“Last year, everyone famous died. This year, everyone famous wishes they were dead.” John Mulaney and Nick Kroll wasted almost no time before wading into Times Up territory in their Film Independent Spirit Awards monologue Saturday evening. Joked Kroll, “The rules have changed for men. Some men are like, ‘Can we hug women anymore?’ Not the way you’re doing it!”
Both hosts went on to share an anecdote about one of the most notorious of Hollywood’s recently accused figures affected by the industry’s sea change in how it responds to sexual harassment and assault. John Mulaney recalled meeting disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein in 2015 to discuss a potential TV show. Weinstein allegedly complained about his television division taking over his legacy, lamenting that Project Runway would end up on his grave instead of Pulp Fiction. “Don’t worry. It’s not going to say Project Runway anymore,” Mulaney joked. “It’s going to say XXL Unmarked Grave.”
Meanwhile, Kroll recounted a memory of being on-set for a pilot with director Brett Ratner, who he alleges is famous for “constantly scratching his balls” in public. “One day he was really going to town on his sad sacks,” recalls Kroll. “We watched him walk away and walk over to the crafts services table, where he then he touched six different doughnuts. Then he grabbed one and walked away. So I’m thinking, if that’s how the guy treats doughnuts …” Ratner has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, and has sued one of his accusers for libel.
Kroll and Mulaney also grappled with our ethical responsibility as viewers, now that we all know about allegations against artists like Kevin Spacey and Woody Allen. “Can we still love K-Pax?,” remarked Mulaney. As for Woody Allen, ‘What about his last 20 unwatchable movies? Can I still not watch them, or must I reevaluate based on these new allegations that were a matter of public record 30 years ago?” Said Mulaney, “The male apology has become an art form.” That being said, the pair pointed out, Louis C.K. and Spacey could have done a little better with theirs. While Spacey “pulled a Keyser Söze” by coming out in his quasi-apology for allegedly attempting to have sex with a teenage boy, C.K. mentioned how much he was admired by the women he sexually harassed three times in his public statement. Mused Mulaney, “That’s like shitting your pants and then putting on cufflinks.”