The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

SJWs Ruin Everything

Posted on | May 14, 2018 | No Comments

 

How does Hollywood make money?

  1. By producing popular entertainment;
    or
  2. By advancing the cause of social justice?

Some people seem to be confused about this. Millions of dollars are thrown away annually producing “artsy” and avant-garde films that nobody wants to see, but the biggest waste of dollars in Hollywood are movies that seek to “send a message” or “make a statement” about social and political issues beloved by the Left. Too many soi-disant “progressives” in the movie business ignore the wisdom of famed producer Sam Goldwyn: “Pictures were made to entertain; if you want to send a message, call Western Union.” How else to explain misguided catastrophes like the all-female Ghostbusters remake?

Occasionally, of course, a “message” movie makes a profit, because it is also entertaining. Such was the case with War Games, a 1983 thriller that depicted nuclear warfare as unthinkable and futile. The “message” of War Games was liberal, but the plot was exciting and the central characters — Matthew Broderick as a teenage computer whiz kid and Ally Sheedy as his girlfriend — were well played and sympathetic.

 

Broderick went on to star in the teen comedy classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, while Sheedy became known as part of Hollywood’s “Brat Pack,” with starring roles in two 1985 hits, The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire. Despite her early success, however, Sheedy’s acting career dwindled away after the mid-1980s; she worked regularly in films and TV, but did not become a marquee name. This was disappointing to me, because I always liked Ally Sheedy, but I’m ready to reconsider my previous admiration for her, now that she has contributed a chapter to a feminist anthology, blaming sexism for her misfortunes:

I was eighteen years old when I went to Hollywood to begin my acting career, after growing up in NYC and being raised, in great part, by feminists. . . .
On one of my first auditions, a director told me he liked me but could not possibly cast me because there was a “beach” scene. Apparently, my thighs and a– were going to get in the way of my fledgling career. I was five seven and weighed about 130 pounds.
It did not matter that I did a good job on auditions, that I was smart, that I had natural ability. My thighs were the “thing.” . . .
I learned that whatever I might contribute to a role through talent would be instantly marginalized by my physical appearance. I learned that my success would be dependent on what the men in charge thought about my face and my body. Everything I had learned back home had to go out the window as I adapted to these new requirements: what I looked like was paramount.
It wasn’t even just whether I was pretty or thin; it was that I wasn’t sexy. . . .
A few years later, I was told point-blank that my career was moving slowly because “nobody wants to f–k you.” There was something about me, sexually, that wasn’t selling. . . .

You can read the rest. Let’s stipulate that the men who run Hollywood are a bunch of contemptible moral degenerates. Sic semper hoc. But their job is to make movies that sell tickets, and if you want to be a movie star, having what is called “sex appeal” is part of your job. There are good roles for actresses who aren’t sexy, but these tend to be supporting-cast parts. That’s the way it’s always been and, given the nature of the business (and the tastes of audiences) that’s how it probably always will be.

If you don’t like the way the business is, stay away from Hollywood. For an actress to complain about “sexism” in Hollywood is like somebody going into the journalism business and complaining about deadlines — it’s just part of the job. If you don’t like it, get another job.

Also, it’s wrong for Ally Sheedy to pretend that “sexism” was the only reason her career faded away after St. Elmo’s Fire. She started dating Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora — an abusive alcoholic — got addicted to sleeping pills and had to go into rehab. In addition to her personal problems, Sheedy made some lousy career choices. (Maid to Order? What were you thinking?) And she also had some bad luck. Sheedy was cast as the lead in Heart of Dixie, based on a critically acclaimed novel by Anne Rivers Siddons. The novel is a coming-of-age story set against the background of Jim Crow-era social conflict, and the lead role had the potential to be a real breakthrough for Sheedy. Alas, this potential was not realized, as the 1989 review in the Washington Post made clear:

Ally Sheedy, Virginia Madsen and Phoebe Cates combine their negligible talents in “Heart of Dixie” — a melodrama so full of hams, it oinks. Led by Sheedy, the tedious trio plays giddy coeds caught up in the racist and sexist traditions of the South in the late ’50s. They all sound like they’ve been gulping hush puppy batter.
The actresses, however, are not solely responsible for this remarkably dumb potboiler, which is a sort of white folks’ “School Daze,” with novice screenwriter Tom McCown whining about apolitical campus Greeks. Working from McCown’s histrionic screenplay, Martin Davidson of “Eddie and the Cruisers” proves once again that he don’t know nothing ’bout directing no movies.

Well, tough luck. What could have been a breakthrough turned out to be a bomb and, at 27, Sheedy was getting too old for ingenue roles. What could she have done at that point? In a 1998 interview, promoting a forgettable indie film, Sheedy criticized her “Brat Pack” peer Demi Moore for choosing to cash in on her sex appeal, making movies based on “this male myth about the power of women’s sexuality,” but is it really a myth?

Not that I want to start an argument, of course. It’s just disappointing to see an actress I once liked go total SJW. Never go total SJW.

 

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