The always refreshingly blunt Peter Tolan delivered another memorable performance at a HRTS luncheon today, moderating the Hollywood Radio and Television Society’s annual showrunner panel. It is safe to assume that Tolan will probably not get a Golden Globe nomination after his tirade, in which he called the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn “just a group of whores from other countries… I’m not prone to hyperbole, but the Foreign Press [Assn] really is a bunch of whores. They can be bought… It’s really an excuse to go out with people who don’t speak English that well and maybe win a trinket. [A Golden Globe] means shit. Fuck the Globes.”
Tolan, a former member of the TV Academy’s Board of Governors, was as harsh (though less profane) on the Emmy voting system, in which nominees and winners are selected by their peers. He called it “deeply flawed.” “Most of us are too damn busy to watch TV, and we’re making uneducated decisions,” he said. “Frankly, I feel the TV critics should take over the process. It’s their job to watch this stuff.”
After frequently using them as the butt of his jokes, Tolan also lamented the recent departures of NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker and ABC president Steve McPherson, who was the subject of Tolan’s 2005 classic HRTS luncheon line: “Steve, if you can hear me, fuck you.” Said Tolan today, “Two of the biggest clubs have been taken out of my bag.”
During the discussion, it was pretty much all Tolan whose provocative questions often put is panelists in awkward position.
– To Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, who is married to actress (and Sons co-star) Katey Sagal: [Actresses] are a bottomless pit of need. Who in their right mind would want to go home to that at night?”
– To Dan Schneider, executive producer of Nickelodeon’s iCarly: “I think Nickelodeon is some sort of hothouse for child abuse. The Chinese government has nothing on Nickelodeon.”
A couple of showrunners were able to sneak in memorable one-liners amidst the barrage of Tolan zingers.
– Matt Nix, creator of USA’s Burn Notice and Fox’s The Good Guys, on convincing each network that their project is a priority: “I find myself being like the guy with two girlfriends. I’m always saying, ‘No baby, she means nothing to me’.”
– Added Shane Brennan, who runs two series, NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles, on the same network. “I’ve got two girlfriends in the same bed.” Asked about the biggest difference between working in television in his native Australia and the U.S., he answered in one word: “Money.”
– Sutter on how his FX series was conceived: “Basically, I just fuckiin’ ripped off Hamlet and slapped a (motorcycle gang) motif around it.”