There’s a new ratio in town—30:12. It took Hollywood about thirty years to publicly recognize and denounce a man like Harvey Weinstein. It took them twelve hours to do the same to Roseanne Barr. Weinstein was a predator, using his power to make or break young starlets to pounce on them for sexual favors—or to steal them outright. Barr tweeted a racist joke.
After thirty years of bad behavior, Hollywood finally decided enough was enough. Weinstein was given a perp walk. After twelve hours of living with Barr’s tweet, Hollywood decided that was enough of that as well, and (despite a swift apology) Barr’s show was quickly canceled.
That ratio of 30:12 is really quite askew, however. Remember, that’s thirty years to twelve hours. The actual ratio would be more like 262,800:12 (hours to hours). I guess Hollywood has grown impatient with slimy behavior. No more Mister Nice Guy for them.
They Both Deserved What They Got
I don’t disagree with the final recompenses of either of their actions. It does seem a tad lopsided, though. They forgave Harvey for thirty years. No forgiveness was forthcoming for Roseanne. It can be a cruel world out there. Dog eat dog, and all that…
I can’t help but wonder if the real culprit is the bias that we seem to harbor deep inside. It’s probably true for all of us. There are certain things we’re willing to overlook or easily forgive. At the same time, there are things we’re totally unwilling to excuse or pardon. We all seem to have these blind spots, and we’re about as consistent as Hollywood.
It will be interesting to see what our west coast entertainer types do in the future. The way people toss around insults, degradations, and filthy comments, it won’t take long to find out. I’m guessing that not much has really changed, however. Blind spots are blind spots, and—as it is with a leopard—changing spots is pretty difficult.
“The New Normal”
As a matter of fact, I saw Robert De Niro stand up at an award show recently and flat out say, “F—k Trump!” This would have been a good time for the entertainment crowd to denounce him with a boo or two as well as a few hisses thrown in for good measure. Not only did this fail to occur, just the opposite happened. They cheered him wildly. The Washington Post later called it the “new normal in political discourse.” I realize this happened in New York and not Hollywood. But I’m almost certain this blows the new ratio out of the water.
There’s some very good advice that, maybe, we should all heed. It’s found in the Old Testament, so it’s been around for a long time. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Two very important words—be still. No sexual advances, no vile tweets, no vulgar rants against individuals… Be still… If we can be still long enough, maybe we can know that He is God and we’re not.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]