Two years ago this morning, Donald Trump was serving as official Oscars recapper for Fox & Friends. Now, apparently, he’s got something better to do.
So instead of getting commentary from the president, Trump’s favorite morning show brought in Tucker Carlson, recently seen criticizing the cast of Hamilton for including “sisterhood” in the lyrics to “America the Beautiful” at the Super Bowl.
“Hollywood got the election wrong, and last night Hollywood got the Oscars wrong,” host Steve Doocy said smugly at the top of the segment, conflating the predictions that Hillary Clinton would beat Trump and the confusion that led Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway to announce La La Land as Best Picture when the real winner was Moonlight.
“Is this karma, or what?” Brian Kilmeade wanted to know.
“Well, finally something interesting happens at one of these dumb award shows,” Carlson said. “And it couldn’t happen to better people,” he added, laughing. But then his assessment of the situation really started to go off the rails.
“And you knew it had to happen, because Moonlight had to win,” he continued. “That’s the law, there was really no way around that. This was a foregone conclusion, because it’s not just a good movie, it’s an important movie. It’s a movie that instructs you, that changes you morally. And that’s kind of the aim of Hollywood—is not just to entertain, but to instruct.”
In reality, almost nobody was predicting that Moonlight would win the top prize, which made its eventual victory all the more surprising. Gold Derby, which compiles Oscar odds, had La La Land as a 2/11 favorite, with Moonlight a distant second at 18/1. Everyone expected La La Land to win, so when Dunaway read the name of the movie off the card for Emma Stone’s Best Actress win, exactly no one was surprised.
So which is it, Tucker? Hollywood “got it wrong” in predicting La La Land as the lock to win (and accidentally handing it the trophy)? Or they got it wrong by ultimately awarding the top Oscar to a film that might make some people feel guilty about their fundamental racism and homophobia?
After playing the clip of the awkwardness that occurred on stage when the award was handed from one film to the other, the hosts read off a few jokey emails from Fox viewers that laid the blame on Democrats for getting it wrong and Vladimir Putin for rigging the whole thing.
Carlson went on to say that the “problem” with Hollywood is that even though so many great movies are being made, “as soon as you feel a political imperative, it destroys your art. The second you feel like you need to elevate the country, you become overbearing and pompous and boorish.”
In other words: why does a nice movie musical about two beautiful white people falling in love have to lose to a film that shows what it’s like to grow up black and gay in America? It’s just not fair!
Pivoting to the #OscarsSoWhite controversies that dominated the past two years of the Academy Awards, Kilmeade wondered aloud if there may have been an “overcompensation” the other way this time. In addition to Moonlight winning Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, both Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali) and Best Supporting Actress (Viola Davis) went to black performers.
While he said he can’t get inside the heads of the Oscar voters, Carlson did say, “As a general matter, Hollywood feels this obligation to bring the rest of the country up to their moral level.” In his mind, Hollywood views the rest of the country as “backwards, medieval and loathsome” and tries to “make them better” through the films they produce. “Whenever politics intrudes on art, it distorts and corrupts the art. It makes it less good.”
Finally, the crew turned to the Donald Trump jokes that permeated Kimmel’s monologue and were peppered throughout the show. Doocy wondered if that approach made sense “from a business model” point of view, given that it could turn off viewers.
Instead of answering that question, Carlson continued to rail against the quality of the Oscar-nominated films. “A lot of the stuff is garbage anyway,” he complained. “There’s nothing good about a lot of the movies.”