I feel like award shows should be about the winners and not the presenters. On Sunday’s 2016 Golden Globes, the balance between presenters and winners seemed off balance so I decided to look at the numbers.
I timed how long the presentation speeches were and how long the acceptance speeches were. (Note: I did not time the presenters walking on stage and or waiting for the applause to stop. I timed their actual presentation only. I stopped timing as soon as they said “And the nominees are…”. For the winners, I did not time them walking to the stage or waiting for the applause to stop. I only timed their actual speaking time.)
As I was timing all the speeches, I began to notice a pattern. For the presenters that stuck to the script, the speeches were always 20 seconds. And judging from when the winners would start mentioning the prompter telling them to wrap it up and when the music would start to play, it appears the winners are given a minute to talk. So ideally, the presentation speech is 20 seconds and the acceptance speech is 60 seconds. Below is a chart with the ideal presentation and acceptance speech times. (With 25 awards, this is 500 seconds of presentations and 1500 seconds of acceptances.)
The next graph shows the actual presentation vs. acceptances times.
I was surprised that this graph did not look more off balance because, in watching the show, it felt like the presentations went on way too long. So I dug into the numbers a little deeper. The target presentation time was 500 seconds, but the actual time was 749 seconds (a 50% violation). The target acceptance time was 1500 seconds, but the actual time was 1950 seconds (a 30% violation). So even though the pie chart does not illustrate the gross violation of time allotted, the percent violations certainly do.
So let’s break this down one more level and see what is really going on. The following chart shows the presentation and acceptance times for all 25 awards. If you look closely you can see where the big violations occurred.
You can see that the biggest violators were the presenters for the first, thirteenth and twenty second awards (Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill presenting Best Supporting Actress in a Movie, Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell presenting Best Screenwriter and Jim Carrey presenting Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy). Their speeches actually violated the time allotted for the winners.
If you look even closer, you can see that several presenters did not get to make a speech AT ALL (seven to be exact), they simply came out on stage and announced the nominees. I am assuming they were instructed to skip their speeches and just announce the nominees. This makes the 50% time violation even worse since it doesn’t even include all the presenters. Starting at award nineteen, there were no presentation speeches or very abbreviated ones (aside from Jim Carey’s time hogging babble). And for the last award of the night, the big one for Best Picture Drama, the winner was only allowed to speak for 40 seconds before the show ended.
I believe that awards show should be about the people winning the awards, not the people presenting the awards. I love seeing Hollywood’s elite all dressed up and on stage presenting, but they need to stick to the script. Anything else, to me, is disrespectful to the other presenters who do not get to give their speeches, the winners who are forced to rush through their once in a lifetime moment, the producers of the show who have to scramble to make it all fit in and the writers who do an excellent job creating informative and humorous speeches that fit the time constraint. Yes, I know the winners violated their time too, but I don’t think they are given enough time in the first place. I think they should be given at least a minute and a half. This is their night, let them shine.