Hollywood has never been a moral bastion. Its stars have never been beacons of righteousness, unless you count self-righteousness.
But the entertainment world has lately sunk to new lows. Vulgarity and profanity are no longer confined to R-rated movies and night-time cable shows. They are the everyday parlance of many Hollywood stars, who spew their filth not when they think no one is listening but when they hope millions are.
Whether on Twitter or at awards shows, and then reported and repeated ad nauseum, we are witnessing the defenestration of civility by iconic stars such as Sally Field and Robert De Niro. Lower-tier stars (whose names are not even worth mentioning) unleash their own ugly words like little children tantruming for attention. And are they shunned? Condemned? No, they are applauded by approving colleagues and fans.
Although I take issue with the message of most celebrity diatribes (which grow out of the same pseudo-progressive worldview), what offends me is the way these pop culture icons have debased our public discourse by using coarse, demeaning language in a deliberate – not offhand – way. I’ve lost any respect for certain actors whose work I had truly admired.
It’s hard to enjoy a movie or TV show once you know that the person behind the character has no character at all.