Hollywood Take 2: Less Than Perfect Behavior

27 Oct

This week in Hollywood less than perfect behavior seems to fill the web, airwaves and pages.  Some events were predictable; some may have been inevitable, yet with some consistency, many might be a kind of traditional.  Moving our way closer to the end of yearlong political campaigns should we dare make predictions? Is this foreshaowing future hostility in entertainment or are these uncharacteristic interactions purely an expression of the moment.  You decide.

Essential stories:

Voices of Frustration Collect:

It would be difficult not to notice how many of the voices of the Right are expressing both anger and frustration regarding our current political economy.  Recalling Clint Eastwood, Chuck Norris, Kid Rock, and Meat Loaf, [1] it should not be surprising that many of these voices are at least partially associated with entertainment too.  Even entertainment site E-Online.com covered published political pundit’s Ann Coulter’s tweet:

I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard,” [2]

This statement would only be surprising if you thought crude expressions of hostility toward a sitting president and the disabled were inappropriate.  Powerline.com reminds us the other adjectives of Coulter’s remarks appropriately originate from older conservative rhetoric of 1988:

Bush assured the American people, he would work to make America “a kinder, and gentler nation.” [3]

In line with past attempts to unmask the campaigning President, Donald Trump has also resurfaced as a critic of Obama’s background. Actual businessman and frequent TV personality Trump calls for the President’s college transcripts [4] and claims an Obama divorce (is in the works) supposedly underscoring how little we actually know about Obama’s qualifications or his personal life.  In terms of transparency, this comes from a man who, after training, legally rose to business and media prominence on his father’s business reputation and has suffered at least two public and controversial divorces.

But maybe we are seeing a change in the contentious political climate. Possibly reflecting his wealthy father’s change in tone, Romney’s eldest son (who has no entertainment credentials) apologized for his “take a swing” post debate comments of previous weeks [5].  It may be ridiculous to assume this, yet we may see less vitriol from the Republican side of the aisle as we move closer to the final election days.

Racial and Ethnic insults predict Hollywood protests:

For every report of Asia’s growing presence behind the scenes in Hollywood, there are two others about some insensitive portrayal featured in a feature film.  The Hollywood Reporter reports that Guy Aoki the founding president of MANAA claimed “Cloud Atlas” used prosthetics to try to hide the fact no Asian actors were cast in a faetured film narrative that occurred in Korea.

In the modern age of movie make up, it is disturbing to see poorly done Asian eye prosthetics to make Caucasian men look Asian,” the Media Action Network for Asian Americans said.” [6]

Unfortunately across town at Marvel Entertainment, the studio just unveiled its new trailer. In the character’s first appearance since the billion dollar selling “The Avengers” of last summer, the “Iron Man” franchise introduced a new villain.  Played by Sir Ben Kingsly, the “Mandarin” sets the stage for mayhem.  Not related to the companies outsourceing of music developmeent to Europe [7]. Referring to an acting perfomance praised by Marvel boss Kevin Feige, the studio appears to believe the middle eastern protests that followed the first film in the franchise will not return again because of the characters supposed multicultural depiction[8].  Despite the mystery (for the general public) of what makes this character threatening, the hairstyle and name leaves no misunderstanding as to the villain’s specified ethnicity.

Italian Court Sentences Four Years for Prison for Silvio Berlusconi:

Attached to his Mediaset TV empire, Silvio Berlusconi has been convicted of tax fraud. The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and Deadline reported that the case pertaining the former Italian prime minister centered on multimillion-dollar Hollywood deals.  The 76-year-old billionaire media mogul Berlusconi was sentenced to four years in prison and received this news Friday in a Milan court.

Ironically calling the ruling “absolutely incredible” his lawyers threatened to appeal.  So many of the deals the former politician’s  made concern thousands of  Hollywood films from Fox and Paramount.

Because he has the right to appeal twice, many doubt he will serve any time.

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Essential references:

[1] http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/celebrities/star-power-ignites-obama-romney-campaign-rallies-draws-cash-builds-buzz-edge-in-tight-race/2012/10/26/65096cf4-1f46-11e2-8817-41b9a7aaabc7_story.html

[2] http://www.eonline.com/news/356512/ann-coulter-s-barack-obama-retard-comment-draws-fire-after-presidential-debate

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2008/03/020167.php

[3] http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2008/03/020167.php

[4] http://www.examiner.com/video/donald-trump-offers-5m-charity-challenge-for-obama-s-records-5

[5] http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/23/romneys-son-apologizes-to-obama-for-swing-remark/

[6]  http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/cloud-atlas-asian-actors-yellow-face-MANAA-383070

[7]  ttp://www.comicbooktherapy.com/iron-man-3-shoot-protested-by-group-46511

[8] http://www.comiccollectorlive.com/forum/default.aspx?g=posts&m=581340

[9]  http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/italian-court-sentences-silvio-berlusconi-prison-383386

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6 Responses to “Hollywood Take 2: Less Than Perfect Behavior”

  1. Open Book October 27, 2012 at 6:23 PM #

    Wow! College Transcripts? Really? I can’t tell if Will Ferrells parodies of G.W. Bush are actually jokes?

  2. Open Book October 27, 2012 at 6:23 PM #

    Here’s another one.

    • Open Book October 27, 2012 at 6:33 PM #

  3. Comic Relief October 27, 2012 at 9:47 PM #

    OB,

    I guess I understand.

    How could Trump ask for Obama’s transcripts when our last president was barely literate? Of course I agree. Trump’s notions of transparency seem silly because the public never fully understands many politicians who ascend to that level of national leadership. Running “The Apprentice” is a interesting job, which he handles well, but a Presidential scholar he isn’t.

  4. parisienne October 28, 2012 at 6:02 PM #

    President Obama just took the shit out of Trump with this “When we were growing up together in Kenya.” joke. In all honesty, it seems to me that Mr. Trump likes to attempt to be something he isn’t. (Transparent) At one time, I vaguely remember Mr. Trump attempting at run at a political seat it may have even been the Presidency and all he did was curse in his speeches.

    Does Mr. Trump not realize that he is seen by many as a joke?

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505267_162-57539897/donald-trump-$5m-offer-to-president-falls-flat-joke-to-many/

    • Comic Relief October 29, 2012 at 12:25 PM #

      Paris,

      I lived in New York for a time in the eighties and then he was only known as a business man. Like today’s reality celebs there was a constant stream of the articles (in New York’s the Daily News) usually reporting on the details of his terrible marriages and divorces. Others might disagree, but he seems to trade in for new wives every 10 to 15 years.

      I thought after “the Apprentice” we might have heard the last about him, but it seems his ego needs a new challenge and public arena to conquer almost as frequently as he changes marriages.

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