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Stop Congratulating Yourself, Hollywood — You’re Cowards

by Eli Duncan, Editor-In-Chief

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At the height of the #MeToo movement, everyone thought that Hollywood was finally cleansing itself from all the terrible people that plague the landscape. Yet, Hollywood can’t help itself but deliver us some interesting characters.

Once the floodgates of women accusing Harvey Weinstein opened, 81 prominent men in the arts and entertainment world have been accused of sexual assault by one or more women. This isn’t a jab at Hollywood for being blatantly matriarchal when they claim that they are diverse in the Emmy opening ceremony. I don’t have an issue with that. What I have an issue with is that some prominent men on that list claimed to be a feminist but then get accused. Or, that prominent women pick and choose who they want to defend.

In January, actress Scarlett Johansson spoke at a Los Angeles Women’s March and said “My mind baffles. How could a person publicly stand by an organization that helps provide support for victims of sexual assault while privately preying on people who have no power? I want my pin back, by the way,” which was in response to sexual assault accusations against James Franco. Franco famously wore a “Time’s Up” pin during the Golden Globe award ceremony.

Johansson will publicly oust Franco, but will defend director Woody Allen despite being accused of sexual assault by his own daughter. Worse yet, the allegations are of child sexual abuse.

In a 2014 interview with the Guardian, she said “It’s not like this is somebody that’s been prosecuted and found guilty of something, and then you can go, ‘I don’t support this lifestyle or whatever.’ I mean, it’s all guesswork.”

The hypocrisy comes in when Franco can be denounced by Johansson, despite there being no proof at the time of her public outcry, but then not denounce Woody Allen because his pedophelia is “a lifestyle or whatever”.

Hollywood’s hypocrisy doesn’t want to end there. The elites that make up the movie and music industries claim they are on a pedestal of free speech. They welcome all forms of thought… as long as it doesn’t stray away from the agenda that they set to regurgitate onto the public for the hundredth time in a row.

Joy Villa, the singer who wore a “Make America Great Again” blue flag dress and is an outspoken Trump supporter got nothing but hate from many of her colleagues. Then, earlier this year when rapper Kanye West posted a picture of a signed “MAGA” hat, he lost nearly nine million followers and was contacted by some big name artists to reconsider his way of thinking.

So, if you plan on being somewhere in Hollywood, you can think in anyway you want as long as you don’t break the status quo.

Actors and actresses worship everything but value nothing. They all worship diversity, but don’t value what it means. It doesn’t mean put a mediocre film like “Black Panther” or “Moonlight” on a high pedestal when there are clearly better films with better black actors.

It also doesn’t mean making an empty threat of boycotting your “self praise parties” because there was little to no minority representation. In 2013, white people made up 62.6% of the U.S population but made up 73.1% of major speaking roles in the top 100 movies of 2014. In the same breath, black representation in the same category of the same 100 movies was almost identical to the 13.2% of the population they made up in the 2013 U.S. Census.

It was Hispanics and Latinos who got no representation. In the top 100 movies of 2014, Hispanics and Latinos represented just under 5% of named or speaking roles in films despite making up 17.1% of the U.S. population.

I’m not trying to say that we should just be satisfied when one group is represented at an equal number compared to their population size, because we shouldn’t. We should strive for movies to find great minority actors, but we also shouldn’t be overly excited when those minority led movies are praised simply because they are minority led.

Hollywood then worships women and women’s rights but don’t value what that means. They can’t even decide which accused men everyone hates or only some of them hate. Either the men are innocent, or they’re not. Whether the accused male is your friend or not, you should oust him like he was any other guy who commited that act. It’s not fair and really ruins the legitimacy of the entire movement. Either all acts are heinous or none of them are, and I refuse to believe that Woody Allens alleged pedophelia is only a lifestyle when Morgan Freeman can be accused of sexual assault.

Then they worship the idea of the first amendment and what it grants us, but they don’t value the true meaning. The Hollywood elite have the platform to make real change. They can bring light to issues that plague the U.S. when no other platform will.

Yet they don’t. They sing their praises to those that support the status quo but disown those that don’t. Madonna can say that she’s thought of blowing up the White House with little to  no backlash from her colleagues, but Kanye posts a few Tweets explaining why he supports President Trump and his colleagues are telling him to change his thinking.

Every year we go see movies made by these people and that won’t stop anytime soon. Hollywood is here to stay. Then we sit through hours long award shows that are run by the same people receiving these awards. These larger than life figures that we praise are congratulating themselves for being cowards and hypocrites for another year while they put in strenuous work of being in a movie, TV show, or music studio for a few months. It’s sad that Hollywood took one step forward but eighty-one steps back.

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Stop Congratulating Yourself, Hollywood — You’re Cowards