Kelsey Grammer won this year’s Golden Globe for Best Actor for his starring role in Boss, the Starz drama about a ruthless Chicago mayor, so you might be wondering why the Emmys failed to even nominate him. Jay Leno wondered, so he asked Grammer what he thought of the slight when the actor visited The Tonight Show last night. “It may have to do with several things, honestly, but I think it’s possible… I mean, I am a… I’m a declared out of the closet Republican in Hollywood,” said Grammer. He went on to say, “Do I believe it’s possible that some young person, young voting actor — or even older voting member for the Emmys — would sit there and go, ‘Yeah, that’s a great performance, but ooooooooooooh, I just hate everything he stands for?’ [Cue sarcasm.] I don’t believe that’s possible.” Watch below:
After picking at the scab, Leno then reversed course and pointed out to Grammer that his absence may have had more to do with Starz not being as prominent a channel as its competitors, since Grammer had won Emmys before (for Cheers, Frasier, and The Simpsons), most recently in 2006, during which time he presumably was also a Republican. But Grammer reinforced his argument, saying “Just after that last [Emmy win], I became one.”
The easy rebuttal to Grammer’s theory is that not enough people — and presumably voters — saw his show enough to recognize his performance, just as Leno hinted. Though a second season of Boss was picked up even before the series premiere, the show soon was drawing less than 300,000 viewers per episode. Which is a shame, because the show is riveting and Grammer’s performance as the dark and combustible mayor is excellent.
As for his comment that he only became an out-of-the-closet Republican after his last Emmy win, which was in 2006, that doesn’t exactly jibe with the facts. He was “outed” by the American Spectator magazine as a Republican in 2001, when he reportedly donated $100,000 to the inauguration committee for President Bush.
It’s possible some liberal Hollywood voters don’t care for his politics, but making the claim that being a Republican cost him an Emmy nod makes Grammer seem petty and pompous. “Obviously I’ve been overlooked because the work is not up to standard,” he huffed, with even more sarcasm.
Boss is worth watching when it returns this Friday, but analyzing Grammer’s outlook on his Emmy omission should be left to the professionals — like Frasier Crane.