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article imageOp-Ed: Inappropriate language for Hamilton Music Awards Show Special

By Viga Boland     Nov 24, 2011 in Entertainment
Hamilton - At the recent 2011 Hamilton Music Awards, the host, Tom Wilson, who is also a well-known musician, was congenial and often funny. He was also prone to using expletives to build up excitement.
However, while he may have been building up excitement for some members of the audience, he was also building up annoyance in others, as is obvious in this letter to the editor that appeared in today's Hamilton Spectator
The letter writer indicated she has attended the Hamilton Music Awards for the past 7 years and after each show, she has felt they need a different host. As she wrote:
It is highly unprofessional for host Tom Wilson, (who is a prominent figure in our city) to use distasteful language not only throughout the entire evening, but in the very first sentence of the night.
Furthermore, she believes this "lax approach ... is disrespectful to the nominees and winners, their families (children included) and all those who attended the event."
As far as I'm concerned, and from discussions I've had with others in attendance, including nominated musicians, Tom's language was quite inappropriate and for some of us, offensive. We don't all pepper our everyday conversation with F-words and we do bristle when we hear it at a show honouring Hamilton's music artists, not all of whom preface or complete every comment with swearing. There's a time and place for everything but the Hamilton Music Awards wasn't one of them.
Add to that Mr. Wilson's several references to musicians drinking up, or again, as the letter writer pointed out:
“getting excited the way you would if your best friend just gave you a bag of weed” (insert expletives ad nauseam)
and in the end, you come away feeling that what is an important cultural event to Hamilton musicians has somehow been soiled, debased, belittled, rendered unimportant or is designed to cater to the tastes of a select few.
As if that weren't enough, it was disturbing to see how much fun was made of the pronunciation of the name of the Awards show sponsor, Arcelor Mittal Dofasco. Would it have taken too much time, or have been too much trouble to check how to pronounce "Arcelor Mittal"? Instead, the pronunciation became a joke as the F-word was inserted into the middle of a name important to this city and to this event. Pardon me, but your ignorance was really showing.
I am glad this letter writer had the guts to send her opinion on all this to the Spectator. She said what many of us were thinking and suggested that the auditorium, which was far from full, might have even more empty seats next year if the host isn't replaced. Of course, there'll be many out there who say "what the ... !" (expletive not needed to be spelled out here) but I think organisers would do themselves and the music community a big favour if they would give some serious thought to making this event more enjoyable for everyone in 2012.
We want to be proud, not ashamed of our talented music community.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Hamilton Music Awards, Tom Wilson, hosting award shows, Language
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