The Emmys Will Be Political. That We Know. But How Political?

Late-night host Stephen Colbert has already indicated his focus for the Sunday night proceedings — hang on for the ride

by Zachary Leeman | Updated 15 Sep 2017 at 10:22 AM

The hiring of Stephen Colbert as host of the 2017 Emmy Awards broadcast all but guaranteed a night of hyper-focus not on the arts, not on artists — but on President Donald Trump.

After all, Colbert has blatantly used the president and his position as leader of the free world to redefine the “Late Show” and to give it a much-needed ratings boost after disastrously debuting it in 2015.

Comedy bits forged around the current administration have led to more press for Colbert and better ratings. He's essentially molded his show into an extension of his former left-leaning Comedy Central series, "The Colbert Report."

In an interview with The Los Angeles Times for a preview of Sunday night's Emmys, Colbert confirmed he would not be dropping the Trump humor for the night.

Asked how much Trump coverage was too much, Colbert answered, "Our present amount. Exactly one Trump. Look, the show is about television — the Emmys celebrate television. And there's only one television star this year. Sorry, Milo's abs! It is Donald Trump."

Related: Hillary Compares Herself to This 'Game of Thrones' Character

While it's no surprise Colbert wants to keep things political, it is a shame — since there's so much else a night like Sunday could focus on, after all. A successful celebrity telethon on Tuesday night raised millions for victims of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, and the Emmys present an opportunity to extend that charity and the sharing of brave American stories.

It could be a night to shine a light on homeless veterans or soldiers overseas, or any number of other important people or issues. It could even be — and this might be an out-there concept, but stay with us here — a night of celebrating the arts and the accomplishments of the television industry and those who work in it. It could be about creativity, and great scripts, and terrific acting, and excellent set design. All of that and more.

We've seen plenty of award shows that have focused their energy on the president, and this has only led to more aggressive attitudes toward Hollywood, more division in the culture — and less attention paid to the art these shows are meant to celebrate.

(photo credit, article image: BagoGames, Flickr)

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