The Writers' Room

The Writers' Room
The People's Choice Awards: Not Quite For The People

Elizabeth Grunewald | 7 Jan 2011 17:00
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Advertising. Sitting on the front page of the site, I can see integrated ads for a prominent pharmacy, fabric softener, and deodorant interspersed with "show highlights" and "red carpet footage." On the broadcast, the winners for "Favorite Viral Video Star" were initially given a trophy made of crackers, as a cracker brand sponsored the award. If you really want to know the names of these products, they won't be difficult to discover; I can't bring myself to re-advertise them here.

I suppose you could say I'm making a mountain out of a molehill here. So it's another unnecessary awards show, a big long commercial for some schlock that doesn't really deserve awarding. Big whoop. Right? Not at all. I am all for celebrating popular culture, but I can't quite stomach the People's Choice Awards. I think an event whose sole purpose is to tell us what "the people" like is redundant; unless I'm mistaken, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and the Screen Actor's Guild are not comprised of cyborgs and elephants. They're real people, I'm real people. So are all those millions whose views weren't represented. I didn't vote, because I don't care -- surprising, I know -- but even if I had done so, it wouldn't have mattered. Everyone in the world could have voted, and Twilight still would have won. People who care that their given fandom wins will vote again and again. Put fan fodder on the ticket, and the ballot boxes are as good as stuffed. The People's Choice Awards aren't the people's views; they're the fans'. Change the name, shift the focus, stop telling me I, as one of the people, like Katy Perry and Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and I'll stop kvetching.

I'm just surprised Jersey Shore didn't win anything, given its bewildering popularity.

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