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Jennifer Lawrence took flak for her interactions with a reporter, but there are bigger problems to contend with

The perils of awards ceremonies in a social media age

Also, there are bigger problems with the Golden Globes than whether or not J-Law was a dick to a reporter

Back when only ornithologists regularly used the word “tweet”, Hollywood A-listers were pretty chill about awards ceremonies. They were just an opportunity for Hollywood to get together, honour its collective narcissism, and reward the achievements of its (white, mostly male) elite.

Of course, gaffes did happen. In 1995 Samuel L. Jackson lost out on an Oscar for his role in Pulp Fiction and was heard swearing into a nearby microphone. The press reported on it, then everyone forgot about it. Nowadays, Jackson’s expletive would be re-appropriated into a thousand gifs and circulate online for weeks.

Yesterday’s Golden Globes was an example of why Hollywood’s elite needs to be on their best behaviour at awards ceremonies. Twitter is an unforgiving place, and one slip can take you from nation’s sweetheart to entitled A-lister, as Jennifer Lawrence will have learnt today.

In terms of wins, this year’s Globes - which has a reputation for being boozier than the Oscars - yielded few major surprises. Leonardo DiCaprio picked up best actor for his role in The Revenant, as was widely expected (and which puts him in good stead to win that long-overdue Oscar next month).

Jennifer Lawrence added to her already-bulging trophy cabinet with a best comedy actress award for the film Joy, which has received mixed reviews from critics. Kate Winslet won best supporting actress for her role in Steve Jobs, despite the film’s lacklustre box-office performance. Quentin Tarantino made everyone collectively cringe by using the word ‘ghetto’ when collecting an award, and was sternly rebuked by the ever-loveable Jamie Foxx.

Despite this, all anyone really wants to talk about online is whether the inside of The Beverly Hill Hotel yesterday was a little bit like the Mean Girls cafeteria. Did Lady Gaga intentionally body-slam Leonardo DiCaprio because he was laughing at her win for her role in American Horror Story? If you look at the footage, it kind of seems so. 

Did Jennifer Lawrence expose her inner Regina George when calling out a foreign reporter for using his phone whilst asking her a question? Watching the footage, she does come off a little harsh. But it’s equally easy to imagine it as a joke gone awry, given that Lawrence is known for her off-the-wall humour. Unfortunately, social media doesn’t go much in for context, which means we can probably expect a lot of barbed comment pieces about how Lawrence “isn’t as nice as she seems”.

Although these sideshows are entertaining, they risk distracting us from broader cultural issues. Like the fact that only two awards went to performers of African-American origin. Like the fact that Hollywood is still an overwhelmingly white, male-dominated world, and not a single female director was nominated for the Globes this year. 

These are the issues we should care about - not whether Jennifer Lawrence is a secret bitch.