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For the celebrity-obsessed print edition of Washington City Paper, I wrote this week about Dan Snyder‘s increasing renown in Tinseltown.
Locals here might be surprised to find out that the Washington Redskins might not be the most famous property currently under Snyder’s control, at least not on the global stage.
Believe it or not, for a few years now, Snyder has also controlled the TV broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards, which will air this Sunday on NBC.
Dan Snyder and Ricky Gervais, bedfellows! How weird is that?
In 2007, Snyder bought the Golden Globes’ longtime producer,Dick Clark Productions (dcp), through a complicated and wholly unorthodox (but totally Snyderesque!) transaction that had Snyder combining moneys from Red Zone, the McLean-based private investment fund he runs, and Six Flags, the public company for which he then served as chairman of the board. (Snyder’s since been removed from Six Flags, which he directed into bankruptcy, but still runs dcp.)
Locals won’t be shocked, however, to learn that Snyder’s got scads of detractors since buying his way into Hollywood—and not because he’s kept the World’s Oldest Teenager out in the cold on New Year’s Eve (yeah, Snyder’s company controls “Dick Clark‘s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve!”) these last few years. One of the biggest Snyder bashers out west happens to be the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which founded the Golden Globe Awards in the 1940s.
HFPA is currently suing Snyder’s Red Zone and dcp (the annoying lower-case acronym used by the company predates Snyder) in federal court in California, alleging that the Redskins owner recently sold TV rights to future Golden Globes telecasts despite not owning said TV rights—HFPA says dcp’s contract to produce the show runs out this weekend—and also that Snyder’s company hasn’t provided an honest accounting of the revenues brought in by the programming.
A dcp spokesman, meanwhile, says that no matter what’s in the federal complaint, the production company had the contractual right to negotiate a new TV deal with NBC to broadcast the Golden Globe Awards through 2018. HFPA, in dcp’s version, is no more than a jealous and ungrateful partner.
Donovan McNabb should be interested in this weekend’s telecast. Gervais will be hosting Sunday’s show, his second outing as emcee. When he was brought in last year, dcp was hailed for its brilliant get, much like the Skins were when they landed McNabb before the 2010 season.
But, Gervais was slammed for such things as not following instructions from show coordinators, freelancing, and losing steam in the second half of the Golden Globes broadcast. In other words, the same sort of bashing McNabb took in his first run with the Redskins.
Yet, despite talk that he’d be replaced for those foibles, Gervais will indeed be front and center when the 2011 Golden Globes kicks off.
Also, much like McNabb, on paper, Gervais’ performance seems golden. Some bits from the review of last year’s show that appeared in the UK’s Daily Mail:
Irreverent Gervais sipped on a glass of beer during the show at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, quipping at one point: “I like a drink as much as the next man… unless the next man is Mel Gibson.” As Gibson—who was convicted of drink driving in 2006—walked on to present the Best Director gong, he pretended to slur his words.
Few were spared a lashing by Gervais, who at one point said: “Just looking at all the faces here reminds me of the great work that’s been done this year… by cosmetic surgeons. You all look great.”
At that punchline, the camera quickly cut away from Meryl Streep, instead opting for a long shot of the crowd.
“It is an honour to be here in a room full of what I consider to be the most important people on the planet: actors.
Actors aren’t just loved here in Hollywood, they’re loved the world over because they’re recognisable. You can be in the Third World and you get a glimpse of a Hollywood star and it makes you feel better. You can be a little child, a little Asian child, with no possessions, no money—but you see a picture of Angelina Jolie and you think, ‘Mummy!’
He also turned the air blue at one point when he claimed to have had ‘penis reduction’ surgery – going from two male members to just one.
He joked that he would rather be at home pleasuring himself than being watched by millions.
McNabb surely felt similarly during that Monday Night Football game vs. the Eagles…