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Robert Osborne has 'several quibbles' about the Oscars show

March 17, 2010 | 10:41 am

Gold Derby asked the ultimate authority — Robert Osborne — what he thought of the recent, highly controversial Oscars telecast. Robert not only wrote the official Oscars book, he's the academy's official greeter on the red carpet. Oh, yeah, he's also the host of Turner Classic Movies, of course. Here are his views:

Robert osborne oscars news academy awards

The Oscar show looked good in the theater, but I hear many negatives about the way it played on television. I have several quibbles -- the salute to horror films and thrillers: uninteresting time-waster. Stars coming on en masse to talk about nominees: great idea, but shouldn't they be talking about the actor's nominated performance instead of how cute they are, what a swell fellow, etc.?

Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin: I wanted more of them. The memorial section: cut whatever needs to be cut out of the show (that dance number, the opening number, the explanation of sound editors) and make that a real tribute to the wide range of people who have died -- not just a select few.

Have fewer vague starlets presenting awards and get more genuine stars involved (Javier Bardem as a presenter, not just in the audience with Penelope Cruz; people like Michael Caine, Joan Fontaine, Eva Marie Saint, etc. etc.); there was a frightening lack of star power.

I think the Joan Rivers factor (even though she's no longer on the red carpet) is also becoming more and more of a factor. One major actress (who must go nameless) who entered the back door told me at the Governors' Ball afterward, "Oh, I'd never do the red carpet again. They're not legitimate people anymore. They're 'Extra' and 'Insider' and others of that ilk." She went on to further her complaint: "They try to get you to say something controversial -- you try to be nice and say something interesting, and the next day they go on the air and talk about how badly you're dressed. Who needs it?"

I did notice that except for the nominees, who all did the red carpet, many of those who did have big names who were on the telecast skipped the carpet and sneaked in through the back door -- a far cry from bygone years when everybody did the carpet -- and no one was so rude as to publicly criticize how someone was dressed. (I'm told at one recent event -- not the Oscars -- some "reporters," very young, were asking Robert De Niro that if he were in a "Twilight" movie which role would he want to play. That's the kind of questioning that leads to a lot of actors wanting to skip any red carpet and/or avoid the press altogether.

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Photo: AMPAS

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Comments

this is so true. kudos to you Mr. Osborne.

I agree with all the points except the red carpet quibble. It's a red carpet not a forum for great journalism. If people want to ask silly questions the actors should be willing to play along or gladly take the option to skip the whole thing. I see nothing wrong in actors skipping the red carpet (as long as we get to see them as presenters and audience members). You have so many stars walking the carpet does anyone really have the time to plan out insightful Q&As with stars that might just walk past you.

Yeah, Ted, like Nancy O'Dell. She's great, and everyone loves her. She needs to come back without Access Hollywood weighing her down and reclaim that red carpet!

Osborne's respectfully self-deprecatingly described "quibbles" are legitimate complaints of which the Oscars producers would do well to take note. I love his comments about the red carpet. Pretty soon, everyone will be doing the smart thing and going in the back way and avoiding it all together. The amateur nobodies from the Insider, Extra, Entertainment Weekly, etc., are neither reporters or serious journalists. The field is wide open for a legitimate and respectful entertainment reporter to make a name for him- or herself and eventually have that red carpet all to, eh, her- or himself.


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