Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Hollywood: America's Charity

Hollywood is notorious for many things but in the last decade or so, one of the most driving of those is the notion of "charity." Every other day, some two-bit celebrity is throwing its weight behind this charity or that one and attempting to guilt-trip the rest of us into giving to their cause. A year ago, a lot of them soaked their heads and got a lot of others to do the same. While the public was told it was for one reason, the truth is a lot darker: While most of the money went to charity, there were no good intentions - it was to avoid lengthy and costly court battles over a perceived "slight" felt by the ALS community.

Most of social media needs to go soak its head anyway, and a good time was had by most (there were a few injuries, including an entire team of firefighters), so there was nothing inherently wrong with the whole thing, it just brings up a lot of uncomfortable questions concerning "non-profit" charities and their link to Hollywood.

Still, the Hollywood "charity" train barrels on without anyone ever stopping to wonder why it is that if multimillionaire celebrities care so deeply for these causes, they don't simply donate more of their own time and money instead of asking the rest of us. It's one thing to ask me to donate to a charitable cause, it's another when I know you received $80mn for your last film and receive huge tax breaks for donating to the same cause. And yet another when I know that you already receive huge tax breaks simply for having made $80mn! And you get free limo rides everywhere you go. And free designer clothes. And free meals in the most upscale restaurants. And are being paid to promote the charity in the first place!

I'm not jumping on that whole "Hollywood has lost touch" bandwagon here - Hollywood has never been "in-touch" with the common man. That's actually one of the things that used to make it great - they were larger-than-life figures that gave us commoners something to talk about, with lives we could only dream of having, even if it was only a show. My point is far more serious:

When is the last time you saw a truly moving, inspiring Hollywood film? When is the last time you walked out of a theater feeling you got your money's worth? Shit, I know people who won't even pay $8.00 a month for Netflix or Hulu+, which have tens of thousands of movies, because they don't feel it's worth it!

So, give to charities [you want to support] by all means, but when it comes to Hollywood-backed charities, keep in mind that they have an incentive to promote those organizations - and that you have already donated to at least one charity by paying to see their dreck.

© The Weirding, 2015

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