"Shut That Crap Off!": 12 Stars Who Powered Through the Awards-Show Playoff Music

10:45 AM 1/10/2018

by Deirdre Durkan

Bette Midler, Michael Moore and recent Golden Globe winners Regina King and Peter Farrelly are among the winners at major awards shows to admonish the orchestra for trying to cut short their acceptance speeches.

Regina King_Golden Globes_Onstage_2 - Publicity - H 2019
Paul Drinkwater/NBC

The playoff music is a common sound employed at major awards shows.

Winners who talk too long — or are just plain boring (for example, reading a laundry list of names to think) — often hear the music start when they aren't done speaking.

But a slew of A-listers, from Michael Moore to Bette Midler to Regina King, have refused to let their speeches be cut short at awards shows including the Oscars, the Emmys, the Tonys and the Golden Globes. They are just a few in a string of stars who have stood their ground against producers and an orchestra all too quick to star the music and disrupt their acceptance speeches.

Read on for more about 11 winners who nave talked over (or at least tried to) the music.

  • Cuba Gooding Jr.

    Cuba Gooding Jr. opened his speech accepting the Oscar for best supporting actor by acknowledging the time constraint.

    “I know I have a little bit of time, so I’m going to rush and say everybody and you can cut away and I won’t be mad at you," he said.

    Despite the blaring music, he continued to shout his thanks over the music for nearly a whole minute to the audience's delight, enthusiastically declaring "I love you!" to everyone from his Jerry Maguire co-star Tom Cruise to "everybody involved with the movie" as stars like Will Smith and Steve Martin stood and applauded.

  • Adrien Brody

    Adrien Brody made sure his Oscar moment extremely memorable by bestowing a lengthy kiss on presenter Halle Berry as he received a standing ovation ("I bet they didn't tell you that was in the gift bag," he joked to Berry).

    When the music started rolling during his emotional speech, Brody said: “One second, please. One second. Cut it out. I got one shot at this.” He added, "I didn't say more than five names, I don't think," noting some winners' proclivity to simply thank a laundry list of people during their speeches. He ended his remarks to another standing ovation.

  • Michael Moore

    In one of the most memorable speeches in Oscar history, Michael Moore ignored all the rules with an anti-George W. Bush speech, calling him a "fictitious president" who sent "us to war for fictitious reasons." Despite boos from the audience, he forged ahead over the music: "Shame on you, Mr. Bush! Shame on you!"

  • Bette Midler

    With a career spanning nearly 50 years, Bette Midler won her first Tony Award for acting in 2017. When the music starting playing during her speech, she responded by demanding: “Shut that crap off!”

    With the audience in cheers, the singer-actress continued her speech for best actress in a musical for Hello, Dolly! for more than four minutes.

  • Sterling K. Brown

    Emmy producers cued the music after Sterling K. Brown’s win, which outraged viewers and This Is Us his co-star, Mandy Moore, who tweeted, “Wish we could have heard his whole speech!!”

    "You can play, you can play," he told the orchestra before commenting that "no one else got that loud music."

    Backstage, Brown told reporters, “They cut me off before I got to thank my wife!” He later finished his speech via an ad that NBC took out in The Hollywood Reporter.

  • David Mandel

    David Mandel’s lighthearted speech that he would “soon be out of a job” after the end of Veep’s seventh season didn’t prevent Emmy producers from trying to play him off before his speech was done.

    In his acceptance speech for his series' win as best comedy series, the showrunner was able to successfully talk over the music for 20 seconds before wrapping up his thoughts. 

  • Kate McKinnon

    After only a minute, producers attempted to play off Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon, who was accepting her award for best supporting actress in a comedy series.

    The music hit as she was wrapping up her thank-you's — right when she mentioned former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, whom McKinnon impersonated numerous times on SNL, contributing to her win — and she quickly wrapped it up after the music’s suggestion.

  • Guillermo Del Toro

    "Lower the music. It's taken 25 years. Give me a minute. Give me a minute,” The Shape of Water filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro demanded as orchestra music began during his acceptance speech for best director at the 2018 Golden Globes. While his move might seem like an act of defiance, it marked his first Globe — and he clearly wanted to make sure he got to finish his remarks.

  • Wayne Brady

    When Let's Make a Deal! host Wayne Brady was named best game show host at the 2018 Daytime Emmys, the TelePrompTer operator evidently sent me a note to wrap it up. But Brady wasn't having it.

    "It took me nine years to get here. Suck it!" he said to cheers from the audience. (Brady brought his daughter, Maile, onstage with him as he accepted his award.)

    A moment later, when presenter Tom Bergeron took the stage, he commented: "I love it when somebody sasses a teleprompter."

  • Peter Farrelly

    Accepting the awards for best motion picture, comedy or musical, at the 2019 Golden Globes, Green Book director Peter Farrelly successfully  pushed past the playoff music to speak at length about what he feels the message of the movie is. The film is based on the real-life friendship between Italian-American driver-turned-actor Tony "Lip" Vallelonga and Dr. Don Shirley, the African-American musician he drove through the deep South on a concert tour in 1962.

    "Don Shirley was a great man and underappreciated," Farrelly said in part, of one of the movie's real-life inspirations. "He couldn't play the music he wanted to play simply because of the color of his skin. Yet he went on to create his own genre of music; it sounds so beautiful that it still reso-nates today. Tony Vallelonga came from an immigrant family in the Bronx and from a culture did-n't value diversity or individuality, yet during that trip with Don Shirley, he grew and evolved more than most families do over several generations. This story, when I heard it, gave me hope, and I wanted to share that hope with you, because we're still living in divided times, maybe more so than ever."

    "And that's what this movie is for. It's for everybody. If Don Shirley and Tony Vallelonga can find common ground, we all can," Farrelly said. "All we have to do is talk and to not judge people by their differences but look for what we have in common and we have a lot in common. We all want the same thing. We want love; we want happiness; we all want to be treated equally, and that's not such a bad thing. Thank you very much. I appreciate it."

  • Regina King

    Regina King used her time on her soapbox for a purpose at the 2019 Golden Globe Awards. When she took the stage to accept her best supporting actress award for her performance as Sharon Rivers in Barry Jenkins' If Beale Street Could Talk, King declared: "I'm going to use my platform to say that in the next two years, everything I produce is going to be 50 percent women."

    Ignoring the music trying to play her off, she noted that "I know it's going to be tough," but she challenged "anyone out there who is in a position of power, not just in our industry, but in all industries, to stand with us in solidarity and do the same."

  • 'Parasite' Producers

    Parasite won best picture at the 2020 Oscars, along with three other wins, giving South Korea its first Academy Awards. 

    The category was presented by Jane Fonda. As the producer Kwak Sin-ae took the stage to accept the award, she said, "I'm speechless. We never imagined this to ever happen, we are so happy. I feel like a very opportune moment in history is happening right now. I express my deepest gratitude and respect for all the members of the Academy for making this decision."

    After the lights on stage briefly went down, signaling the end of the show, the audience gestured and yelled for producers to let the speeches continue. Producers obliged, turning the lights back on. Technically, the music hadn't started, but it was clear they were trying to end the show.

    "I'd really like to thank director Bong," Miki Lee said, referencing the way he directs in addition to his "smile" and "crazy hair." The producers also thanked the Korean film audience, who "never hesitated" to give straightforward opinions on their movies.