Only in Hollywood can such a depraved and ironic story be told. Jimmy Kimmel, former creator of The Man Show, could not have been a more contradictory choice to host the 90th Academy Awards. In an Oscar cycle dominated by allegations of male sex abuse and discussions surrounding the larger culture of intimidation, Kimmel seemed an odd choice considering his storied past as an anti-pc, stoner, frat pack comic who relied on fart jokes to make a living. At its height, Kimmel’s Man Show was the safe space for beer chugging bros who liked plastic implants and shit music. There they were free and encouraged by Kimmel and Comedy Central to ogle and yell at scantily clad women dancing in bikinis.
This is why no one takes Hollywood serious.
Early ratings showed a decrease in almost 20% viewership from last year. After a year of self-immolation and televised therapy it is apparent that Americans have had enough.
While many celebrities declined to speak with Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet after allegations were made by his hairdresser recently, no one seemed too concerned with the former beer pounding patriarch grinning on stage and championing the women of Hollywood. Outside of an article in the Atlantic during the lead up to the event, very little critique was lobbed at the late night anti-trump warrior and the obvious mixed messages the Academy sent with his selection.
But I’m jumping ahead. Let’s rewind the clock.
The universe that birthed The Man Show feels like a galaxy far far away. It was 15 years ago. Andy Dick was still licking Pamela Anderson, Tom Green was rubbing his butt all over TRL and, as Kimmel pointed out in his monologue, Mel Gibson allegedly knew what women wanted.
In the pilot episode of The Man Show Kimmel and Adam Carolla stand above the Hoover Dam while Kimmel states “(This is) a dam to stop the river of estrogen that is drowning us in political correctness.”
So basically like a Donald Trump guy.
The Man Show’s opening is a prime example of everything the #MeToo moment has come to stand against – notably treating women as nothing more than sexual objects for men to snort at. In the segment that began each show, a camera sweeps in on big breasted woman jumping up and down as men pound beers in a stadium seat auditorium.
All of this high school-ish testosterone oozing bravado presents itself as a space for men to loosen up, stare at chicks and crack misogynistic jokes. No big deal, right? Here are a few lines from the show’s opening theme song:
Talk about an appropriate representative of the #MeToo movement!
Fast forward to 2018 and Kimmel is being lauded as a sincere advocate of women’s rights. During his flat and boorish opening monologue he pointed to the Oscar statue and suggested men take a similar stance:
He keeps his hands where you can see them, never says a rude word, and, most importantly, no penis at all. He is literally a statue of limitations.
“No penis at all.”
How wonderful. Standing ovation. Bravo. So woke.
Now, imagine being such a sociopathic lunatic that you actually need a lecture on how to be a virtuous gentleman. Or even worse, imagine being the viewing public and having such short term memory that you forget everything pre 2000 and genuinely believe Kimmel cares about women and their role in the industry.
Later in the show the academy had the ingenious idea to bring the celebrity elite to the plebs. Nothing says we understand moviegoers like Kimmel and a crew of starlets staging a flash mob on normies while wearing dresses worth more than a common man’s entire year salary. As you might expect corporate media ate it up:
— CNN Entertainment (@CNNent) March 5, 2018
How bad was The Man Show? In terms of today’s standards it would have Kimmel blacklisted. Had the timing been different he would surely have joined the long list of men who have had long shadows cast on their career. Instead, today he is lauded by the Hollywood Elite and met with applause by a sleepwalking media.
In an industry characterized by its patterned abuse of women by uber rich and powerful white men, Kimmel has yet to reasonably apologize for his participation in sponsoring a culture of filth that degraded the same women he allegedly speaks for today. If Hollywood wants us to take their opinions on politics and culture seriously they would do best to point the critical lens at themselves first.