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Column: Give credit where credit is due, appreciate production crews

February 20, 2019
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Ah, award season. The period between November and late February when the entertainment industry grants celebrities validation with the gift of shiny gold trophies. Not only does this time present itself as pretentious, but award ceremonies have become nothing but arrogant propaganda. 

As we’ve seen most recently with the Grammy Awards, audiences are often promised or teased with something which never happens. I think it’s fair to call this baiting the potential viewing audience — something commonly seen online and in media when abstract, or strange headlines arise. In the instance of the Grammy Awards, potential viewers were told that a tribute to late rapper Mac Miller would be included in the ceremony. The award ceremony went as far as to invite Miller’s parents, only to award him nothing and refuse to attribute anything to his memory. 

Award ceremonies are a waste of time. To outwardly award an actor, musician or producer for their art is absurd. To celebrate the craft itself, whether it be by listening, watching or simply appreciating the artistry is an award in itself. To sell albums or have films play at festivals proves an artist’s success. There are other ways to gauge or value a person’s success apart from handing over awards during a televised ceremony at a particular time on a certain date.

Even the little guys, the people apart of the production — those creating graphics for a film, making edits to scripts, situating the lights and dealing with pompous cast and crew — don’t receive immense appreciation. Directors, producers and even those dedicated to special effects are awarded recognition, but if one’s position is not seen as grand enough, or to the standard of what is considered important versus unimportant then one will not receive the gratitude others in the industry do. 

Let’s think about it at a more basic level. Many people enjoyed the movie "Bohemian Rhapsody," but they are only paying attention to Rami Malek and the rest of the principle actors. In this instance, I don’t think there should be fans of this movie at all, with the director, Bryan Singer, being a known pedophile – though, that's beside the point. Regardless, nobody has offered attention to the small roles of cast and crew in the film. 

Awards shows have become about the views more than the art of entertainment. They only hire mainstream artists to perform or host, knowing more people will tune in if they hear their favorite star will be apart of the ceremony. A lot of the time mainstream artists are given a spot to perform at the end of the award show, in order to keep the audience engaged, or on the edge of their seats, waiting for the star to appear. 

They hold tributes for older singers to obtain an even wider audience. For the 2019 Grammy awards a tribute was put together for country sweetheart Dolly Parton with appearances from the likes of Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves. While this gesture is nice, there should be more praise for those who have passed away and left a legacy behind with their art. Sometimes we, as a society, have a tendency to only show emotion for those who have died when we can gain something from it. 

Award shows live and breathe off the ability to make profit over the loss of a star. When they can promise their audience a memorial, they try their hardest to infuse it with the award ceremony, knowing the viewing pool will increase. 

There should be no more televised award ceremonies. We should quit giving excessive attention to art and start giving kudos to those who work behind the scenes and work together to create an end product that people will enjoy. 

Emily Ludwa is a weekly columnist for The State News.

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