The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards on Fox drew a record low viewership on Sunday as TV fans opted to tune out of the telecast that featured woke celebrities lecturing America on issues including the gender pay gap and transgender rights.
Sunday’s broadcast drew a paltry 5.7 rating and a 10 share in the overnight metered market ratings, down 23 percent from last year’s Monday night show on NBC and down 30 percent from the preliminary rating for the 2017 ceremony, which aired on a Sunday night on CBS, according to Variety.
Deadline noted that the figures represent the “lowest rating the annual ceremony has achieved in early metrics.”
The Emmys were up against NBC’s Sunday Night Football, which saw the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cleveland Browns in a score of 20-13.
Fox chose to go hostless for this year’s Emmys for the first time in more than 15 years.
The decision came after the Academy Awards did the same earlier this year when comedian Kevin Hart withdrew from duties following a backlash over the resurfacing of old gay jokes and tweets.
On Sunday, the Emmys featured acceptance speeches in which celebrities ranted about their political and cultural views.
Actress Michelle Williams, who won for her lead role in FX’s Fosse/Verdon, spoke about the gender pay gap, invoking white men.
“So the next time a woman, and especially a woman of color, because she stands to make 52 cents on the dollar compared to her white, male counterpart, tells you what she needs in order to do her job, listen to her, believe her, because one day she might stand in front of you and say thank you for allowing her to succeed because of her workplace environment, and not in spite of it,” the actress said.
— InStyle (@InStyle) September 23, 2019
Patricia Arquette, who won an Emmy for her supporting role in Hulu’s The Act, devoted much of her speech to transgender people, invoking her late transgender sibling, Alexis Arquette.
“Give them jobs,” she said. “They’re human beings. Let’s give them jobs. Let’s get rid of the bias that we have everywhere.”
Great speech by Patricia Arquette @PattyArquette who talks about missing her sister Alexis Arquette and the need to end the continued persecution of trans people with acceptance, compassion and employment. #Emmys pic.twitter.com/TjtjArcvCg
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) September 23, 2019
Actor Billy Porter invoked James Baldwin while accepting his award for FX’s transgender-themed series Pose.
“It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and halfway believed before I could walk around this Earth like I had the right to be here,” Porter said Sunday. “I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right.”
Hollywood awards shows have seen their ratings tank in recent years.
The Golden Globe Awards on NBC saw its ratings drop in January, while Video Music Awards on MTV saw record low ratings this year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.