Are the words “stupid”, “media”, and “Hollywood” synonyms? You decide.
This Easter season, Fox television is teaming with Tyler Perry in broadcasting a musical depiction of the passion and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The Passion, as its called, will be shot live in New Orleans on Palm Sunday and feature a twenty-foot, illuminated cross in a mile-long parade from the Superdome to Woldenburg Park on the banks of the Mississippi River. What better place to re-enact the crucifixion than New Orleans, where Christians can whoop it up Mardi Gras style, maybe shake a few tambourines or release a few balloons as the sacred symbol of the cross passes by? We all know what a carnival the passion was. No disrespect here. Right?
Actor Joseph Fiennes, best known for his role in Shakespeare in Love, will play musical icon Michael Jackson in the short film “Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon.” The choice of Fiennes, a white man, has stirred debate. The actor's supporters site Michael Jackson's lightened skin color (as a result of the skin disease vitiligo); detractors argue Jackson was African American, and as such, the role demands the same. Given the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' recent alleged reluctance to recognize black actors, it's only logical for Hollywood to hand a prime opportunity for a black actor to portray the King of Pop to a white actor. No skewed rationale here. Right?
In its coverage of the results of the 2016 New Hampshire Primary, the front page of the February 10th edition of The New York Daily News featured a doctored photograph of Republican candidate Donald Trump in clown makeup, “Joker-style”, with the headline “Dawn of the Brain Dead” and a reference to New Hampshire residents as “mindless zombies.” While the current presidential race is replete with clownish antics and political buffoons, it stands to reason that a reputable (I suppose) New York newspaper would further promote the absurdity by printing what amounts to a comic. No bias here. Right?
America's fascination with celebrities, Hollywood, and social media continues unabated, but sometimes all this amounts to is dim-witted triviality. Whether it's Fox/Tyler Perry lighting up the cross as if it were a ferris wheel, Beverly Hills Housewife Kyle Richards spending $4,000 on a purse, Kanye West comparing himself to Jesus, or performers naming their babies after fruit, apples, and blankets, celebrities are often baffling and stupid. Why? Comes with the territory I suppose, but Hollywood's own creation, Forrest Gump, explained it best: “Stupid is as stupid does.” Right?