The abominable hypocrisy of Hollywood

Most of mainstream Hollywood continues to be driven to insanity at the mere mention of President Donald Trump.

If you ask the "stars" the reason behind their unhinged displays, they will baselessly characterize Trump as a bigoted oppressor trampling upon the little people like Godzilla, while they see themselves as moral beings speaking truth to power. 

So how has their overall record been on speaking truth to power?

How did they react to Will Smith's unprovoked assault on comedian Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards?

A violent and unhinged Smith rushed the stage to slap Rock, making him a security risk to others in the auditorium.  The Academy apparently asked Smith to leave, but he refused to leave.  What they should have done is summoned their security team and dragged Smith out.

They should have canceled the announcement of their best actor award.  They should have set up a new list of nominees and asked others to vote again and announced the winner later.  The Academy should have pressed charges against Smith. 

Smith's colleagues were largely silent as the incident occurred.  They looked on with amazement and horror.  Some of Smith's colleagues actually laughed, and others hugged and even consoled him.  Yes, they consoled the assaulter, not the victim.

Smith then won the Best Actor award, and things didn't improve.

While most long acceptance speeches are cut short by the Academy, Smith was allowed to prattle along in his acceptance speech, where he attempted to project himself as a bigger victim than his actual victim.  Worse still, Smith did not apologize to Rock.  Smith's colleagues gave him a generous round of applause and a standing ovation.

Ideally, they should have remained seated and refused to applaud as a matter of principle.  When celebrated auteur Elia Kazan was honored by the academy with a lifetime achievement Oscar, some members refused to acknowledge or applaud Kazan.  The reason at the time was that Kazan had "named names" during the McCarthy era.

As far as Smith's behavior went, in the following video, former Bond girl Jane Seymour was the only star to do the obvious, which was to condemn the act of violence.

The rest, even actor Jon Voightshamefully supported Smith, while others ducked for cover.  Actor Kevin Costner claimed he was backstage, for instance, and couldn't comment.

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe declined to weigh in, claiming to be "dramatically bored of hearing people's opinions about it" — the same Radcliffe who didn't hesitate to baselessly attack Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling for her principled stance on transgenderism.

Comic actor Jim Carrey was among the few who condemned both Smith and Hollywood for their silence.

Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said the altercation "perpetuated stereotypes" against Black people. 

Adam Sandler, Howard Stern, and even Alec Baldwin also supported Chris Rock.

What about Smith's actions?

Chris Rock is a much shorter man than Will Smith.  When Smith struck Rock, he knew there was no physical challenge.  Had the joke been made by someone such as Sylvester Stallone or Jason Statham, both of whom presumably have the strength to take on Smith and even knock him down cold, Smith would probably have remained in his place and laughed it off. 

Rock is a stand-up comedian who does comic supporting parts in movies.  Rock is considerably lower in the hierarchy of power compared to Smith.  What if someone with the power of Steven Spielberg or a studio head had made that joke?  It's not hard to think Smith would have taken it with a smile.

In assaulting Chris Rock, Smith was punching down, both literally and metaphorically.

The fact remains that words have to be countered by words, so Smith's act of violence was totally, completely, and utterly wrong.  There are no complexities in this issue.

But Smith is a major Hollywood star with considerable clout, which is why Hollywood is not speaking truth to power or comforting the afflicted.

This isn't the only time Hollywood has displayed cowardice and selfishness.

Harvey Weinstein was a serial abuser who subjected women to unspeakable violence.  Most within Hollywood knew what Harvey was up to.

But Harvey was very powerful in Hollywood and could make and indeed break careers.  Hence, everybody chose silence.

In fact, they were eager to honor and flatter Weinstein.

Jennifer Lawrence, who once bragged about hurling obscenities at Trump, indulged in an obsequious display before Weinstein.  When Meryl Streep received a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes, instead of thanking her peers and her fans, she dedicated her speech to bashing Trump.  But Streep too was an ardent admirer of Weinstein.

Another Trump-basher, Brad Pitt, confronted and apparently threatened to kill Weinstein for sexually harassing his then-girlfriend, Gwyneth Paltrow.  This occurred in 1995.  Pitt, however, didn't expose Weinstein to the world, which would have saved many women.  He just made sure that his loved one was protected.  He didn't want to risk losing meaty roles in Weinstein-produced movies.  Pitt starred in Inglourious Basterds (2009) and Killing Them Softly (2012), both produced by Weinstein.

Now that Weinstein is in prison and is powerless, myriad film actresses have miraculously mustered the courage to come forward with their horror stories.  Had they exposed Weinstein sooner, many innocent women would have been saved from unspeakable trauma.  But they placed their careers first.  Yet these women call themselves feminists and participated in the Women's March to protest Trump's inauguration in 2017.

The "Me Too" movement exposed similar cowardly behavior toward sexual predators such as Kevin Spacey, Charlie Rose, and Matt Lauer.  Superiors and colleagues merely claimed ignorance about predatory behaviors since the perpetrator was a powerful star.

Many Hollywood stars appear in movies and TV series by Amazon Studios and Apple TV.  They do not care or dare to question Apple for its sweatshops in China or Amazon for exploiting its workers who happen to be regular people.

What about China?

Action star John Cena during an interview with Taiwanese media said Taiwan is the first country that can watch his movie.  It was an innocuous remark, but Cena was so petrified of losing the Chinese market that he immediately posted a video in which he apologized to China.

Many other stars such as Trump-bashing basketball player LeBron James remain mum on China's poor record on democracy and its systemic persecution of the Uyghur minority.

None at the Oscars dared to speak about Afghanistan, where for almost 200 days, teenage girls have been banned by the Taliban from attending schools.  The reason is that the mess was caused by a Democrat, Joe Biden.  They know that critics of Biden have a short career expectancy in Hollywood.

How do they react to those who speak truth to the powerful?  "Comedian" Stephen Colbert called Fox News reporter Peter Doocy "a ridiculous man" and implied that Doocy deserves a slap because of a tough question he posed to Biden.

Clearly, they have no concern for regular people or interest in speaking truth to power when they stand to lose financially.

Even their Trump-hatred may just be a charade to keep their careers alive.

These are a cowardly and self-centered group that shamelessly wag their tails before the powerful.  Their self-righteousness prevents them from comprehending their own hypocrisy.

What can you do as an audience?

You just walk away.  The plummeting box office numbers and TV ratings are proof that this "walkaway" movement began a long time ago.  This recent display from Smith will merely hasten the abandonment.

Image: Screen shot from ET video, posted on YouTube.

If you experience technical problems, please write to