Kerry Godliman: Oscars slap falsely tied live comedy to threat or violence
Comedian Kerry Godliman described the Oscars slap-gate as a “real tragedy” that implied live comedy carries the risk or threat of violence, which “isn’t the case”.
At the 94th Academy Awards Hollywood actor Will Smith stormed the stage and slapped comedian Chris Rock, after he made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair-loss.
In the aftermath of the slap, Smith went on to win best actor for King Richard and later apologised to both Rock and the Academy, who banned him from all Academy events for the next 10 years.
After Life and Derek actress Godliman, 49, said she found the incident “shocking” ahead of the Oscars ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday.
She told the PA news agency: “I was really upset about what happened last year. That was a real tragedy because it shouldn’t have happened and it was a really upsetting thing for a lot of people to witness.
“But it’s a rare thing that that kind of thing happens and I think it’s really unfortunate that that made it seem as if gigs or live comedy has the presence of threat or violence and that isn’t the case.
“It was an extraordinarily unusual, strange circumstance that I can only put down to inflated ego, off-the-scale ego, and your ego’s kept pretty well in check at most comedy gigs.”
Godliman, who is currently filming the second series of ITV drama Trigger Point as character Sonya Reeves, also spoke about cancel culture in comedy.
She told the PA news agency: “A lot of the people who talk a lot about cancel culture are very much not cancelled. And a lot of the people that have been cancelled, like Bill Cosby, are justifiably cancelled.
“It’s becoming a go-to phrase for a really nuanced, complicated set of circumstances. It’s just one word that doesn’t really capture the complicated situation.
“Some people are cancelled justifiably because they’ve done things that they can’t come back from.
“There have been occasions where there’s been the threat of censorship to people that are trying to have thorny conversations, but a lot of them haven’t been cancelled, they’ve got Netflix specials.”
Godliman said she has always done stand-up comedy, describing it as an “ever-present part of my life” while acting projects “come and go”.
Meet Jill and Dean: a couple who seem to be the perfect match… until everything changes one Halloween night https://t.co/jwEUCQbqU1
— Novel (@NovelPodcasts) February 12, 2023
Her latest project is narrating true crime drama Stolen Hearts about Welsh Police Sergeant Jill Evans with a poor track record in love who meets wealthy entrepreneur Dean Jenkins before she is left to pick up the pieces.
Godliman described it as “pure old-fashioned entertainment” and “Gavin and Stacey meets The Krays”, while also being a “bit of a cautionary tale”.
She said: “I don’t listen to loads of true crime podcasts… But I really enjoyed the story and the balance between the lightness and the weight of it.
“The Welshness is very much part of it, the geography, and I just love Jill’s voice. I love her accent and her warmth and her humour, I just think Jill is such a great personality.
“The main bloke Dean is quite sinister and yet bizarrely charming. It’s quite unsettling Dean’s voice.
“There is this culture of blokes, after The Tinder Swindler, you have to be careful if you’re seeking romance and love – you can be subjected to a lot of manipulation.
“Women have always been brought up to seek romance. It’s the ultimate nightmare of going after a bad boy.”
Godliman also said she thought it was important that Stolen Hearts is based on a true story.
She added: “There are some nasty people out there on the internet – you do have to be careful.
“It’s a bewildering culture in that someone like Andrew Tate can be so popular and people are taken in by such extreme misogyny and chauvinism and you’ve got to be vigilant.”
Stolen Hearts from Wondery and Novel is available on all podcast services.