As a “journalist” of sorts, especially lodged into the entertainment industry. I suppose I should join my fellow bloggers in their outrage about the hosts of the daytime emmy red carpet. How about the outrage that this show wasn’t even aired in primetime on a network. Websites were doing live streams of it. LIVE STREAMS. And yet you think Brittany Furlan cast a dark cloud upon the Emmys? Please. Get over yourself.
Brittany Furlan was a brilliant choice for a show that has so little attention, it is now aired via live streaming, instead of a traditional 8PM-11PM timeblock like every other awards show. She has 6.5 million followers on Vine. That’s almost certainly more than the total viewers for the awards show. She shot a vine with Mario Lopez on the red carpet which achieved 52,460 likes and 10,572 revines. She’s obnoxious, but not necessarily any more obnoxious than Joan Rivers. It’s just that people don’t know who she is, so they feel that she doesn’t deserve to be obnoxious. She’s gotten 6.5 million fans… because she’s obnoxious.
Brittany Furlan is one of the most followed people on Vine, a social media platform that has exploded in the past year. She’s actually the 2nd most followed person, ahead of real celebrities like Josh Peck. She shared her hosting duties with Lauren Elizabeth, a beauty tip/fashion youtuber with over 500K followers, and another 125K on Twitter. Jessica Harlow, another host, is basically a clone of Lauren Elizabeth. A Beauty Tip blogger, she’s got another 500K followers and 244K likes on Facebook. Finally, Meghan Rosette has 900K+ followers on youtube, her own website, and 343K followers on Instagram.
Why is this important?
BECAUSE THE DAYTIME EMMYS WERE LIVESTREAMED INSTEAD OF BEING AIRED DURING PRIMETIME.
Don’t you think there was some strategy in picking people with popular social media followings? Granted, that means they picked people who had no red carpet experience, or even interviewing experience. They also picked people who likely didn’t know most of the soap opera stars they were interviewing. But, they clearly were targeting a youthful audience, because the 18-49 demo is what will bring the daytime emmys back into primetime.
Now, addressing the comment in question… where Furlan jokes about raping a hot male actor, Ryan Paevey from General Hospital (who by the way only has 17K followers on Twitter), yes it was in incredibly poor taste. But honestly? Furlan is an offensive, obnoxious comedianne. If you watch her vines, you’ll come to understand that her type of humor is the type of humor that feels it’s OK to throw around rape as a joke word. I don’t even expect Furlan to apologize. Remember when Natasha Leggaro refused to apologize? If it were any of the other 3 girls, I would expect an apology. But for an aspiring improv/sketch/whatever comedienne like Furlan, it’s likely she’ll stand behind it.
And why shouldn’t she? The Daytime Emmys are now getting a TON of free press they wouldn’t have gotten without the controversy. If something crazy hadn’t happened, would you have even noticed that the Daytime Emmys were last night? I literally had no idea until I saw a winners list… and the subsequent outrage of the internet.
Look, maybe it is a double standard to say that had Brittany Furlan been a man and said that to a woman, it wouldn’t have been alright. True. Even the most crude comedian couldn’t have made a rape joke funny. And somehow we care less when a woman says it to a man. And maybe we should care more, as a cultural problem.
But that’s not Brittany Furlan’s job to fix all of America. Her job was to use her social media following to bring viewers to the Daytime Emmys. She did that. Should we consider using this “social media” experiment again, perhaps on the real Emmys? Probably not. But then again, the other awards shows are taken seriously, and given a legitimate timeslot to hold their awards. The Daytime Emmys is fighting to stay alive, so if you’re angry that they couldn’t hire a real host… realize that you are part of the problem. Decreased viewership for the Daytime Emmys over the years (and a decline in viewership of daytime programming in general), has relegated the Daytime Emmys to no longer being aired primetime on ABC, and they want it back. Going after youtube (and vine) celebrities is the quickest way to target a youth demographic without directly hiring Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber to host your red carpet.
Was Furlan’s statement crude? Yes. Definitely. In her defense, she did what she was hired to do. Maybe next time they’ll hire social media mavens who have a bit more entertainment news experience, like Michael Buckley (What The Buck), to host. And maybe next time, we’ll know when the awards show is on… and it’ll be on in primetime… on a major network. Maybe.