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The (political) Emmys: Social media reacts to Spicer, Trump mentions at annual awards show

The 69th Primetime Emmy Awards prompted plenty of talking points on social media Sunday night. Of course, the majority of online chatter around the Emmys focused on the winners from the evening. But a few things really stood out from this year’s ceremony; check out the word cloud below that highlights some of the keywords which provide a bird’s-eye-view of the conversation around the show.

It’s nothing new for awards shows to take a political turn. But this year’s awards ceremony brought out some very clear and direct criticism of the current political climate from Hollywood.

One of the most frequently discussed moments from the evening came when Sean Spicer, former White House press secretary, came onstage – a-la Melissa McCarthy – to announce that this year’s ceremony would be the most-watched Emmy awards in history. Period. But people weren’t exactly thrilled by his appearance:

Later in the show, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton presented the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series. The ‘9 to 5’ reunion was much more than the presentation, though, as the trio made sure to denounce being controlled by a “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” in 2017. The obvious reference to the Trump presidency elicited praise on social media, with 63.7% of the comments responding to the trio’s comments favorably.

What’s the bottom line in all of this? The Emmys are much more than an awards show. Popular culture may be a common topic on social media, but it’s not immune to the politicization of contemporary culture.