CNN: “John Adams” set an Emmy record Sunday night, with 13 wins overall — eight Creative Arts awards and five on the prime-time presentation including outstanding miniseries. The HBO program, which had led all nominees with 23 nods, also earned trophies for Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson and writer Kirk Ellis.”
But while Don Rickles and Jimmy Kimmel got to ramble at length as if they were a pair of witty Poets Laureate, Kirk Ellis had barely stepped onstage before the Emmys gave him the hook:
The Emmy-winning writer for “John Adams” was ironically cut off by producers during his acceptance speech while talking about public oratory in Adams era, calling it “an amazing opportunity to talk about a period in our history when articulate men articulated complex thoughts in complete sentences.”
Ellis attempted to continue: “They used words –” but the mic faded out in the middle of his sentence as ABC abruptly cut to commercial. Backstage Ellis was quick to hit back:
“I love freedom of expression and as soon as I opened my mouth they were signaling to wrap it up,” Ellis says backstage. “I find it interesting we can do 30 minutes devoted to reality show hosts but none for the people who actually [write the shows].”
So last night we were subjected to all 5 of the least interesting nominees in the trashiest category paraded repeatedly onstage, allowed to indulge in an endless skit that was worse than a preschool Easter pageant. Meanwhile one of the writers for the most honored miniseries in Emmy history had the rug pulled right out from under him before he had time to link two intelligent thoughts together.
Congrats on the fabulous script. You sure talk pretty! Now shut up.
Our international friends wonder how America could be backward enough to elect Bush twice. Maybe because a lot of our citizens who don’t have the time, energy or resources to read and keep informed depend on television for cues about what’s happening outside the echo chamber of homogenized news. It’s a shame, but most American viewers of last night’s Emmys will never see John Adams. Kirk Ellis had a 30-second window of opportunity to reach out to those people, but he got the storm shutters slammed in his face.
There’s nothing wrong with pure entertainment. But other than entertain us, TV has a responsibility to educate and raise the consciousness of its audience. Sadly, on the very night when the television industry congregated to congratulate itself for broadcast excellence, it proved to be embarrassingly lax in one of its most basic duties: the chance to air something true and untainted to a country desperately in need of a little guidance.
Yay for honoring John Adams the miniseries, and cheers to its many awards. Hiss for dishonoring John Adams the man, rejecting what he stood for by disrespecting the writers who would remind us of a more noble time in America’s history, a commercial-free era when brilliant wordsmiths mattered more than shallow image makers.