On Hollywood and Hamburgers

Once upon a time, the Hollywood elite woke-up to the news that one of their gods had been cast down and cast out. It was revealed that he had treated women very, very badly. In spite of the fact that the Hollywood Casting Couch has long been a fact of life in the entertainment industry, everyone reacted with shock and horror. Famous men and women began speaking out.

“Oh, he’s a great man. Everyone knew he did things like this. but he’s such an artistic genius. He means so much to this industry.”

“Well, we just didn’t…talk about it. You know?”

“Uh, yeah, I guess I knew about it 25 years ago, but— but, I didn’t know it was this bad.”

“There were rumors, but I never actually heard anyone say he’d done it to them. So, you know. What was I supposed to do?”

“So glad it’s finally come out. It’s so exhausting to have to cover up that behavior day in and day out. I’m so glad I don’t have to that anymore!”

“I knew women were being mistreated, but I thought it was just a dirty, little secret we all kept hush-hush. It’s not like I’ve never, you know….amiright?”

“I sure felt bad for all those women over the years. Me say something? Well, why would I do that? Defending them would have cost me my career.”

In their own special way, Hollywood suddenly cared about women being raped.

Women who have helped objectify women on screen, selling their bodies to the highest bidder, were suddenly appalled at how this man behaved in private.

Men who are as guilty, or more so, suddenly decried his actions as unacceptable.

The industry that has been teaching us how to rape, teaching us that people like to be raped, and teaching us that rape is proof he (or she) is really into you, suddenly decided they didn’t like rape, after all. At least, not today.

Was this really Hollywood speaking, or Holywood? Everyone was suddenly morally self-righteous. All those who once bowed at his feet, paying him the highest tributes, suddenly knew right from wrong.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world absorbed every titillating word.

In mid-1990s, another Hollywood god was temporarily dethroned, when it was discovered he had been molesting his daughters—ultimately marrying one of them. He said they were in love.

When this happened, I was certain his career was over. I was very wrong. Like another famous director, I thought he would be forced to leave the United States. Instead, he continued to live life in all its previous glory, even spawning his own grandchildren. So precious.

Most importantly, for today’s discussion, his career was unhindered. He continued to make movies—at least one a year, since those gross revelations. And, who starred in his movies? Why, the very same people who now cry foul on Hollywood’s latest sexual predator/movie mogul. Needless to say, I’m not very convinced by any of their shock and horror. They are actors, after all. You don’t have to be very good at the craft to play outrage.

Frankly, I think many of us are outraged, disgusted, and saddened by the news of one more victim of someone else’s sin, but no one can be surprised. Did we really think the Hollywood moguls were a choir of angels? In the upper echelons of the industry, where money and power are at stake, angels don’t survive.

I don’t know how long this story will make headlines, but I hope it’s just long enough to convince us that our participation in this industry needs to be reevaluated. We can boycott all the movies this man produced, but we know he isn’t alone. We know there are some who have committed crimes far greater than his—they just haven’t yet been dethroned.

When our daughter was still at home, we only watched what we would want her to watch. Even if she was not watching with us, we believed that she was susceptible to anything we brought into our home. We were the watchmen of our home, after all. We controlled the gate.

Well, when she got older and was living at college, we kind of slacked off. The entertainment available to us had really exploded, compliments of the internet. We would use filters and the fast-forward button, but the truth is you can’t predict every bad word that might be said. Some images cross the screen, before you can catch them. Despite our sincere efforts, there were still things we were seeing and hearing that were poison to our spirit man.

It’s kind of like a person with a wheat allergy, trying to enjoy a hamburger on a wheat bun. I can tell you, it’s not easy. It’s messy, and nearly impossible. Some of the gluten free bun options aren’t very good—they fall apart or taste like a punishment. Lettuce-wrapped buns are a nifty invention, but only a deft hand can turn lettuce into an effective bun substitute—the wrong technique leaves you with a pile of disappointment. So, what usually happens is that you end up eating some of the bun, drowning your regret with gallons of water, but still getting a headache and swollen joints.

Fortunately, there are a lot of other things to eat. We have a choice. We don’t actually have to compromise our health and well-being, or our soul and spirit. There are alternatives to Hollywood. There aren’t many, and some of them are like a disintegrating GF bun, but who cares? Some things just aren’t worth it, and for me, that includes Hollywood.

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