Monday, January 26, 2009

Tina Fey at the Golden Globes: A new take on saying thank you

I mentioned in class today that I am a huge fan of Hollywood awards ceremonies. Whether it's the Oscars or the Emmys, the Golden Globes or the Screen Actors Guild awards, I will gladly spend three hours on a Sunday night doing nothing but observing the interaction between hundreds of fancily clad actors, writers and performers as they either win or lose fame for their recent artitistic accomplishments.

It's fun to comment on the many beautiful (and many certainly-not-so-beatiful) ball gowns, etc. But what I find more fascinating is the way the individuals react to their accolades and those of their neighbors. One such individual who sticks out strongly in recent memory is Tina Fey, whose Golden Globes acceptance speech for Best Actress in a comedic TV series both drew loud laughter and caused me to think critically about the concept of acceptance speeches in general.

For those of you who have not seen her speech, Tina started off with the manditory cheesy jokes and more serious comments on her gratitude for the year she'd had. Then she turned a corner that perhaps few audience members were expecting. Rather than painstakingly thanking a lengthy list of producers, crew members, fellow cast members and relatives, Tina gave shout-outs to the Internet users who have loudly voiced their disapproval of her as an actress and a person. She listed three screennames in particular who had been less than complimentary and bluntly told them they could each, "Suck it."

While that may seem like impolite terminology for one's moment in the spotlight, it does say something rather refreshing about Fey's use of this opportunity. From my point of view, the point that she made was that celebrities, even when they are praised and admired, have a very healthy dose of dislike, enmity and even hatred to deal with from people in the crowd.

I don't normally think about the stage fright or self-consciousness a celebrity could very well be dealing with when I watch them perform or speak, but Fey's speech goes to show that they probably deal with such insecurities more often than we think. So in addition to being highly entertained by Fey's true-to-form, tongue-in-cheek comments, a lesson hit home for me as I watched. Check it out for yourself if you've got a minute. At the very least you'll probably chuckle a bit.

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