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Opening Monologue: The Awards Shows Show

The following is a transcript of the opening monologue I do at the top of each show on WGN Radio. My show, the Saturday Night Special, is a single-topic program on which I discuss one topic all night. This week, I talked about awards shows.

The first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929, was held at a private dinner at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood with an audience of less than 300 people. Tickets were $5, or about $70 bucks in 2017 dollars) and fifteen awards were given, honoring artists, directors and other participants in the film industry of the time. The ceremony ran for 15 minutes.

Now, we make a season out of these long broadcasts that include the awards, the red carpet, the pre-red carpet speculation and post-show analysis, even the so-called “mani-cam” to devote time to scrutinizing actresses down to their manicures. Ugh. It’s a lot.

Just recently, Meryl Streep made headlines with her golden globe speech, and, given that between tonight and the Academy Awards, the presidential inauguration sits on the calendar, I imagine we’ll hear some politics that night, too.

Indeed, Awards season is in full force and while most of the focus will be split between who won what and whether or not it’s well deserved and who wore what, the major awards events, and perhaps Hollywood itself, when dissected, is really all a microcosm of social issues far reaching, perhaps issues that are bigger than we are often willing to consider.

it’s easy to let the glitz and glamor of the industry and its celebrations become all we see, and let’s face it, some of that is compellingly good fun, but, the issues that intersect in our conversations about awards matter– the issues that arise in films, who makes the films and who stars in the them and who works on the set and who wins the awards, and which films become mainstream, well, all that matters.

Tonight, that’s what we’ll aim to explore– those conversations around what these awards really represent and why they’ve become such spectacles, about actors using acceptance speeches s political platforms, infamous boycotts and why conversations about representation in film and and behind the scenes really matters.

I’m Amy Guth and that’s all coming up tonight on the Saturday Night Special on 720 WGN.

(Break for show opener music)

Tonight we’re taking a look at awards season– but, of course, we’re not going to just talk about which films deserve to be recognized, but we’ll talk about the many considerations around holylwood and its biggest award nights. From pay equality for acrtresses and actors, to the numbers of female directors and producers, to why the people we don’t see on screen and on nominations lists makes a bigger statement thatn perhaps we’re willing to acknoledge, and so much mroe.

All night, i’d be delighted to hear from you as we go along, so feel free to give us a call at 312-981-7200, But, if you’re feeling a little radio shy– and that’s ok– you can text that number or you can also find me on Twitter and Facebook and contribute to the conversation in that way, too.

We’ll be right back to get the conversation underway, on 720-WGN.

(Listen to full show)