Daytime Emmy disaster: Rape and race jokes

MICHAEL KOZIOL
Last updated 10:52 25/06/2014
Smh.com.au

Daytime Emmys hosts offend with race and rape jokes.

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It's the night of nights for the doyens of daytime; when talk show hosts, soap opera stars and infomercial peddlers gather to bestow upon one another the statuettes of success.

The Daytime Emmy awards: not quite the Emmys - not even the Golden Globes - but nonetheless an important event on the Los Angeles calendar.

Perhaps to counter-balance the stereotypical image of a daytime TV viewer as elderly or unemployed, organisers sought a bunch of fresher faces to host the evening's red carpet proceedings. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences told applicants they should have a "strong entertainment news background" or at least 300,000 online followers.

Plucked from the cybersphere were four young women with whom you are most likely unfamiliar: a certain Brittany Furlan, Lauren Elizabeth, Jessica Harlow and Meghan Rosette. Comedian Furlan has 6.5 million subscribers on the Twitter-owned Vine, a platform for sharing short videos. The others blog on beauty and style.

Rosette, 20, also an aspiring actress, has almost one million YouTube subscribers, while more than 77 million have watched one of 24-year-old Harlow's 'beauty tutorials'. Elizabeth's vast media empire encompasses Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and her own blog, where you can access tips on make-up, fashion and lifestyle. 

"We're going to get you away from us before we rape you": Red carpet hosts Brittany Furlan and Lauren Elizabeth

"We're going to get you away from us before we rape you": Red carpet hosts Brittany Furlan and Lauren Elizabeth Photo: Twitter

Their profiles are all about elegance and style, but once they were deposited on the red carpet, it was a case of the 'Young and the Tactless'.

Soap stars dealt remarkably well with being questioned about their race or made the subject of rape jokes. "What's it like to be a black man on a soap opera these days?" Harlow enquired of Bold and the Beautiful actor Lawrence Saint-Victor, whom she had introduced as "a beautiful chocolate man".

In the words of entertainment writer Matt Mitovich, Furlan "literally came onto...every male in attendance". She bid farewell to General Hospital heartthrob Ryan Paevey with a romantic gesture: "We're going to get you away from us before we rape you."

Elizabeth asked 85-year-old Days of Our Lives veteran Joseph Mascolo: "What is so legendary about you, sir?"

The ceremony itself fared a little better in the hands of self-proclaimed D-lister Kathy Griffin, though the night was still plagued by teleprompter failure, sexual innuendo and awkward pauses.

Big name winners including Ellen Degeneres, Katie Couric and Dr Mehmet Oz did not turn up to collect their trophies. The announcement of Couric's no-show was met with boos, though the Katie host should probably be forgiven - she was busy getting married.

The Washington Post called the whole thing "a top-to-bottom train wreck", and it was generally labelled a mess in entertainment media. The Twittersphere, never particularly forgiving, savaged the four inexperienced red carpet hosts, and some demanded an apology from NATAS.

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Most Americans avoided the horror show, however, because for the first time in Daytime Emmys history the event was not broadcast on TV. This was not the result of a deliberate migration to online platforms but because the ceremony could not secure a broadcast home. It was streamed online instead. 

"All this waffling. It's not being televised. So f---ing get pissed and have a good time," advised Sharon Osbourne.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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