After Chelsea Peretti’s scathing performance hosting the Crunchies, the Silicon Valley awards show wherein technology blogs celebrate the millionaires and billionaires behind the companies they cover, it might be time to retire the entire concept of a Silicon Valley awards show.
For context, Peretti is a star of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and the sister of BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti. She was hosting one year after T.J. Miller, one of the leads in HBO’s Silicon Valley, had the job. Miller, who has made his disdain for real-life tech bros abundantly clear, spent much of his monologue calling the audience “bitches,” made a racist comment to an audience member, and was not invited back. So, following Miller and John Oliver before him, Peretti was the latest comedian to take on the task of mocking Bay Area start-up culture — but not enough to make the audience uncomfortable.
Peretti didn’t try. She just took their heads off.
She repeatedly mocked the Valley monoculture — the audience had both millionaires AND billionaires! — and said that instead of asking her to talk about diversity, they should have hired a nonwhite host. She called out their deleterious effects on the local population, saying that she loved what they’d done with the poor people, and that instead of a monkey, the Crunchies mascot should be a drone with a big dick, pissing on the city of San Francisco.
It was funny, incisive, and clearly made the audience uncomfortable. Hopefully it also makes the sponsors think twice about hosting an awards show for tech companies and their founders, who already get awards in the form of millions of dollars.
Uber and Facebook won Crunchies, if that tells you anything about who these are for. The Uber award was for “best overall start-up,” which raises questions about what a “start-up” is and whether words have meaning. Neither company’s CEO showed up to collect his monkey statue.
Outside of Peretti’s monologue, there was one other good moment at this year’s Crunchies: Trendy messaging app Slack won an award for “fastest rising start-up” and four black female engineers took the stage to accept it.