At this year’s Emmys, a lot of viewers took issue with the fact that celebrities were taking jabs at President Trump all night long. As CNN reporter Chris Cillizza points out, “It wasn’t one or two people who made a joke about Trump. Or a single speech that centered on a pet issue or tried to take down Trump. It was that the entire event seemed to revolve around Trump.”
It’s funny because a lot of the complaints are coming from conservatives—you know—those gun-toting, American-flag waving patriots that are always touting free speech. Do these celebrities not have the right to say what they want at their own awards ceremony? Or does free speech only apply to those who share conservative values? Because I’m pretty sure right-wingers wouldn’t be complaining if celebrities were praising President Trump rather than bashing him.
In any case, it begs the question: who gets to decide that entertainment and politics must be kept separate? When you really start to think about it, you’ll find that it’s Trump supporters who are pushing for that line of separation. Convenient, isn’t it? All the criticism is directed at them, so they’re eager to find a way to censor it.
But that’s never going to happen, especially given that this year’s Emmys were the most diverse ever. Lena Waithe became the first African American woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing. Riz Ahmed became the first Muslim and South-Asian actor to win an acting Emmy. Sterling K. Brown won lead actor in a drama, making him the first black actor to win an Emmy in that category in almost 20 years. Additionally, several female actresses won Emmys, showing a huge improvement on behalf of the academy’s recognition of female talent.
It’s time that we stop trying to silence women, people of color, and other marginalized groups when they speak out. This was their night, it was their party, and they can say whatever they damn-well please.