Why people are turning their backs on Hollywood
Consider the following scenario:
A shop had been launched in your vicinity. The proprietor urges the community to support his new business. You gladly comply and ensure that you make most of your purchases from the establishment.
The business prospers such that in a few years, the owners open several new shops and soon become a well-regarded retail chain. You are proud to have contributed to their remarkable success in your own way.
Months later, you run into the proprietor. You greet him warmly and congratulate him on his stupendous success. To your surprise, the man bears a smug countenance and is indifferent toward your utterances.
He stops you mid-sentence and reprimands you for not wearing your mask properly. He remarks that your vehicle causes pollution that harms the environment.
He launches into a spiel on societal prejudice. He provides you with a litany of his life struggles, including the hate he gets on social media, implying that the hateful perpetrators are supporters of the politician you voted for.
All you expected was a pleasant conversation and perhaps some gratitude. Instead, a tedious lecture and accusations were inflicted upon you. You give him the benefit of doubt; perhaps he was in a foul mood that day.
Months later, you run into the man, and once again, you are subjected to a condescending sermon and allegations.
You are kind and generous but also self-respecting. You do not judge others for their life choices and expect others not to judge you for yours. You obviously do not like to be talked down to and hence decide to take your business elsewhere.
This is probably the reason why Hollywood is rapidly losing its once universal fan base.
Showbiz, as the name suggests, is above everything else a business, which exists to sell products.
The fans invest their hard-earned money, resulting in movies, TV shows, and music albums becoming massive hits. This enables the luminaries in showbiz to own sprawling mansions and luxurious cars and lead a life of ineffable comfort.
Alas, gratefulness is a rare commodity in contemporary times. Once the wealth is earned and fame is achieved, the superstars think of themselves as royalty. They see their fans as the unwashed masses who need to be re-educated about the moralities of life.
Their public appearances and products cease to be funny, entertaining, thought-provoking, and breathtaking. Instead, they attempt to push their agenda down your throat while claiming they desire to bring about societal change through their work.
Do they practice what they perennially preach?
They claim to be fervent feminists, but they promoted, aided, and protected sexual predators such as R. Kelly, Harvey Weinstein, and Roman Polanski. They privately confronted Weinstein about only the people they cared about who were among the many he preyed upon. Now that Weinstein is in prison, they attack him and narrate their stories of horror. Calling him out previously in a public manner could have saved his victims. But at that time, they were focused on getting Weinstein to produce their films. Polanski still has huge support in Hollywood, with superstars eager to work with him.
They are against border walls but have imposing walls all around their properties and even sue those who take aerial photos of their properties.
Their hearts pour with love for illegal aliens, but when the question about their settlement arises, they prefer them to be relocated in low-income areas and emphatically not in their gated communities.
They claim to care for regular people but do not hesitate to sign lucrative production deals with companies that are known to run sweatshops.
They bail out thugs who loot, burn, and destroy your private property and your businesses owned by regular people. They are not bothered that staffers at awards are compelled to wear masks while they pose for pictures in all their maskless glory.
These people have no moral right even to lead their dogs down the street, let alone lecture the public about morality.
Above all, if they really wanted to bring about any change, they would have worked in the proverbial trenches and gotten their hands dirty. The sole goal of those making movies, TV shows, and documentaries is to gain fame, money, powers, and awards. There is nothing wrong with desiring the fine thing in life; it is the pretensions that are most revolting.
It is important to mention Sir Roger Moore, Audrey Hepburn, and several others who dedicated significant portions of their lives to the betterment of society. They did so with dignity and without any condescending lectures.
When you look beyond the pretensions, the sole function of showbiz is to provide a valuable and hopefully memorable or entertaining distraction from the tedium of life.
Here are a few stellar examples of how well it was done in the past at award shows.
Sir Roger Moore, Sir Sean Connery, and Sir Michael Caine presenting the best supporting actor category in 1988. Video here.
Don Rickles playfully roasting Martin Scorsese at the latter's AFI Lifetime achievement award ceremony in 2010. Video here.
Harrison Ford accepting the lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes in 2002. Video here.
Clint Eastwood honoring pianist Lalo Schifrin at the Governors Awards in 2018. Video here.
Jack Palance had some fun as he accepted the award for best supporting actor in 1992. Video here.
There was no display of politics, no moral lectures, just a celebration to honor talent. It was wholesome fun for people of all backgrounds and demographic groups. They were truly inclusive.
In the end, the fans are customers and the stars much like shopkeepers. Customers do not like to be scolded and talked down to by those whom they have made rich and successful.
The lectures became progressively shriller and viler after President Trump was voted in 2016.
Consequently, the public grew tired of this and rejected the smug, arrogant, and entitled Hollywood. The proof is low TV ratings and diminished records sales, box office returns, and subscriptions.
Here's a basic message to all ivory tower occupants in showbiz:
The next time you are in any public forum, begin by expressing your profound gratefulness to all your fans. Respect them to make choices that they deem appropriate. You are here merely to provide a distraction and nothing more. You are rich and famous solely because of your customers.
As we all know, there is a higher likelihood of Afghanistan being peaceful and inclusive than Hollywood ever discovering gratitude and humility.
Image: Pixabay, Pixabay License.
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