Does anyone really want to hear a man try to joke about Harvey Weinstein and all the other resultant sexual misconduct and abuse scandals that have plagued Hollywood for three-and-a-half hours come early next year? No. No, one needs that. Yet, the film industry’s two biggest awards shows, the Oscars and Golden Globes, had already lined up their hosts months ago and they’re both named Jimmy. Yes, the Jimmys, Kimmel and Fallon are returning to host the Oscars and Globes respectively (likewise James “A Fancy British Word for ‘Jimmy'” Corden is returning to host the Grammys). Which is rather unfortunate, because there’s never been a time like the present where it has ever felt more important to have women preside over Hollywood’s two most watched nights.
It seems Hollywood has gotten pretty good at just ignoring the fact that their industry is plagued with predators, but it’d be a sin for them to just ignore it during awards season. The shows may be months away, but a stink this big won’t wash off that quickly. Especially when you consider Weinstein in particularly derived his power from his supposed mastery of awards season jujitsu. He used his place as the supposed jedi of awards whispering as a tool in his alleged abuse of dozens of women. Sure, he’s since been kicked out of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but it is incumbent on the shows to make a more public statement.
Besides, we all know Hollywood already uses awards shows as a soap box for other political concerns. That’s fine. Culture informs politics and politics informs culture. We’re definitely not the “shut up and sing” types. Yet, if Hollywood can’t use these shows to address its own problems in a pointed way, it makes all that other pontification seem shallow and self-serving.
Even if the town wasn’t in the midst of scandal it would be high time for a woman host. A woman hasn’t hosted any of the big five awards ceremonies since 2015, when Kristen Chenoweth emceed the Tonys, but a) she only co-hosted and b) it’s the Tonys. Aside from that it was Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at the Globes earlier that year. That may not seem that long ago, but, shouldn’t we be at the point where an entire gender shouldn’t wait around to get the chance to host just one awards ceremony ever few years or so. Since Chenoweth’s Tonys gig there have been 11 editions of the big 5, and each and every one was hosted by a man (and, we should note, only one of them was non-white— Chris Rock). Literally more people named “Kevin Spacey” have hosted these shows in that time than people who identify as women. That, to understate the fact, is a problem.
So, no offense to either Kimmel or Fallon, but it might be best if they stepped aside. It’s nothing personal (though, Fallon has proven he’s not exactly the best at addressing serious issues, and while Kimmel has, he did have his big breakthrough on Comedy Central’s The Man Show, a program that included a segment called “Women Jumping on Trampolines”). It’s just that it seems necessary right now, and it’s not exactly like there’s a lack of potential female hosting talent. Here, just off the top of our heads, some ideas:
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler
The obvious and proven quantity here, and both have a track record of calling out misogyny (Fey’s 30 Rock in particularly addressed several of these scandals before they became widespread, as did her new sitcom Great News in a prescient episode about sexual harrassment in the work place). They’d do just enough to make everyone in the audience rightfully sweat in their seats. Also, it’s Tina and Amy! Who doesn’t love them?
Doesn’t it actually seem a bit weird that Sykes never got her chance to host a major awards show? She’s particularly well suited to it, especially this year. She’s been vocal about these scandals on Twitter, and her “Detachable Pussy” bit remains a text book example of how to address the serious issue of sexual assault with humor.
Haddish is the type of rising comedy star that will likely get a chance to co-host a cable awards show in the next 18 months. Why not cut to the chase and give her one of the big gigs? Of course, there remains a chance she could wind up a nominee for her standout turn in Girls Trip instead.
Wait, hold up, how hasn’t she hosted one of these by now? She’s Melissa McCarthy, America’s comedy sweetheart! You could put together a sizzle real of her jokes while presenting awards and it would still be stronger than most of the regular ceremony hosts. Lining her up seems like an obvious slam dunk.
Amy Schumer or Sarah Silverman or Mindy Kaling or Margaret Cho or On and On and On…
Again, they all seem destined to one day host one of these. Funny how it seems like so many women who are obvious choices for this type of gig haven’t actually gotten the chance yet.
Meryl Streep and Oprah
Honestly, when Hollywood needs to get its soul right, what better duo to take them there? The monologue may not be a laugh barrel, but maybe this is the year where one of these shows needs to open on a serious note anyway. Honestly, they should just open the show with complete silence while looking each and every man in the room deep in the eye.
We’d joke that this is the choice for those who just want to see the world burn, but the world is already on fire. What is there to lose? Trump-types aren’t going to watch anyway. Besides, when Ricky Gervais hosted the Globes four times the marketing was always “Uh, oh! Will he be too provocative? What’s he going to say? Will he cross a line? Is he going to make stuffy Hollywood uncomfortable, this naughty lil’ Brit?” Why not just go with a host that we all know is guaranteed to cross lines and make Hollywood uncomfortable? We’ve got more than 17 minutes for that.
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