September 21st, 2008
09:31 PM ET

Piven: Was that opening a joke?

"Entourage" star Jeremy Piven was the first star to come backstage to the press room, winner for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. This is his third straight win in the category. Emmy voters have a tendency to fasten on a performer and award them year after year (e.g., Candice Bergen won five in a row for "Murphy Brown").

Piven said he thinks "Entourage" is getting better as the show evolves and his third win is "more shocking than the first two."

He was asked by a member of the media what he thought of "President Palin" but he declined to answer, other than approving what Matt Damon said about her (Damon called her candidacy "absurd").

He did speak frankly about the weak opening of the Emmy telecast which saw the five co-hosts ramble on for about 10 minutes. Piven said he thought for a minute that the audience was being punked.

- Matt Carey, CNN Entertainment Producer

Filed under: Emmys

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soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Fred Nickerson

    You americans can only wish you lived in Canada. Universal health care, low crime rates, few guns, no bailouts, real democracy.

    September 25, 2008 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Z

    Hey, last I checked this was a free country.

    People (Hollywood stars and us regular folk) all have a right to speak our minds, just as you have a right not to listen or care what is said.

    September 24, 2008 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. kenneth

    ya know, it is amazing how in such a short time, this debate turns into a school yard fight. " he called me fat, she called me hairy, they called us all idiots. " it is still hollywood being hollywood. i say vote them out into the ocean and let them make movies in a rubber boat.

    September 24, 2008 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jes

    when did being an entertainer disqualify you from being able to talk about what you think? wouldn't most of you take the opportunity to talk to millions about your opinion? certainly a rhetorical question, as you can say all you want you wouldn't, but absolutely you would. i mean, we can comment here on stuff we are not experts in, so why can't these people?

    September 23, 2008 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mellow

    They're not only entertainers.... They are American citizens and have every right to their opinion and comments. Being an entertainer is what they do for a living it doesn't mean they are immune to what is happening around them. Just like the rest us with careers, jobs and are concerned with the politics of this country so too should they. Working in entertainment does not equal being an air head,uninformed, oblivious.

    September 23, 2008 at 5:38 am | Report abuse |
  6. Melissa, Los Angeles

    I didn't watch the Emmy's – I actually don't watch award shows anymore since Saving Private Ryan lost out to Shakespeare in Love during the Oscars. I realized what a farce it was with how the winners were picked.

    As for celebrities voicing their political opinions – I have no problem with that. They are citizens of this country and have every right to say what they want and endorse who they want. Doesn't mean I would follow whatever they say.

    As for the socialism string I'm reading about, we are in a sense a socialist government. I just learned in CA we offer $100 million a year in college scholarships to illegals. Add that to the other millions that we provide to not only the illegals but U.S. citizens in welfare, medical care and public school education – we are "socialists" indeed.

    September 22, 2008 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tom Feister

    I'm really tired of this pointless crap Republicans whine about in every election regarding entertainers exercising their first amendment right to free speech. Let's go down the list of a few of the more prominent Republican entertainers who have held office: Ronald Regan Governor of California, President of the United States, Arnold Schwarzenegger Governor of California, Fred Grandy U.S. House Representative from Iowa, Sonny Bono Mayor of Palm Springs and then U.S. House Representative from California, Clint Eastwood Mayor of Carmel, California, Fred Thompson U.S. Senator from Tennessee and Presidential candidate. Now, can we dispense with the crying about actors who talk about politics?

    And Jared from CA, try cracking a history book. Community organizers is generous term for our founding fathers. The Royal Family of Britain called them terrorists.

    September 22, 2008 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jared CA

    Did you guys catch Laura Linney's comment about the founders of the US being "community organizers"?
    That's a laugh.
    I mean, how could one equate declaring independence and securing sovereignty under risk of death (which is what the founder's did), with whatever it was Obama did back in the 80's?
    I wonder how many of the founding fathers sat under preachers that spewed hate for 20 years. Hmmm...

    September 22, 2008 at 4:14 am | Report abuse |
  9. Kevin

    Hollywood celebs have as much right to express their political views as anyone else. If you don't like it, then don't watch it.

    September 22, 2008 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dan

    Awards show? Get a life. Do you people have nothing better to do than watch this brain pollution. Oh, but you have to see your favorite stars because......they make you happy?

    How pathetic- turn off the idiot box and read a book. And don't let your kid's watch the crap on TV. Give them a chance to think for themselves.

    September 22, 2008 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jo

    Hello my American friends. I am writing to you from "socialist' Canada.
    Specifically Montreal.

    I too have traveled around the world, have lived on three continents and visited your fine country many times. It's nice but you really should do something about the rodent problem....hmm ,I mean the politicians.

    Since most of you don't have a clue about what you are talking about when it comes to Canada, please allow me to enlighten you a bit.

    Canada is not socialist. It has one of the strongest economies in the WORLD – it is the fastest growing economy in the Western world.
    The federal government has had multi-billion-dollar surpluses (that's BILLIONS folks!) for many years now.

    Yes we have universal health care, but so does every other major western democracy....why don't you? No it's not perfect but we are improving it every year. We're moving more and more towards a mix of private and state run health care.

    Our government is even spending billions on upgrading our defense forces (...yeah I know, but better late than never).

    Our cities are clean, crime is low and our standard of living is as high -if not higher- than yours. All in all, people are generally happy.

    We have thousands or soldiers in Afghanistan and they have been there for the last 6 years. more canadian soldiers have died in that country per capita than from any other country. You may want to consider that when you lump us with those cowards from Europe.

    And all those illegal "aliens' running around your country are mostly
    Mexicans. So be grateful for the stable , peaceful and prosperous
    neighbor on your northern border.

    By the way, it makes me laugh when I here people (sorry, "folks") from
    He Haw states say that Canada is boring... have you ever been to Montreal?

    Four major universities including McGill (ranked in the top 10 in the world),
    more restaurants than any city except New York,
    more festivals than I can count (including home of Cirque du Soleil)
    more high-tech workers than probably any other city in North America except silicon valley, large space-research sector,
    second largest aerospace sector after Seatle,
    one of the largest medical research communities on the planet !
    40% percent of the population speaks 3 languages , and last
    but not least...many fine "adult" establishments – for both sexes.
    And we're not even Canada's largest city.

    What do you have.. a high school marching band and a 711?

    By the way, someone please tell John McCain that the Blackberry
    is a Canadian invention (yeah, it's sorta like an 8-track!)

    You know you should be doing better than us. Why aren't you?

    Thanks for your time.

    September 22, 2008 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. donna

    You're entitled to your opinions, as I have said, I just watch "entertaining shows" for entertainment. My viewpoint is on this show, the Emmy's. I've noticed over the last year or so that the Oscars, the MTV awards, etc, are all political. I am VERY aware of the political landscape. I watch these shows to be entertained, but I guess I can't rely on them any more.

    Also, I don't think the argument is pointless, not in America, I just didn't physically see the interview with Jeremy Piven myself, but that's not why I posted. I heard about it after the fact. I heard Matt Damon's comments, and I also heard Jeremy Piven's and how he was trying to steer clear of that stuff. As I said, I think Jeremy Piven is a great actor, as well as Matt Damon. I may or may not agree with their view points, but if they are making cool shows and movies, I will watch them. My whole original point in posting, along with others, is how lame the awards show was with the political grandstanding. It's like a giant soap box. Hooray for America for our rights to grand stand, but who wants to watch that, really??? Sometimes it works against them, and I wish a lot of the actors/actresses would not have gone there.

    September 21, 2008 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JayJay123

    What's this about how great healthcare is in Canada? I am from Canada and it sucks...long wait times, inadequate care, and no other options other than having to go to the US to seek private care and pay for it yourself.

    It's not free...sure it is covered in taxes and oh how much we pay in taxes.

    I wanted to see an award show but it looks like it turned into a DNC convention. No thanks.

    September 21, 2008 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Syl

    Most if not all the entertainers who expressed a political opinion are American citizens. At what point in history did they lose the right to free speech? Whether you agree or disagree with them they have a right to say what they want. I have the right to agree or disagree with them. If I don't like what they say or their performance I change the channel. That's my right!!! Why don't we all agree to disagree and pray that whoever is elected makes the right decisions for the right reasons.

    September 21, 2008 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Middle of the Road

    for all of you talking against socialized programs, saying we don't need that in america. Perhaps you'd like to pay the acctual cost to send a letter across america taking into account all of the salaries of those involved in shipping, the cost of gas for planes and mail trucks, and everything in between, or the acctual cost of sending your kids to public school. The postal system and public schools are 2 "socialized programs."

    I am a US citizen, but I currently live in a country with universal health care. I had to have a root canal and a crown put on. 3 visits. total cost was $40 american. When i tore a muscle in my leg all of my treatment was free. You show me one american health care plan easily available to middle class citizens and families that can provide that. I wish people could get past the term "socialized." Its not always a bad thing.

    September 21, 2008 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Rob

    Donna... not to keep a pointless argument going, but he was asked his opinion in a very biased manner... re-read the above story. When pressed he gave his opinion. In this modern age of abuses in finance, and politics (just look at Cheney trying to hide all his dealings lately), etc., it would almost be unethical not to state your opinion. That's what got us in all these messes in the first place. So to Piven's defense, and Matt Damon's for that matter, it's an election year ... deal with it. If this landed two years ago during the Daytime Emmy's I'd agree with you. There's more at stake now and personally I also think Palin was an unqualified ridiculous choice.

    September 21, 2008 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Linda

    I think that was the worst Emmy show I have ever seen. It was painful to watch. If anyone hasn't seen it yet, I suggest you put on a movie and read the list of winners. Take it from someone who wasted three hours of her life she won't get back. I only stuck with it because I had to believe it would get didn't!!

    September 21, 2008 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  18. donna

    Haha, touche, Rob, i'm watching a movie now and going back and forth, and probably the earlier posters aren't even on any more. I turned on the Emmy's too late to hear Jeremy Piven, and for the record, in case I'm being recorded by GWB (lol), I LOVE Jeremy Piven and I'm sooo glad Entourage is on again, but my point is, if you are an "entertainer" as I have said in my previous posts, why would you put your political views out there? Back in the day, long before I developed any sort of opinions, my parents always taught me that you don't talk about sex, politics, or religion, in mixed company. So why do it on national television? Especially if you are trying to win viewers, not voters. I just want a laugh and sometimes I don't want to think about politics.

    September 21, 2008 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  19. donna

    A coupe of corrections from me too Sleddawg63:
    Canada is a democracy. The U.S. is a republic.

    Also, as you said, you don't get "free" health care, you pay for it with income taxes, and all those people who don't pay income taxes are really the "free" recipients, because they don't have an income.

    But I do agree with you on the beer comment. If beer cured all the world's ills, we would all be healthy.


    September 21, 2008 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Rob

    There's a fine line being left out here... Piven never brought up politics on his own. It was an overzealous interviewer. In fact, he deferred answering the question until pushed and then said that he agreed with Matt Damon. I didn't know it was illegal or offensive in this country to give an opinion to a question asked. Carmen and Donna... stop being so reactionary. It's entertainment ... by its nature it's leftist. If conservatives had had their way, it'd be illegal to dance, watch subversive media, or even read certain books. To the Leftists out there, don't encourage those who just want an argument.

    September 21, 2008 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  21. donna

    Hey John C.,
    If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear... Being a bit paranoid, aren't you? Possibly a Libertarian, and that's cool. Obviously I do not want the government involved in everything I do, but sticking to the THEME OF THIS POST, I don't want Hollywood telling me who they think I should vote for. Likewise, I won't tell you who to vote for, and I don't want anyone else telling me how to vote either. It's a personal decision that doesn't always involve interaction. I want to be entertained when I watch award shows, like back in the day when there were funny skits, great bands, etc. It used to be cool, that's all I'm saying, I used to like the awards shows, seeing the stars, looking at their gowns and suits, watching red carpet interviews, but tonight was just silly. Liberals, rejoice.

    September 21, 2008 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Annie

    I watch to see the awards and the outfits – I do not watch to hear their politics being spread from the stage.

    September 21, 2008 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  23. donna

    I know I'm just posting here because of the article about the Emmy's, which I was very disappointed by, but I have read all the posts and I agree with you 100%. I have also traveled all over the world, but that is not the same as living in another country. There is NO country I would rather live in than the United States of America. And if all those "entertainers" are unhappy here, they can go live with Chris. Most of them are Canadian anyway.

    Amen, brother.

    September 21, 2008 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  24. John C.


    I see you have no problem talking smack about them either. That's cool, but don't let Dubya and friends hear you say you don't like socialists! They'll tap your phone, read your mail, and send you off to Guantanamo faster than you can say "terrorists hate freedom."

    September 21, 2008 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Carmen

    Chris & Anti-Carmen

    I have lived in 3 states, travel out of the country numerous times, have a post graduate degree, own my own business, am a minority that okay? Do I not match your stereotype?

    The anger of the left is upsetting. If life in Canada and Europe is so wonderful, why does the US continue to maintain the highest number of immigrants from those countries?

    I am proud, and have ALWAYS been proud of my country, through good times and bad. I wish you would be too.

    I don't want to be offensive and tell you that I'll say a prayer for you..that would be wrong woudn't it?!


    September 21, 2008 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Joda

    Hey Chris, I know someone who lived in Canada, they have the health care, but you do not know if you are going to receive it or not. He was glad he moved to the states and got cancer and recovered from cancer in the states. He did not know if he would still be alive if he had still lived in Canada. Nice healthcare plan, maybe you will get it maybe you won't, but you can't count on it. I love the US!

    September 21, 2008 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Sleddawg63

    A couple of corrections...Canada is not a socialist state...we are a democracy.

    We also don't get "free healthcare" we pay for it. Once you pay theincome tax it becomes almost free for anyone.

    Let me add that our banks are strong and so is our beer. Both treated us quite well last week.

    September 21, 2008 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  28. donna

    Hey Anti-Carmen, Chris says you're welcome in Canada. If you're feeling froggy, go ahead and jump. We don't need any more socialists here. Again, entertainers are called that for a reason, which is why we are all commenting here in the first place. Perhaps you should take Chris up on his offer of "free" health care, "reasonable taxes", and fortunately for them, a country to the south that will not let evils befall the country to the north. They are an ally, and yet some of the citizens have no problem talking smack about us. Please, go there and let us protect ourselves. And you.

    September 21, 2008 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  29. GIL

    Carmen,.. Socialism...uhmmm.. apparently all you've been watching this is past week is Extra, ET, etc... what the government did for those BIG corporation was nothing more then socialistic not capitalism.. they all should have been shut down for their stupid market dealings but i guess now the government will bail out these companies and make themselves the CEO's.( another way of saying SOCIALISM)

    September 21, 2008 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  30. John C.


    I'll agree that celebs giving political opinions can be annoying. At the same time I respect them for using the platform they have to speak about what they think is most important, at the expense of talking up their own accomplishments.

    So I'm conflicted. Good for them for speaking out and too bad for us to have to listen to it. Ha. ha. What can ya do?

    September 21, 2008 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Anti-Carmen

    Can people like Carmen stick to watching TV and eating popcorn and not comment on Hollywood or politics. Each time I hear their blather, I am more certain that this nation has more idiots than rational people. And this week is certainly not the best time to talk about socialism, lest Hank Paulson and idiot-in-chief GWB get offended during their benevolent largesse to the corporations.

    September 21, 2008 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Lee

    West Coast has to wait til 8:00pm Pacific, for what? Sounds like nothing to look forward to.

    September 21, 2008 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  33. donna

    I want entertainers to ENTERTAIN me, is that so hard to do??? If I wanted to listed to political view points, I would watch the news channels, which I do. When I want to be entertained, I will watch sitcoms and award shows. I agree with the first two posters, it was a lame and awkward attempt at getting me to vote their way. I'm going to bed now, because watching the inside of my eyelids will be more fun.

    September 21, 2008 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Chris


    I live in Canada. I've also been to Europe. I've been to Ohio, New York, South Dakota, Pennsylvannia, and many other states – to name a few places you might know of (might is the operative word). Have you ever left the USA or ventured more than 5 miles from your home?

    We have free health care. Reasonable taxes. Free speech. A great Democracy – and governments that aren't always at war with someone. Jeremy Piven is welcome here any time he wants to visit. You on the other hand are not invited.

    September 21, 2008 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  35. robin

    if hollywood wants "their guy" to win, they had better quit with the commentary on american politics. they are just proving time and time again how dumb they all are. i bet this guy isn't even registered to vote!

    September 21, 2008 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  36. freesia

    The roster of hosts reads like a who's who in mediocrity.

    September 21, 2008 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Jean

    This is far and away the weakest Emmy show I've ever seen. In fact, with the available talent seated in the audience, I just keep wishing that someone would pop up and scream "I'm going to try to save his show". So far nothing!

    September 21, 2008 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Carmen

    Can Hollywood stick to acting and not deem themselves to be experts on politics? Each time I hear a political statement I am pushed further away from their agenda.

    If they rather a socilaist society, Canada and most of Europe will gladly open their doors for them.

    September 21, 2008 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |

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