Freedomroo – Your Thursday Briefing – The New York Times

Your Thursday Briefing - The New York Times

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We asked several movie industry insiders what they would change about the Oscar ceremonies. Their ideas ranged from charming to totally unlikely.

Ricky Gervais, comedian, writer and five-time host of the Golden Globes.

I like to see acclaim and I like to see people rewarded, and if it means something to them, that’s nice. But I also want to see a bit of humility and fun. I think they’ve got to mix it up and laugh at themselves a little bit. “Thank you, what a lovely occasion, this is dedicated to my gran” — that’s all fine. It’s when someone takes the stage, like everyone in the world has asked them for their help to change humanity. And they take their glasses out and go: “A few things need to be said, and I’m the person to say them. Thank God I’m here.”

Jordan Horowitz, producer whose credits include “La La Land.”

The experience of being in the room during the Oscars is strikingly different from the experience of watching it on television. Part of my heart wants to go back to it being a dinner with just the nominees and the presenters. [Or] a Zoom broadcast. [With the Emmys this year] there was an intimacy to seeing people as they truly are in their homes and who they chose to be with and how they chose to be with them. That was really exciting.

Peter Mehlman, a former writer and producer of “Seinfeld.”

Let’s face it. The subtext of every Oscar night is, Wow, look how much better our lives are than yours. Hollywood should give up on the idea that everyone aspires to be us. These aren’t glamorous times and yet we keep acting like we’re taking our cues from Norma Desmond. Maybe this year instead of black tie they should tone it down to office casual. And do we really still need a red carpet? Can these people not stand on a sidewalk now?

That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Melina

Thank you
Carole Landry helped write this briefing. Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh provided the break from the news. You can reach the team at

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is on the trend of U.S. coronavirus cases falling, and whether it will last.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Pandemonium (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Cliff Levy, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who has led the Metro desk since 2018, will be returning to The Times’s senior masthead as deputy managing editor.

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