‘FLEABAG’ AND ‘GAME OF THRONES’ WIN BIG AT 2019 EMMYS – (09/23/2019)
Fleabag and Game of Thrones won the Best Comedy and Best Drama at the 71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday (September 22nd.) The stars converged at the Microsoft Theater in L.A. for TV’s biggest night. The show went host-free, following Oscars’ lead, but there were still many Hollywood moments.
The party got started with a cartoon Homer Simpson literally doing a face-plant onstage, and Anthony Andersonrushing onto stage and declaring, “We will not let the Empire fall!” as he ran about mock-organizing the show backstage and dinging Game of Thrones with a Starbucks coffee reference. Then Bryan Cranstonc ame onstage to wax philosophical about the current state of TV, declaring “it’s never been better.”
Going in, HBO’s Game of Thrones led the pack, garnering 32 nominations. Next up was Amazon Prime’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, with 20 nominations. All told, HBO snagged an amazing 137 nominations. Netflix nipped at its heels with 117.
Ultimately,Fleabag won big time, snagging Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actress for Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Outstanding Directing. Game of Thrones also brought home gold, landing Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Supporting Actor for Peter Dinklage. Chernobyl triumphed with three awards, Outstanding Limited Series trophy as well as writing and directing awards.
Alex Borstein gave an inspiring acceptance speech for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, thanking the show’s creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, but also her mother and 102-year-old grandmother, a Holocaust survivor who dared to “step out of line” and escape death at her concentration camp. Before she walked onstage, the camera zoomed in on her doing a shot.
A clearly delighted Phoebe Waller-Bridge told the crowd that she was just excited that a “dirty, pervy” woman can win an Emmy for Outstanding Writing.
Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert joke that “this show sucks” without a host, but they seem to hit a nerve online.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge won the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in what many saw as a surprising upset for Julie Louis-Dreyfus, who was accepted to win for her final season of Veep.
The audience seemed to guffaw when Kim Kardashian and Kendall Jenner came onstage and pretended Keeping Up With the Kardashians is 100% “unscripted” and “unfiltered.” Said Kardashian: “Our family knows first-hand how truly compelling television comes from real people just being themselves.”
Rupaul gave an upbeat speech thanking everyone for the Outstanding Competiton Program award, and seguing into a push for viewers to register to vote.
The cast of Game of Thrones reunited onstage to present the award for Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie. Patricia Arquette graciously accepted the award, then addressed her sister Alexis Arquette’s death. “I just have to say I’m grateful to be working, I’m grateful at 50 to be getting the best parts of my life, and that’s great,” Arquette said. “But in my heart, I’m so sad. I lost my sister Alexis, and that trans people are still being persecuted, and I’m in mourning every day of my life.”
Jharrel Jerome got the audience as excited—on its feet and clapping excited—as he was with his from-the-heart speech, thanking his mother and When They See Us’ creator, Ava DuVernay for his win as lead actor. He also addressed the men the series was about, who DuVernay brought as her guests. “Most importantly, this is for the men that we know as the Exonerated Five. Thank you so much. It’s an honor; it’s a blessing,” Jerome concluded, as the audience rose to their feet and applauded.
Emmys commentator Thomas Lennon raised eyebrows online when he gave Felicity Huffman a shout-out. He didn’t name names, but referred to any ex-Emmy winning stars who may be watching from prison. He said: “Hopefully those two weeks are going to fly by.” Huffman, who won an Emmy in 2005 for Desperate Housewives, has been sentenced to two weeks in prison for her role in the college bribery scandal.
While accepting her award as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series, Michelle Williams thanked her bosses in Fosse/Verde for not only paying her equally, but also listening to her when she made expensive requests and not “presuming to know more” than she did about her own needs. “I see this as an acknowledgement of what is possible when a woman is trusted to discern her own needs, feels safe enough to voice them and respected enough that they’ll be heard,” she said.
John Oliver thanked his dog for “letting us give him belly rubs” and helping to produce “that piece on the Senate filibuster” when he accepted the award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series for Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.
Billy Porter gave a humble, emotional speech while accepting the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, thanking Pose’s creator Ryan Murphy and calling on all actors to change the “molecular structure” of the country through empathetic and thoughtful portrayals.
Jodie Comer won lead actress for Killing Eve, against Sandra Oh, who was considered a front-runner (and co-stars with her in the same show).
Phoebe Waller-Bridge seemed unable to believe her good fortune after winning Outstanding Comedy Series.
Game of Thrones gave a gracious adieu to the series and the Emmys after winning Outstanding Drama Series.
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BEN STILLER AND CHRISTINE TAYLOR WALK RED CARPET TOGETHER: Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor walked the Emmys red carpet together Sunday night. Eyebrows were raised because the pair split in 2017 after 17 years of marriage. This isn’t the first time they’ve been spotted together in public post-split, but this is the first formal event they’ve attended together. (The Blast)
TAYLOR SWIFT SCRAPS MELBOURNE CUP APPEARANCE – (09/23/2019)
Animal activists are taking credit for Taylor Swift’s last-minute Melbourne Cup scratching in Australia.
Swift had been slated to perform two songs from her latest album Lover at Flemington Racecourse on November 5th. But less than two weeks after the performance was announced, Swift pulled out, citing scheduling problems.
“Changes to her Asian promo schedule have made it logistically impossible for her to be here,” promoter Michael Gudinski said in a statement on Saturday.
The cancellation came after an intense backlash from animal activists, who call on social media for the star to say #NupToTheCup. “The pressure on Taylor Swift to cancel her performance was significant. Her fans did not want to see her supporting animal abuse,” Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses spokeswoman Kristin Leigh said, following Swift’s about-turn. “Whilst the reason being used by the racing industry is a scheduling mix up, it appears to us that she has responded to those calls. After Swift’s performance was announced, animal rights group Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses called on Swift to cancel as part of their #NupToTheCup campaign, pointing to the deaths of numerous horses during the race.
One group, the Coalition of the Protection of Racehorses, even shared a Change.org petition earlier this month urging Taylor to back out of her performance.
The Victoria Racing Club says the cancellation is disappointing and is offering refunds to people who purchased cup tickets after Swift’s performance was announced on September 12th.
Last year, Irish racehorse The Cliffsofmoher was euthanized on the racetrack after fracturing its shoulder, becoming the sixth horse to die at the event since 2013. The death sparked outrage online, and the #NupToTheCup hashtag subsequently on Twitter.
In the U.S., PETA issued a statement saying, “Taylor Swift dumped the Melbourne Cup, and PETA couldn’t be happier. The event is riddled with horse breakdowns and death…none of this cruelty is consistent with the kind person we know Taylor to be.”
While Taylor has not explicitly spoken out about any additional reasoning behind her cancellation, fans are praising her decision on social media and thanking the singer for pulling out of the event.
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