Comedian Hasan Minhaj delivered a brutal indictment of the state of award shows, trade journalism, Armie Hammer, the indie film ecosystem, and more at the 2023 Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday.
Streaming live on YouTube — a focal point of mockery in Minhaj’s monologue — the annual Santa Monica gathering started off on a bitter note. First in line for execution was IFC, the cable channel that previously aired the awards franchise but did not renew its licensing deal.
“Were doing this super indie tonight,” Minhaj said. “We literally don’t have a distributor. The independent film channel did not want the independent film awards.”
He then pointed out what the network chose to air instead: “Semi-Pro,” a 2008 feature starring Will Ferrell and Woody Harrelson.
In discussing the night’s big nominees, Minhaj turned his attention to the Luca Guadagnino film “Bones and All.” Minhaj wondered how many films Hollywood can make “about Timothee Chalamet falling in love with a cannibal.” Chalamet and Taylor Russell starred as young lovers with a penchant for eating people in that movie, but the audience groaned at Minhaj’s intended dig — Armie Hammer, the disgraced actor Armie Hammer, who starring with Chalamet in the acclaimed “Call Me By Your Name.”
Hammer faced numerous allegations of sexual assault in 2021, stemming from extramarital affairs that were often fetishistic. Messages exchanged between the actor and several women included language that referenced cannibalism.
Minhaj did not let himself off the hook, explaining to the audience that he took the hosting gig for exposure. He certainly didn’t do it for the pay.
“I am definitely not making as much as Jerrod Carmichael did when he hosted the Globes,” he said. “They handed me a Starbucks gift card and said use whats left on it.”
More to come …
Originally published at variety.com