BY JON ALEXANDER
For decades, Hollywood has been a symbol for many as the ideal lifestyle. Whether it’s the young girl next door fulfilling her dreams of acting alongside the guy she had a poster of on her bedroom wall. Or a young boy wanting to fly the Millennium Falcon into a battle in space. Hollywood could accommodate everybody. It oozed class, style and drama and actively reinforced the belief that no matter who you were, where you were from, or what you wanted, you would be accepted and loved. In Hollywood you could live the dream everybody desired.
Of course, we all know that’s rubbish.
Still, many aspiring actors and actresses desperately wanted to believe that their Hollywood dream was possible even though many settled for jobs as bar staff or porn stars. Any background, any skin colour, any religious belief, whether you identified as a man, woman or horse – all were welcome, all would work towards a goal of world peace through “art”. What nonsense!
Over the years we’ve seen countless idols end up reliant on drugs (legal and prescription), go through numerous marriages and divorces, become alcoholics, their images wrecked after being found with prostitutes or worse – dead in pathetic circumstances.
In spite of the disasters along the way, to Hollywood bosses the dream was still very much alive, those poor celebrities had fallen from the path, all that Hollywood afforded them had overwhelmed them and they couldn’t cope. But still Hollywood performed so many miracles, how could we not love it and want to be a part of it? Dawn from Doncaster could appear in a movie about Whaling and instantly become an expert on the subject, jetting off around the world lecturing those not enlightened enough to be nominated for an Oscar on how we should all do more before she jets off to star in a movie that empowers her greatly because she gets to show off her new boobs in a “controversial” new film requiring her to have a camera focused on her nether regions whilst her co-star gets to hide his tackle behind a well-placed case.
This level of education you don’t get in the real world by studying, attending universities or doing something as lame as actually working all your life in your specialist field. Oh no, Hollywood is superior – it breeds sophisticates. Like Phil from Phoenix (who now calls himself Dante, and is surprisingly much butcher and straighter than friends remember him) can educate you much better because he played a villain in a James Bond movie.
What’s even more remarkable is that we’ve sat and watched this crap for decades and took in what these mediocre human beings have told us. Sure, we’ve all heard the rumours about sex parties, cocaine being snorted by the trailer load, “casting couches” and the rest but it all seemed like a different world entirely, so these were quickly dismissed. Hollywood looks after its own, anyone daring to speak out about it faces ruin, perhaps all those aforementioned dead idols ended up that way for a reason. Maybe it wasn’t the pressure of fame or the job that pushed them over the edge. Perhaps it was the stunning realisation of what they had joined, what they had become and that they could never escape its sinister clutches.
We’ve spent years being lectured on how Hollywood is leading the charge against injustice; any cause no matter how great or small is leapt on by the smug elite and used for whatever they need it for. But now the scales before our eyes have lifted. Hollywood and those who are inside the Hollywood bubble are perhaps the worst of us…people who would do anything to get to the top who, on reaching the apogee, then abuse others wanting the same. The Hollywood industry is riddled with sexism, racism, homophobia and operates on a level of bigotry usually associated with far-right groups.
How times have changed.
Already Hollywood is tearing itself apart following the revelations of Harvey Weinstein’s antics, Ben Affleck immediately apologised for inappropriate behaviour – a mistake on his part, he naively thinks this will absolve him of any backlash – it won’t, it’ll cause others to come out of the woodwork, leading to legal cases, pay-outs, his loss of a prestigious role and eventually a tour of TV studios where he begs for forgiveness before the eventual “I’m the victim here” crusade that sees him struggle to regain something of his career.
The fallout from the Weinstein saga will be a Domino-effect series of scandals revealed. It could see many we held high fall from grace.
I’ve been saying for a while that Hollywood was long due its “Jimmy Savile” moment that the BBC in this country experienced not too long ago. Make no mistake, the consequences of this will make Savile look like a minor problem. Hollywood has a very, very dark history. At this point it’s safe to assume that nobody who works there is safe.