Hollywood: why we insist on the dreamy myth

March 4, 2019

Hollywood-dreamsPeople say Hollywood is the city of dreams, but nothing could be further from the truth. Old Hollywood or new, Hollywood is a dark place, more a city of dashed dreams than anything else.

The truth about Hollywood dreams is hiding behind the Hollywood sign. It’s out there, just not talked about aloud, only in whispers. Hidden away. Locked away. But in some circles it IS talked about.

Darkness makes us uncomfortable

And yet, people do not always take in the darkness. Dreams die hard and people love their myths, their fantasies

When I first heard charges of a Hollywood pedophilia ring I thought it was crazy talk. But now? Not so crazy. So many stars have come out to talk about the abuse they suffered as under-age performers that it’s clearly true. Oh, i know it sounds like a conspiracy theory. But tell that to a young actor who was prey to powerful men with perverted needs. I believe those performers. And still, I don’t see many onlookers up in arms about this.

The subject makes us uncomfortable.

Denial is far more comfortable

How about Brian Singer? The Atlantic did a huge, well-researched expose. And still, there are those who make excuses. Who don’t want to believe it, at least publicly.

Powerful men still call the shots.

Hollywood is one of the last places where the closet exists. The Celluloid Closet, as it was called even back in 1995. Actors are still penalized for being gay and most keep it secret. Some even marry and have kids to reinforce the secret. Some don’t want to believe it, but it’s true. One of Hollywood’s deep dark secrets.

Exceptions aren’t the rule

Oh, But Neil Patrick Harris! you might point out.  He is a rarity, an exception. And he is not a matinee idol. It’s ok for a gay man to play straight if he’s not hot and romantic. If he’s a hot guy? Must stay in the closet because those in power think a gay guy can’t be a straight matinee idol. Or a gay woman can’t be hot.

And yet, straight actors have been playing gay forever. And, of course, closeted gays have been playing straight forever.

Some, like the late Tab Hunter, eventually came out when their careers were largely over. Richard Chamberlain. But some stay in the closet forever. But the truth is still whispered about. It’s there if you look.

It gets worse

And then, the covered-up murders. Oh, you think it’s not true? It can’t be possible. I know, we like our myths. Our fantasies. There are many whispers about an old Hollywood icon who killed a starlet and someone related to him who did the same decades later. Coverups aren’t limited to politics. There’s a lot at stake in Hollywood and powerful men can make anything go away.

Yes, yes, I know you think it’s all a conspiracy theory.

It’s not. Some of these whispers are true.

The Me Too exposes have shown us that powerful men can get away with a whole lot of abusive behavior. What’s shocking is that they, so far, have landed on their feet. Well, most of them. Some, like Spacey, are still keeping a low profile while their comebacks are being strategized. He may yet land on his feet.

Time to wake up

You may think I’m blowing smoke. But I had a long career helping disgraced public figures revamp their public images. I know how this works. And I see it in action. But so can anyone who is awake to it.

I, too, would rather live in the fantasy. I’d rather have my Hollywood dreams. Let me tell you, I don’t like to think the faces I see on the big or little screen are such venal people. So venal as to conceive children they spend no time with just to keep their lie alive.

But humans are, well, human. Celebrities love their celebrity. They don’t give it up easy. Powerful men love their power. Not given up easily either.

The dark side of Hollywood dreams is something we may not want to entertain. But it’s there, just waiting for a bright light to shine on it. One that never extinguishes. So this terrible behavior is eradicated once and for all.

Now that’s a dream worth having.

3 comments on “Hollywood: why we insist on the dreamy myth
  1. I used to live right below the Hollywood sign in Beachwood Canyon. Yes, the industry can be sleazy, that’s for sure and I experienced it as an actress. I think it used to be much sleazier, though. More and more people are becoming aware and calling it out. That’s a good thing.

  2. It’s easier for us the believe the people we like, adore, admire, are good and decent. The ladies in my neighborhood have a monthly book club. Six months after I moved here, I attended one, and the women asked me why I always had contractors and repair trucks at my house. When I told them I had no choice but to fix/redo the dishonest and fake “improvements” done by the people who’d “flipped my house,”one of the women said, “Oh, It was “Jack,” your next door neighbor who did all of that.” Until that moment, I had no clue! The woman who lives across the street from me looked at me with hatred and said, “I choose not to believe that,” and since then, she’s never looked at me again. So… We choose what we want to believe, regardless of the facts. Sad, isn’t it?

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