Opinions and the Actor

I have been utterly fascinated by the whole Tracy Morgan anti-gay rant. At first, it was simply one more sad story about an entertainer that I can no longer enjoy because of his hate-based personal beliefs. But then all these other entertainers that I hold in high regard weighed in on the controversy, many of them actually defending Morgan’s right to free speech. (Where were these same people when Michael Richards dropped the N-bomb in the same situation? Well…clearly we live in a time where homophobia and anti-Semitism are still somewhat acceptable while using that particular racist slur is not. In my mind, they should all be equal offenses, but I am not a major Hollywood personality, so what do I know? I would say Morgan shouldn’t get to slide, but again he is currently famous and worth a lot of money while Richards had become a footnote by the time he made such a giant error in judgement. Of course, I’ve been as drunk as Mel Gibson and I’ve done improvised stand-up and I’ve been brutally heckled myself and at no point did saying the types of things these people did even cross my mind…but I suppose that’s neither here nor there. End really long parenthetical.) I find all these celebs backing his right to say joke-less gay-bashing comments in his stand-up act kind of…well, is “silly” the right word? I don’t want to call them hypocrites because that is a strong word and nobody is free and clear of hypocrisy once they are older than, say, thirteen years. But those same people, I’ve seen them interviewed about their craft, the movies and television shows and plays that they see, and they never, ever give their opinions about something when it is clearly a piece of junk. Why? Because while apparently saying you would stab your son to death if he was gay is not career suicide, saying anything at all negative about a piece of corporate entertainment absolutely is. A person could cut of that flow of millions of dollars! Just by saying that the trailers for Bad Teacher aren’t funny!

And that’s why it is weird being me. I, like these entertainers, really love and understand what I do, and really it is the only thing I could consider myself at all an expert in, and therefore my passion for entertainment leads me to be a really critical bastard. And I like to voice my opinions. (I am always open to opposing viewpoints, by the way, and often alter my opinions when errors in my logic or visceral reactions are pointed out to me. But again, neither here nor there. End much shorter parenthetical.) It’s too bad, I think, that nobody in the business ever talks about the problems with the industry’s product. Because you know what these kind of dialogues could result in? Improvement. Evolution. Instead everyone keeps their mouths shut in order to avoid being cut off by Mr. Corporate Money Sugardaddy and we leave the dialogue to failed journalists we call “critics” and angry and out-of-touch internet fanboys and girls. What’s more, insider opinions, real and passionate ones, make a better read. I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong.

In any event, I don’t understand why Morgan’s shit is more forgivable. And while I believe everyone has the right to say whatever the hell they want wherever they want and however they want, I think it important to keep in mind that I have the same freedom, and will probably use it to never watch 30 Rock again, which makes me sad because it is a great show. Still, I can’t line the pockets of a man who says stuff like that. Even if he apologizes because he is afraid of losing all that delicious income.


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