After weighing all of the possibilities, it starts making more and more sense.
As covered last week the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences has a real problem on its hands. The cinematic governing body has struggled a bit with getting someone to host the Oscars telecast. After settling very late on Kevin Hart, last week, in just over 24 hours a controversy erupted over offensive tweets he sent out nearly a decade ago. Hart elected to step away from the podium, rather than bow to the outrage mobs.
Now it is even later in the process and the Academy not only has a surprisingly difficult task, one made all the more difficult as any prospective hosts will be reconsidering taking the job knowing it will mean a social colonoscopy taking place. What is needed is a host who will not harbor a controversial past, and will not generate opposition from the various classes of activists throughout the industry.
An impossible order you say? Hardly. Allow me to nominate a name for the job: SICO, the robotic butler in “Rocky IV”.
Now hold on — hear me out! There is some sound reasoning to be had here. Once you consider all of the pitfalls in the minefield that any potential show host will be facing then SICO being tabbed for the job becomes a no-brainer…(uh, quite literally.)
Considered by many to be the low point of the “Rocky” franchise, in the fourth installment the pugilist gifts his longtime assistant Paulie with the robot for his birthday. Paulie is rather uncomfortable with the whole concept, but then later he turns the tables, making the audience uncomfortable when he reveals he has reprogrammed it with a female voice. He even refers to it with “That’s my girl…she loves me.”
This AI appearance came about because Sylvester Stallone became enamored with the automaton when he learned it was created as a possible therapy for children with autism. Stallone’s son Seargeoh is autistic, so he reached out to the creators and eventually SICO made its way into the film. There have since been numerous versions of this ‘bot created.
Sure, this subplot was the valley of the “Rocky” films, but consider a few details before dismissing this hosting idea outright. Any emcee will have to meet a laundry list of prerequisites to satisfy, and they will bear the scrutiny of numerous special interest groups which always become attached to the awards show. Think of how many potentially troubling issues can be sidestepped with the addition of SICO.
The robot is not gender-specific, so sexism is avoided and none of the dozens of genders can feel slighted.
SICO is racially neutral. All of the troubling attachments therein can be avoided.
It will surely provide teleprompter line delivery better than some of the trained professional actors, and any contrived “banter” during presentations will not be any less fumbled than we are used to seeing.
Who better would be looked to for the segment regarding the scientific and technical awards – given out in a previous ceremony – than a tech-mech host? Nobody, that’s who!
The robot has been accredited by the Screen Actors Guild — that’s correct, SICO has actually been issued a SAG Card.
SICO has worked recently, as it made an appearance on the ABC sitcom “The Goldbergs”. ABC is broadcasting the Academy Awards, so there is a natural tie-in with host and programming. That’s synergy, folks!
Additionally, the robot bears a rather strong resemblance to Manta, appearing in “Aquaman” in a couple of weeks. SICO could be retro-fitted with red lenses to perform in one of those tested montages at the start of the broadcast, where hosts have been inserted into scenes from films of the previous year.
The more you think about it the more this not only makes sense, it makes the perfect sense. The worst possible outrage could be that every single special interest group can claim that they were not properly represented at this year’s awards. And when EVERY group is offended, then NO GROUP has been slighted, and you have achieved a perfect form of social balance.
Plus things would be so damned uncomfortable during the telecast that the show will for once become utterly watchable. I have to go, I’m reaching out to The Academy…