Lost in the outcry from numerous news outlets ranging from The Washington Post to Entertainment Weekly over the bizarre spectacle of clueless novice “reporters” trying to conduct red carpet interviews at the Daytime Emmy Awards — and offending everyone with rape jokes along the way — was the identity of the executive producers of the event.
The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) turned to Stephen P. Jarchow and Paul Colichman, otherwise known as the Chairman and CEO of Here Media (parent company of The Advocate and Out, and other LGBT properties), respectively. This was an unusual decision because the two men are not known for their red-carpet prowess but rather for producing erotic horror dramas such as Dante’s Cove and gay-themed “comedies” like From Here on Out.
Colichman and Jarchow, presumably with the blessing of the honchos at NATAS, actually set out to hire hosts without the slightest experience with —or even knowledge of — daytime television. Entertainment site The Wrap obtained a copy of the ad for the job that paid, $1,000 per day, but seemed to lack much in the way of requirements other than youth and a huge social media following.
Part of the job description read: “Must have strong entertainment news background and/or VERY strong social media following (300,000 followers minimum).”
The producing team ended up nabbing Brittany Furlan, Lauren Elizabeth, Jessica Harlow and Meghan Rosette, four “social hosts” (their term). It soon became clear that the producers got what they asked for.
After the show was streamed online, Vanity Fair wondered whether the young women conducted the most offensive interview in the annals of red-carpet coverage. Harlow actually described The Bold and the Beautiful‘s Lawrence Saint-Victor as “a beautiful chocolate man” when she introduced him, asking: “What’s it like to be a black man on a soap opera these days?”
Sure, red carpet hosts are not exactly known for journalistic integrity. But this was something else altogether.
At the beginning of the coverage, the millenials describe how excited they are to be at the Daytime Emmys “making history,” but little do they know the disaster about to unfold on live television.
But let’s not blame it entirely on the young women. After all, they were chosen for the social media following, not their journalistic acumen. It’s painfully obvious that these young ladies have no idea what they’re doing, which doesn’t stop Here TV’s David Millbern (Colichman’s longtime partner in real life and a producer and frequent actor for the network’s productions) getting all giddy with the girls right in the middle of the charade.
Things start off innocently enough, with lots of thats-the-most-interesting-thing-I’ve-ever-heard faces after every mundane thing said:
And super-awkward framing. Come on producers, you asleep back there?
And then things start getting weird. We jump over to the “social lounge” where the other two hosts talk about, well, nothing.
It’s like the chatter you’d have if you showed up early to a big group dinner and the only other person there is a friend of a friend you’ve never met, except with a camera crew.
It becomes clear that none of the hosts actually know anything about daytime TV, because why prepare when you can just wing it, get everyone’s name wrong and basically have to ask each interviewee, “So, what do you do?” (To be fair, daytime TV stars are a bit elusive to us, too.)
Whole segments go by where the actors’ names aren’t mentioned, but you can be sure everyone is asked, “So, who are you wearing?”
And how about a little statutory rape joke about this 18-year-old actor? There will be more rape jokes later.
Millbern keeps popping back on camera to personally introduce the people he really doesn’t want the girls to blunder.
Like this guy, who he calls a legend. Which leads to this amazing interview opener: “So you’re a legend. What’s so legendary about you?”
We’d probably ask the same thing.
But the real fun starts when the girls interview hunky soap actors. Their completely natural hosting anxiety leads to over-the-top flirting, sexual innuendo, and more rape jokes.
Like the entire awkward and sexual interview with this guy, which ends with “We’re going to get you away from us before we rape you.” Generally, not the best pick-up line, even drunk in a bar.
We’d like to say it’s all uphill from the rape joke, but we’d be lying.
You can catch the whole fumbling charade here:
Here are a few choice reactions from those in attendance:
The Red Carpet is “AMAZING” I didnt know the Kardashians had clones. AMAZING! #DaytimeEmmys
— Nancy Lee Grahn (@NancyLeeGrahn) June 22, 2014
All #GH nominees…RUN AWAY FROM THE RED CARPET! I repeat. Avoid Red Carpet at all costs. Save yourselves!!!
— Nancy Lee Grahn (@NancyLeeGrahn) June 22, 2014
Furlan, who self-identifies as a comic, tweeted this charming response to her critics:
— Brittany Furlan (@BrittanyFurlan) June 24, 2014
Colichman and his casting director didn’t respond to Queerty’s request for a comment.
H/t: The Wrap, Vanity Fair