Did family-friendly CBS want a more toned-down Tony Awards with a ‘no affection’ rule?
Last night’s Tony Awards provided the possibility of seeing one of Hollywood’s most private and red carpet-shy couples, Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson, making a seldom-seen public appearance. When Ryan did in fact show up to support his wife, a first-time nominee for A View from the Bridge, it provided the possibility that SHOULD Scarlett manage a win we could see an actual lip lock between the two. Not that we’re voyeurs or anything.
Well, lo and behold, Scarlett did win and we saw … nothing. A barley noticeable peck on the cheek and some awkward hug like bro-pat. This lead to speculation by some that the couple appeared to be having problems.
But this lack of affection between couples quickly became common throughout the night. Catherine Zeta-Jones simply tugged at husband Michael Douglas’ hand (no kiss or hug) when she won. Featured Actress in a Play winner Katie Finneran gushed about her love for her new fiancée on stage, but barely seemed to pay him heed when her name was called. What was going on?
We were at the Tony’s last night, and producers made it very clear behind the scenes of the show that the winners had 1 min. and 30 sec. to get on stage from the time their name was called or they WOULD be musically queued off the stage. They advised the winners to use their time wisely and save their hugs and kisses until AFTER they made their speech. Or could there have been another reason?
The Broadway community is, as we know, very accepting and open to the gay community. But network programmer CBS, they of middling comedies such as Two and a Half Men and Rules of Engagement, is far less so. In fact, a 2009 study by GLAAD determined that series on CBS lacked a single gay or bisexual character.
It seems like CBS may have implanted this convenient rule so their family-friendly network did not have to broadcast some of the guaranteed same-sex kisses that would occur. They may have implemented the rule for all nominees, but it still doesn’t seem right.
One would think if this is the case the American Theatre Wing would have put their foot down but, clearly eager to increase their relevance, they seemed to be pulling out all the stops to attract the widest audience possible last night.
Over-hyped performances by Glee cast members bring in viewers, Hollywood stars bring in viewers, stunt kisses between (gay) Sean Hayes and (gay friendly) Kristin Chenoweth bring in viewers — but legitimate boy-on-boy and lady-on-lady kisses, alas, do not.
— Chris Spargo & Jen Murray