Controversial British journalist and TV host Piers Morgan took aim at the 91st Academy Awards in an op-ed published by The Daily Mail on Monday, as he described how Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony was the “unfunniest” and “most politically correct” in the event’s history.
Despite praising Daily Show host Trevor Noah for what he felt was a “clever” and “subliminal” introduction of Black Panther as a Best Picture candidate, Morgan emphasized that this was the only Oscars moment that made him laugh, and a sign of how Hollywood has become so politically correct that it’s now buried in a “tomb of virtue-signaling ‘wokeness.'” Morgan posited that Hollywood culture has drastically changed from the time the likes of Bob Hope and Billy Crystal hosted the Oscars and told their fair share of edgy, “near-the-knuckle” jokes.
Further expounding on this point, Morgan mentioned Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane’s stint as Oscars host in 2013 as the tipping point when the Academy Awards started to become “even more humorless,” as MacFarlane drew a lot of flak for showcasing his politically incorrect brand of humor at the film industry’s biggest night of the year.
“This dreadful trend culminated in the recent and utterly inevitable Kevin Hart debacle in which a man who would have been a perfect and hilarious Oscars host was forced to step down because of controversial tweets he posted years ago and for which he had subsequently expressed regret.”
— The Sun (@TheSun) February 26, 2019
While Piers Morgan acknowledged that the 91st Academy Awards had its share of high points, he stressed that there were many other reasons why the event did not make him laugh. He brought up the “series of box-ticking awards” that suggested the film industry was trying to look more “virtuous,” as well as what he perceived as “Trump-bashing.”
The above “Trump-bashing” remark was likely in reference to Spike Lee’s acceptance speech when he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman. In his speech, Lee did not mention Donald Trump by name but nonetheless drew the president’s ire for telling the audience to “be on the right side of history” during the 2020 presidential election, per CBS News.
As further noted by CBS News, Spanish actor Javier Bardem also refrained from name-dropping Trump while announcing the Best Foreign Language film nominees, but nonetheless made the following comments in his native tongue.
“There are no borders or walls that can restrain ingenuity and talent.”
In addition to the above complaints, Morgan also doubled down on his previous rant about Billy Porter’s “tuxedo-skirt,” accusing the Pose star of trying to position himself as the “new poster person” for gender fluidity and describing the outfit as an example of how the red carpet turned into a “‘woke’ farce.” Per Metro, Morgan referred to Porter’s attire as “absolutely ridiculous” when he took to social media on Sunday night to comment on the Christian Siriano-designed outfit.
Piers Morgan wrapped up his Daily Mail op-ed by referring to comedians Awkwafina and John Mulaney as a pair of “fawning clowns” as presenters. While outlets such as NBC News found them “odd, but hilarious” and even suggested that they could be good enough to host next year’s Oscars, Morgan instead wished that someone like Ricky Gervais would have shown up instead “to rip into people.”