March 3, 2014

For a PC Oscars, Ellen's Actually Not-So-Cheesy Intervention

“And then, I don’t have any money. Who here has— Sandy? Sandy, you have money. You’ve got a lot of money. You can tip him, right?

…Where’s Harvey Weinstein. Harvey? No pressure. Only a billion people watching. No pressure. Whatever you feel is right.”

— Ellen DeGeneres, 2014 Oscars

If the Oscars were set to celebrate racial equality and gay rights last night (both themes reflected in the leading films this year), I don’t think the assembly expected to take on class, too. And, certainly not with the stars as guinea pigs. But Ellen DeGeneres is pretty conscious about these types of descrepancies, and that was a brilliant bit of political theater she pulled off. Of course, you will rarely find an audience that loaded with talent and charisma. But what Ellen addressed, inviting the elephant in the room to come prancing out, was that elitism comes in all packages.

This tweeter, Chris Kujawski, totally captured the class farce, as if Brad Pitt could somehow be mistaken for some waiter in a cheap suit handing out slices on paper plates. And what a photo: also capturing Ellen in everyday sneakers, and Frank Underwood as back-up waiter besides.

Slipping off the stage and into the aisle, Ellen was doing these giants a favor, allowing Hollywood’s multi-millionaires (of course, like her) to look and act more like the folks at home. Case in point is this comment on a post at the gossipy intouchweekly, titled See 8 of Your Favorite Stars Eating Pizza at the Oscars:

Nancy Grizzle · Pacifica, California
Just gos to show, underneath all that high glam stuff, they are just real people too. Good to see everyone having so much fun, and just being real.

At Hollywood’s Super Bowl of personal and studio marketing, not to mention the biggest night of the year for L.A.’s agents and cosmetic surgeons, what a chuckle, “just being real.”

Perhaps the most blatant transformation into your-next door-neighbor-at-the-backyard-beer bash involved Harrison Ford responding with the reflexes of Indiana Jones. Not only was the mega-star unabashed at digging in but he proceeded to flag down Ellen for a napkin.

One can only hope the pizza guy ended up with a decent tip from somebody in the industry — as DeGeneres had them on notice.

Then, of course, the group selfie — which has become the latest symbol of what everybody does — was smartly populist too:

Pizza video here, with a great animated GIF.

(photo 1: Chripotle (@ChrisKujawski) March 3, 2014/Twitter. screenshots via A. M.P.A.S. video. photo 5: TheEllenShow/Twitter)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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