If you ever needed an example of how shallow Hollywood can be, look no further than an awards show. What you don’t know by watching awards on TV is that as soon as a nominated performer’s category is over, they often get up and leave the show — especially if they lose. In fact, there’s often a mass exodus around the halfway point, and producers and stage managers react by filling up the audience with seat fillers.
This year’s Critics’ Choice TV Awards were no exception. One actress left the Beverly Hilton ballroom after losing her category and admitted to Gold Derby on her way out the door that she didn’t think she’d win in the first place, but she had good odds on our website so she stayed just in case we were right. We weren’t, so off she went.
Okay, that sounds a bit harsh. Not everyone in Hollywood falls into this trap. The cast of Best Comedy Series “Orange is the New Black” stayed for the entire duration of the show as did Drama Actor champ Matthew McConaughey (“True Detective“). But … hmmm … their categories were two of the last to be announced, so, of course, they had to stay until the credits rolled.
In the bathroom before the show started, one nominated performer with very good odds according to Gold Derby was rehearsing the name of the organization with his publicist again and again. “Broadcast Television Journalists Association, Broadcast Television Journalists Association,” he kept saying. And it was worth all the prep, because this actor wound up winning an award later in the evening.
That example brings up the age-old question: Are the Critics’ Choice TV Awards winners notified of their winning status beforehand in order to get them to the show? One FX exec sounded very convincing when he told us that Movie/Mini Actor winner Billy Bob Thornton (“Fargo“) was not tipped off in advance. Conversely, Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad“) and Jessica Lange (“American Horror Story: Coven“) won their categories but were nowhere in sight to accept their trophies. If the CCTA notified winners in advance, surely these two would have made the journey, right?
With dozens of losers in attendance, including some A-listers, we can almost definitely put those long-held suspicions to rest. All of the following actors and actresses were in the ballroom, but lost their individual races: Colin Hanks, Chris Messina, Thomas Middleditch, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ilana Glazer, Emmy Rossum, Tony Hale, Albert Tsai, Mayim Bialik, Laverne Cox, Kaley Cuoco, Sarah Baker, Mimi Kennedy, Lauren Weedman, Freddie Highmore, Michael Sheen, Matthew Rhys, Lizzy Caplan, Keri Russell, Josh Charles, Walton Goggins, Jon Voight, Annet Mahendru, Melissa McBride, Maggie Siff, Beau Bridges, Joe Morton, Carrie Preston and Minnie Driver.
Another example of Hollywood’s fakeness was present on all of the tables inside the Beverly Hilton ballroom, where large bottles of vodka were placed in the center of each table. But they were all empty. Just for pretend. Apparently the producers didn’t want the celebs to get drunk, but they still wanted to give the illusion that there was a huge party to be had. (There was an open bar before and after the show, just not during.)
We’ll leave off on a hopeful note. At the CCTA after-party, a few actresses did stay till the bitter end, taking in the evening by hob-nobbing with members of the press and snapping photos with fans. Drama Actress champ Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black“) was all smiles backstage and admitted that the trophy she received on stage was fake and that the real one would be mailed to her later after her name was engraved. Melissa McBride (“The Walking Dead“) made her mark on the evening by chatting at length with her adoring fans. Movie/Mini Supp. Actress winner Allison Tolman (“Fargo“) thanked Gold Derby for supporting her this awards season. And Wendi McLendon-Covey (“The Goldbergs“) stayed to praise Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who beat her in her Comedy Actress category.
There is hope for you yet, Hollywood.