Let’s Talk About Sean Spicer’s Emmy Cameo

On Sept. 17, America tuned in to watch the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by famous comedian and talk show host Stephen Colbert. All of Hollywood’s elite gathered to celebrate this year’s achievement in primetime television programming. However, something both attendees and the viewing audience alike did not expect was Former White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, to make an appearance.

It all took place during Colbert’s opening monologue; in it, Colbert satirized President Donald Trump’s tweets involving television ratings and crowd attendance. He tells the audience that although he would like the ceremony to have high ratings, “unfortunately, at this point, we have no way of knowing how big our audience is” He then asks, “I mean, is there anyone who could say how big the audience is.” In comes Spicer, mimicking Melissa McCarthy’s Saturday Night Live impression of himself, rolling in his now infamous podium, declaring that "this will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, PERIOD, both in person and around the world," taking a jab at the President and former boss.

Audience members were both shocked and amused and social media went wild. It was a bold stunt to make, both politically and in terms of entertainment. Especially considering that we live in an era where media of every medium is faced with scrutiny from the government and population. Hollywood actors and actresses have been criticized for either getting too involved in politics or not getting involved enough. While Stephen Colbert has never shied away from his criticism towards President Trump, many programs dealing with political satire, like Saturday Night Live and The Late Night Show have received major backlash for the way they respond to the presidency. So, to have a former White House official come to an award ceremony that celebrates these shows is a lot to take in. Alec Baldwin, who won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for impersonating Trump, said in a press room interview, “Spicer obviously was compelled to do certain things that we might not have respected, we might not have admired, we might have been super critical of, in order to do his job, but I've done some jobs that are things that you shouldn't admire or respect before, either, so he and I have that in common."

Courtesy: NBC News

There is no doubt that we currently live in a polarizing time, and many people did not view the moment to be as lighthearted as the program made it appear. People on Twitter, including other celebrities, criticized both the Emmy Awards and fellow actors for encouraging the moment. They claimed that we should not normalize or validate Sean Spicer and forget his past actions as White House Press Secretary. Alternatively, much like Colbert predicated, President Trump tweeted about the ceremony saying that “I was saddened to see how bad the ratings were on the Emmys last night - the worst ever.” He also added that the “smartest people of them all are the 'DEPLORABLES.'” He did not comment about Sean Spicer’s cameo or the comments he made, however, Spicer himself claims “he [President Trump] was very supportive. He thought I did a great job. And so it was very reassuring.”

Whether you found the stunt to be funny or irresponsible, it certainly brings up questions about Hollywood’s influence in the government. We live in a powerful day in age where the media plays a big part of our lives, especially when it comes to where we get our information and our values from. It is up to us, as American citizens, to consider what is being fed to us and extract it for ourselves.