“Sincerity — if you can fake that, you’ve got it made!” The quote has been attributed to George Burns and Groucho Marx, among others. It pretty well summarizes the Golden Globe awards ceremony last night.
Apparently, there are no limits to the hypocrisy in which Hollywood moguls and stars are willing to descend. And there seems to be no limit to the cover the mainstream media is willing to extend to Hollywood.
In case you’ve had your head stuck in a hole in the ground over the last couple of days, you’re aware that the Golden Globe awards were telecast last night and of the fact that everybody dressed in black, not to promote a new “Men in Black” movie, but to protest the sexual abuse of women in the film industry.
Pretty much every female award winner spoke out against the system of sexual abuse and how bad it was and how it needs to be combated. No problem there. Most sane people who are not invested in the entertainment industry’s culture of rape are aghast at the dark truths that have been exposed in recent months. But, let’s be honest, speaking out against women employees being raped or otherwise sexually abused by their male bosses is about as courageous as speaking out against slavery or for women’s suffrage.
But, why did it take so long? Why were all of these people, women and men, so silent about the system of abuse for decades? It’s not like the system was a secret to anyone. Lots of people knew, including a lot of the people who were sitting in the Golden Globe audience last night. But, they all kept quiet. It took a lowly actress who is nothing close to a super star, Rose McGowan, to call out the abuse. For some reason, and I’m still not sure why, McGowan’s revelation that she was raped by Weinstein was the spark that ignited the explosion of revelations and powerful men being taken down.
Now, coming out with your own story of being abused and condemning a system that allowed it is all the rage in Hollywood. It’s the hottest of hot trends, and no one dare not jump on to this bandwagon, lest his or her commitment to justice be questioned.
Now that it’s safe to expose sexual abuse, no one wants to be caught silent or contrary on the matter, except the few idiots, like Matt Damon, who still haven’t got a clue and who have been quickly shot down on social media when they question the extent and seriousness of the matter. Perhaps Damon’s doubts and hemming and hawing are related to his close friendship with actor and accused Ben Affleck.
Of course, the big buzz is about Oprah Winfrey’s speech, in which she declared a new day on the horizon for women and girls where they will no longer be subject to such abuse. Sorry, but the only new day I can imagine happening in Hollywood is the day Harvey Weinstein makes his come-back and everyone eagerly lines up to work with him again. Social media has been flooded with pictures of Oprah and Weinstein, who were good friends until the public revelations about Weinstein surfaced. Did Oprah know?
Even on this day dedicated to female empowerment and no tolerance for abusive men, Hollywood couldn’t get the script entirely right. Allison Janney won an award for her performance in the move “I, Tonya,” which apparently exonerates Tonya Harding from any part in the plot to sabotage Nancy Kerrigan when they competed against each other in the 1994 Olympics. The evidence against Harding’s involvement in the plot is pretty conclusive. I guess, this particular example of a woman-on-woman crime of violence is in sync with Hollywood notions of “female empowerment.”
Then there was the special award given to Kirk Douglas, a man who, in his prime, fully embodied the rape culture that Hollywood now seems intent on condemning. In his 1988 autobiography, Douglas has no qualms speaking about his extra-marital affairs and sexual conquests. And then there is the fact that he’s been long accused of having raped actress Natalie Wood when Wood was sixteen. But, he made some really good movies, so what the heck!
And, I have to point it out again: not a single word about the epidemic of child sexual abuse in the film industry!
Hollywood makes some really good movies. I watched one last night, called “American Made” that is based on the true story of Barry Seal, a pilot and drug trafficker with the Medellin Cartel who turned informant for the DEA. The movie is terrible as history, but it’s a very well done action movie. Unfortunately, our culture has a habit of taking celebrities far too seriously. Brad Pitt was asked about some political matter by a journalist. I can’t recall the matter he was asked about, but I recall Pitt’s response. “I’m an actor,” he said. In other words, just because Pitt is really, really good at his craft (and he is) doesn’t make him an expert on politics, sociology, religion, or any of a number of other subjects. He recognizes that, much to his credit. Too bad too many in our culture can’t discern that line between celebrity and reality. The fact that Donald Trump is our president, and there is serious talk now of Oprah Winfrey running in 2020, testifies to this.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.