Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Welcome to Bullywood!

Still despondent over Hillary Clinton's loss, Hollywood served its latest round of Trump bashing during the Golden Globe Awards ceremony. I didn’t watch the broadcast for two reasons: 1) I haven’t seen any of the performances, shows or films nominated; and 2) To spare myself the predictable Hollywood tirade over the election results – they are beyond tedious. But when social media was filled with praise for Meryl Streep for putting Trump in his place, I decided to take a look at her speech, thinking that someone had come up with something other than the usual attacks – I mean, they claim to be masters of the “creative arts,” right? – only to be disappointed. The same claptrap that failed to swing the election in Hillary’s favor was offered again by Ms. Streep – she drew no new blood.

After apologizing for being hoarse, Ms. Streep mentioned the diverse background of several of the artists in attendance and warned that if Trump succeeds in removing all outsiders and foreigners the country will be left with only football and mixed martial arts which are not arts! I truly hope she did not spend a lot of time coming up with such a lame retort – that would be embarrassing. As far as trying to portray Trump as an xenophobe simply because he wants to end illegal immigration and secure our borders: it hasn’t worked, and it never will. Just ask Hillary. If Ms. Streep and her ilk want open borders, they should make their case: beginning with tearing down the walls they have erected around their properties.

Next, Ms. Streep recycled the old attack that Trump mocked a disabled reporter - an allegation featured in countless political ads and opinion columns. For the record, Trump has used the same gestures referring to other individuals – including Ted Cruz – who do not have any disabilities. Moreover, the disability of the reporter in question does not entail erratic body movements. Ironically, after peddling old smears against Trump, Ms. Streep begged the media stand up for truth and hold the powerful accountable – I guess she didn’t notice the avalanche of critical stories the press has been unloading on the president-elect ever since he clinched the GOP nomination.

Finally, Ms. Steep went for the kill. She said: “When the powerful use their positions to bully others, we all lose.” When it comes to using their position to bully others, Hollywood speaks from authority. They are experts at badgering unsuspecting audiences who came to listen to their favorite song or maybe have a couple of laughs, just to find themselves berated for not subscribing to Hollywood’s preferred political stances or candidates. Perhaps someone who voted for Trump hoping to save her job tuned in to see whether her favorite show won or admire the elegant gowns, only to be told by Ms. Streep that she hates the disabled and wants to end the arts in America – and is a xenophobe, to boot!

Typical of bullies, Hollywood stars are cowards and only pick on those they know will not fight back. Bravery would be standing up for the cartoonists facing death threats for drawing Mohammed, or denouncing the treatment of LGBT people in the Islamic world - but that could put one’s life at risk, so it is much safer to attack Trump voters. They will complain, yes, but they won’t issue any fatwas. As Kellyanne Conway pointed out: if Ms. Streep is concerned about the treatment of the disabled, she could have denounced the hate crime against a mentally challenged man in Chicago. But the assailants are African-Americans, and Hollywood does not want to deal with allegations of being racist – it’s bad enough to be accused of not nominating enough black artists for Oscars. Even in movies, Hollywood shows its cowardice by limiting “bad guys” to either Nazis or white segregationists. One would think that ISIS would be ideal onscreen evil-doers, given their record of atrocities – but Hollywood doesn’t want to risk being accused of Islamophobia. So it is back to the Nazis and segregationists (just don't mention they were Democrats).