. She accuses him of condescension. He apologizes, though he isn’t quite sure what he’s apologizing for. She goes on to show him how much she doesn’t need him. He lets her, and she makes a fool of herself.
What does this have to do with sexual harassment? Not much. How is this any different from the war between the sexes that we’ve had since the dawn of time?
Confused? Join the club. This was the mess called the 75th Golden Globes. Everyone was standing in solidarity against sexual harassment and lack of gender parity, but it rang hollow. Women acted as if they’re oppressed, but it was hard to believe as they sauntered about with their diamond-buffed skin, designer dresses, and strings of pearls.
The men seemed like man-servants for the evening, awkwardly parroting whatever the women were saying and wearing their protest pins, no doubt praying that they won’t find their name on some hit list in the future. Denzel Washington was so scattered by it all that he searched for words when asked about it, finally saying we need “real change of laws.” Change of laws? Which ones exactly? I’m sure he wouldn’t know if you asked him. He was playing a part. They all were.
The truth of the matter is Hollywood was exposed this year for the pigsty it is. What do we expect from a culture that has celebrated sexual freedom and rejected any moral compass about sexual behavior? Yet they are the ones patting themselves on the back for goodness and virtue, even as they are the ones who have constantly attacked the morality of everyday Americans and painted them as fools on storyboards to demean and discredit them.
It would have been more meaningful if they had come out and admitted how they’ve contributed to the problem, how all of them — men and women — have fashioned a culture that encourages sexually deviant behavior. Why not admit their moral failings and seek to work together to build a better, more wholesome society?
No, that can’t be it. Instead, we heard about how great women are, how oppressed, how unappreciated, and how men are now at their beck and call — or else. This won’t bring reformation. It will bring rebellion. Years from now, we’ll hear about how abusive women are and how men are marginalized. Is that the future we want?
Granted, there are women who have suffered at the hands of monstrous men — men who need to be tried and punished for their crimes. But this isn’t all there is to the story. There were plenty of women who benefited from the environment they participated in, and now they’re strutting around as if they’re victims in a world they helped to create. And men are now meekly following at their heels, toeing the line, keeping their heads down and playing the part of dutiful supporters.
Watching the Golden Globes, I was reminded of how much Hollywood is disconnected from real America. They are mere shadows, strutting about on a stage full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. They say Time’s Up for men being leaders in society. Maybe what we need is a Time’s Up moment for Hollywood pretenders who drive a wedge between men and women instead of building bridges through lifelong commitments, sacrifice, morality, humility, and the one thing most lacking in Hollywood — authenticity.