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“We’re doing this completely independently, we don’t even have a distributor,” Independent Spirit Awards host Hasan Minhaj said from the broadcast-free Santa Monica Beach tent Saturday afternoon.
“The Independent Film Channel didn’t want the Independent Film Awards!” Minhaj continued.
“Consider that. IFC didn’t renew their contract. I want to reiterate how bad this is. An independent film channel didn’t want the independent film awards. It’s like Jordan Peterson cutting ties with divorced men,” he said.
“I was actually watching what IFC decided to air right now instead of us. Any guesses? Semi-Pro Starring Will Ferrell and Woody Harrelson. That’s what it’s playing now. Look at the star power in this room—and IFC was like, “Mmm, naw.”
The comedian shined Semi-Pro for being a bomb in its day, especially in a Ferrell movie with bad wigs (the movie grossed just $44 million worldwide and was directed by former New Line and Comedy Central executive Kent Alterman).
Minhaj also took aim at Deadline, claiming it had “pornographic” bait headlines. Well, forgive us! What’s worse than headlines by comedian? Comments in our stories.
“I can’t wait to hear about all these Deadline.com jokes,” Minhaj said.
“I love nothing more than dogsh*t clickbait journalism. I love how you make every title sound like porn. Seriously, how did we allow Deadline to become the most important website in our industry? It has the web layout of a Craigslist ad and it rules our lives. You know, when I realized – they literally put out a story about how Steven Spielberg has no idea right now. Do you think I’m kidding? Important news from Berlin!”
“Deadline comments are just YouTube comments with CTE!” he added.
Apparently Minhaj has read some newsletters there…
“We don’t make indie films for money or visibility. We’re here to celebrate independent films. And by that I mean YouTube. That’s right, we’re streaming on YouTube.com. You know what’s crazy? When you told your parents you wanted to move to LA to deal with it, this was their worst nightmare. They were afraid you would end up in a tent with a brown man and a webcam,” The said Daily show alum.
Minhaj noted that he made a full return in his monologue about the state of the awards show — the SAG Awards were removed from YouTube this year and from Netflix in subsequent years. “Award shows are dead. The 2-year-old watched slime videos more times than the Oscars. But you all showed up, which means you’re really in it for the love of the game.”
Even though it’s freezing cold and raining in parts of LA, the bad weather didn’t make it here in Santa Monica, where it’s sunny and 57 degrees.