American actress Faye Dunaway after the Academy Awards ceremony, where she won the 1976 Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for ‘Network’. Terry O’Neill/Getty Images
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Very, that is the answer to the question posed in the headline. The horribleness of Hollywood, a crumbling palace of dreams built atop a cesspit of celebrity chicanery, is hardly a new concept or a revelation. The place has always been foul. Read Hollywood Babylon if you don’t believe me.
What is relatively new in the last couple of decades is the surging sanctimony of many of those most prominent in the movie business, and their desire to lecture the rest of us endlessly about their obsessions, hang-ups and tedious personal “journeys”. Personally, I’m on a journey. No, I actually am on a journey as a I write this, on an overcrowded train home in South West London.
Back to Los Angeles. The Oscars didn’t “turn political” this year, as was claimed. The Oscars has been getting more pious by the year. It is the finals of the moral superiority Olympics.
This is not – repeat not – to diminish the seriousness of individual allegations or cases in the Age of Weinstein.
But my goodness the self-absorption of this year’s Oscars ceremony set new records. Frances McDormand has been widely praised. Yet, the winner of the best actor in a female role (bit gender specific that? It’ll be next year’s row) made her protest in a most curious form, by asking film financiers and producers to have meetings next week to discuss financing more female-led projects.
Great. Nonetheless, it is so Hollywood to pitch this moral and ethical crisis as a business opportunity. Couldn’t the platform and protest have been used to talk about lots of other women, and men, who are opressed in Iran or Venezeula? Rather than actors talking about the trials and tribulations of rich actors.