It’s wrong that Tatiana Maslany didn’t get a best actress Emmy nomination this week for playing EIGHT distinctly different female clones on BBC America’s Orphan Black. Quite simply, Ms. Maslany’s work was THE BEST of any actor this season and I dare any of you to prove what I say is FALSE.
Oh, show me all the clips you want of Julianna Marguiles in The Good Wife and keep banging the Kerry Washington drum of she deserves an Emmy for anchoring the craziness of Scandal. It won’t matter. Both shows bore the hell out of me.
Yeah, I love Claire Danes in Homeland, sort of want to hang out with Michelle Dockery’s character on Downton Abbey and will even admit to finding Lizzy Caplan a little hot on Masters of Sex, which scares me a lot, not a little. None of this counts because Tati is the very definition of brilliant – my definition. And since anyone who knows me is aware that the entertainment business is my religion, no other definition really matters. Does it???
The US Supreme Court ruled recently in the Hobby Lobby case that a closely held company whose owners have strong religious beliefs can opt out of providing certain kinds of female contraceptive care it decides clashes with it’s deeply held views. This includes two types of IUD’s and two variations of the morning after pill.
Since I am a gay male and certainly not a gynecologist I can’t pretend to be an expert on the anatomy of any woman or her reproductive apparatus. In fact, not even Tatiana Maslany playing the Chair – which could undoubtedly be the role of her life – would convince you of that. Instead, we should probably bow to our leading scientific experts in the medical field – the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – since they represent 90% of those types of doctors in the US.
Emergency contraception will not disrupt an established pregnancy is their exact quote re the morning after pill in a brief the organization filed with the Court. You can read more if you like here.
They also agree with the overwhelming scientific evidence that IUDs are NOT in any way akin to abortion. Read more of what the experts have to say on this and numerous other points of the Supreme Court case here.
Certainly any person, which includes all corporations since they are now people, has the legal right to accept or reject overwhelming expert opinion. Hell, there are people who still believe the Earth is flat. In fact, a non corporate but still otherwise united group of people – the Flat Earth Society – resurrected themselves five years ago and sport among its most prominent members the musician Thomas Dolby. You don’t believe me on that one either? Read on here.
What seems quite problematic – and granted it’s a feeling, though court rulings have been made on less – is when public policy is dictated by what people merely feel rather than what has been empirically proven to be true at the time through logic and science. That is like allowing myself, my partner and two other close friends who watch Orphan Black to overrule the Emmy voters and present Tatiana Maslany that large pointy statuette even though she was not even in contention to receive it. Well, maybe that would be justice for SOME of us, but would that be justice for ALL? Yes I know, no one ever accused THE BiZ of being just – and God (or whoever I believe Her to be) knows I haven’t. Nevertheless, the point does still ring true.
A closely held company in the U.S. is one that has more than 50 percent of the value of its outstanding stock owned (directly or indirectly) by five or fewer individuals at any time during the last half of the tax year, according to the IRS. Well, that doesn’t sound like all that many, so who really cares about this ruling, right? But as it turns out 90% of all of the companies in the US are closely held. In fact, they employ 52% of our total labor force and account for 51% of our private sector output. Look it up here.
What this means is that all of the women employed at these types of companies who already pay for contraceptive coverage under their insurance policies will now be paying for double the coverage they seek in an area that goes against the beliefs of their employer. It is also worth noting that adequate contraceptives could cost the average female minimum wage worker the equivalent of “a month’s salary,” according to another court expert.
This might be off topic but I shudder to think what would have happened to me if my seventy something boss at Daily Variety in the late seventies had decided whether my psychotherapy bills gelled with his personal beliefs at the time. Suffice it to say I would probably not be well enough to be writing this now. Though untreated I certainly would have had enough personalities for an actress the caliber of Tatiana Maslany to sink her teeth into. So there is that.
It personally offends me that the voters in part of my TEMPLE OF ENTERTAINMENT, the Television Academy, have for SEVEN LONG YEARS denied Jon Hamm his much-deserved Emmy Award for, among other things, making the character of Don Draper an international icon of hyper-maleness. And if you don’t think this goes against every moral fiber of my being on the scale of what’s right and wrong then you don’t know me very well and, most certainly, haven’t read enough of Notes (Note: Click here for references). But much as I still adore all things ham Hamm and Mad Men, and still believe Matt Weiner runs the best overall scripted show on television, I can’t make you adhere to my deeply held religious beliefs on this one. Even a lawsuit to the Television Academy wouldn’t work since everyone knows nothing about Show Biz is democratic. Certainly it’s barely legal.
That being said, the last time I checked we theoretically do live in a DEMOCRACY – not a THEOCRACY. We are primarily a country of immigrants who left the very many countries of our collective births in order to escape oppression, often due to religious wars. That was the case for my Jewish ancestors from Russia, Poland and Hungary. What about yours?
Therefore it seems to me the height of hypocrisy in a non-sectarian society that any group of people (bosses) could opt out of the law of this land and decide some parts of legal public policy don’t apply to them due to their personal views. The profits of any public or private corporation in the U.S. benefits from the infrastructure the country provides and is obligated to live under the laws of the land. Not to mention its employees are entitled to benefit from the rights and laws that land provides them. Would that I could have siphoned my tax money out of the War in Iraq – or better yet away from anything to do with George W. Bush’s inauguration. Certainly I wouldn’t have paid for Dick Cheney’s salary or for one stick of furniture in his office. Everything about the man goes against my deeply held moral beliefs and personally offends me.
Yet that’s not the way it works. Not in government and not even at the Emmys. Not only will Tati not win in her category but my favorite Hamm (which is saying something for a Jewish boy) will once again go away empty-handed because nothing is going to stop Bryan Cranston from winning best dramatic actor in a series for the final season of Breaking Bad.
Surely, the US Supreme Court is not lagging behind the amoral guidelines we here in Hollywood adhere to. Or are they?
Thank you for providing a thoughtful analysis and response to all this. Red hot and on the dot, as always! Here’s a Catholic perspective that gels quite well with what you’ve articulated here.
For an entity (person or ‘closely held company?’) to be truly Christian, he/she/it has to go the whole nine yards with that identity, which Hobby Lobby does not do. Apart from the discussion of when human life begins in the womb vis a vis IUDs and Elle, etc., the fact is that this company engages in things that are decidedly NOT Christian in their real world application. This is part of what irks me so much about the right-wing “Christian” perspective – a lack of consistency in their identification with and application of the teachings of Christ (God is love, don’t be mean to each other, love each other, forgive each other, mind your own bees wax, etc. etc. etc.). *sigh* But I’m also compelled to love and forgive them, as well, right? *double sigh*
I’m not up on much TV these days except Madmen, Doctor Who, and a few other random things. Yeah, dude, where is Jon Hamm’s EMMY? WHERE?
Miss you guys. I want to come visit ICLA this summer before the fall semester consumes my life.
You would LOVE Orphan Black, I think, aside from her amazing performance. And good article – plus I agree totally re real religious values, etc. I have a very simple dogma when it comes to contraceptive care for women – It is the woman’s decision. The fact that it is also five older white conservative heterosexual males who are making the final decision only makes this worse. Booooooo.
Visit whenever u like.