Jeffery Epstein, Harvey Weinstein, Roman Polanski and Woody Allen

Four reasons Hollywood has lost the privilege of morally instructing anyone.

Little St. James Island, Jeffery Epstein’s privately owned estate. (photo: Navin75)

The revelations of #MeToo seemed to take Hollywood by surprise, at first.

Then we remembered all the snide remarks over the years, the asides, the cleverly dropped jokes that were really hints. Did you hear the one about the casting couch?

Did you hear the one about young women not having to submit to Harvey Weinstien anymore once they reached a certain level of fame? Seth McFarlane is hilarious, isn’t he?

Did you hear the one about never drinking anything Bill Cosby gives you? Classic.

Roman Polanski had a platform for his movies right up until ten minutes ago; Woody Allen had one until only five minutes ago.

Hollywood, and its enchanting denizens, have long held a prominent place in our hearts and minds; we’ve let them into our living rooms, they’ve joined us for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And a nightcap.

Now, we are beginning to wonder if they still deserve our trust, and if they ever did. Hollywood’s golden ones are certainly quick to morally instruct. Michael Moore has an easy 10-point plan to unseat Donald Trump; easy if you don’t have a 9–5 or, you know, need an actual job.

Why should we trust celebrities? They are, at whatever they started out as, extremely wealthy people now. They are certainly part of the elite 1% that is absolutely out of reach for most of us. Big movie stars and Hollywood executives have more money than you can imagine. Many of them obviously feel above and beyond our laws and social mores.

Celebrities are heavily invested in corrupt and crumbling system, and are therefore not as invested as you might think in bringing it down. Increasingly, celebrities want to not only dictate the political lives of millions, but also they want to dictate the religious and moral beliefs as well.

Want to know if what you think is “cool” with the in crowd?

Quick, what does Jeanne Garafalo think about it? What does John Cusack think?

I like John Cusack as much as the next person, but he’s wealthy and famous and has been for decades because he likes to dress up and play pretend for a living. He is very good at it, as are many of the other outspoken liberal celebrities in Hollywood, that doesn’t make him an expert on society.

I don’t mention liberal celebrities to pick on them. If there are conservative celebrities, perhaps those who would like to keep a few more of their tax dollars, they are at least wisely keeping mum about on the subject on morally instructing the plebes.

The hypocrisy is always on display if you look closely. Saying you care about the environment is easy; refraining from buying a huge plane and customizing it into your own personal jet-bus, presumably to fly you and all your friends around the world in style, is hard. For Drake.

In a particularly egregious display of celebrity gone wild, former child star and actress Alyssa Milano recently attempted to foment a rebellion among the U.S. female population in response to laws restricting abortion access in the state of Georgia.

Milano suggested women abstain from sex in Georgia until their ‘reproductive rights’ were restored. Sounds like a movie we all saw once; based on an ancient Greek play, I think. How quaint.

Without meaning to, Milano’s sex strike suggestion is making the very antiquated assertion that preventing unplanned pregnancy and the need for abortion is as simple as women refraining from having sex. Making women the ever constant onus for unplanned pregnancy is old; suggesting that women use sex as a weapon is even older.

Trotting out the old attitude that women, unlike their male counterparts, don’t really enjoy sex is positively primeval.

The notion that “women”, like any other generalized demographic, are all alike, think alike, vote alike is another problematically sexist layer.

Imagining that women would organize in one unified voting body against men was one of the many illogical reasons anti-suffrage advocates used to deny women the vote. That ‘voting block’ of women never materialized then, and it won’t materialize now for the exact same reason.

The group ‘women’ is comprised of individual human persons, no two are alike. They don’t think alike, don’t vote alike. To imagine otherwise is to relegate women to the status of the merely adjunct, the plus one.

Women’s roles, like women’s bodies, become merely adjunct; important only in how they affect the men in society.

Why should anyone listen to Alyssa Milano? Or any other celebrity for that matter?

Celebrities have have their personal problems, demons, addictions, personal failings, crutches, just like everyone else. They also have to grapple with the trappings of fame and great fortune.

Being able to afford anything you want isn’t always a good thing. Ask any member of the 27 club, if you bump into any of them in the after life.

Celebrities also have to contend with the intricate workings of the human ego, stretched to its finest mesh. Compounding their danger, celebrities come to be surrounded by people unwilling to tell them any unpleasant truth, no matter necessary. Even when its life, death, or career suicide.

The depth of your relationship with someone is partly determined by the willingness of either of you to have the hard conversations. It isn’t easy to tell someone you are close to “you’re drinking too much, taking too many pills”, “you’re violating the law of reciprocity in the family unit”, “you are ruining your life”, “those pants look terrible.”

Hardest of all: “You are wrong.”

And what we now know celebrities never managed to say to their own: “You are breaking the law. Your behavior is reprehensible, I can’t be party to it. And if you don’t stop, I’ll tell.”

(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)