Golden Globe Awards 2011: Celebs without a cause
This year, the Golden Globes -- both the red carpet and the main event -- were virtually cause-free zones. As one chatter, Booboo (no relation to Yogi Bear), wryly noted last night, "So just curious... Darfur is all good now, right? Haven't heard a celebrity go on about that in quite a while, so it must be OK now. Just like the rain forests."
"Haiti's all rebuilt, too," added chatter P.
Before making a sweeping statement about celebs not using their glitzy platform to advance causes anymore, it should be noted that George Clooney -- who has doggedly done his utmost to keep the Darfur crisis on our radar -- was not in the house. But, even sans Clooney, we expected more consciousness-raising rhetoric from our honorees. We were, as it turns out, disappointed. Or not.
Last year one almost felt guilty about watching the Globes for the reason one watches the Globes: to see tarted up celebs drink their way through the first major (though ultimately meaningless, as noted by Hank Stuever) awards show of the season.
Why the guilt? Because every other celeb who paused to talk to Seacrest on the red carpet had a message for us about the horrors unfolding in earthquake-struck Haiti -- the quake had hit just a week before the awards show -- and the rest were at least wearing pins that telegraphed "Hey, I care about Haiti" or some other cause. Even the films in competition felt more important -- James Cameron's "Avatar" (about an environment threatened by man), Kathryn Bigeolow's "Hurt Locker" (which reminded us that we still have thousands of boots on the ground in Iraq) and Lee Daniels's "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" (which inspired a teary speech about abuse victims from best-supporting actress Mo-Nique).
We cared about all those things, and Haiti, too, really -- but we were more interested in Ricky Gervais's first boozy #globesfail, which stars would melt in the uncharacteristic rain and whether or not Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie would come to blows in the bathroom.
But Sunday night, it was as if after a year of hellish celebrity news (Sandra Bullock's betrayal by now-ex Jesse James, Mel Gibson's vitriolic telephone rants and the absurdity of Randy and Evi Quaid's "escape" to Canada), our stars just didn't have it in them to strike a political pose.
And so aside from a few brief shout outs ("Glee" writer Ian Brennan advocating for public school kids, "Glee's" Chris Colfer speaking out against bullying and Annette Bening's win for the lesbian-centric "The Kids Are Alright") we were left with the empty calories we thought we craved: snarking about Helena Bonham Carter's dress, ScarJo's hair and -- as the night progressed -- disliking Ricky Gervais more and more.
And I, for one, had an epiphany. I missed the message-laden Golden Globes of yesteryear. Listening to Clooney hold forth on Darfur or Sandra Bullock talk about Haiti somehow balanced out the vapidity quotient.
Let's hope the celebs figure out a way to bring at least a little awareness to Oscar night.
| January 17, 2011; 10:26 AM ET
Categories: Awards Season | Tags: Golden Globes
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