A few weeks ago, Will Ferrell and other Hollywood celebrities along with Moveon.org felt the need to educate the American public regarding health care with a satirical video/spoof ad about “protecting” insurance company profits from health care reform. It was called the Protect Insurance Companies PSA and if you missed seeing it, you can view it here. Every media outlet and pundit lauded it as hysterically funny.
For me, at least, it was far from funny. At a time when the American people are passionately concerned about what will happen with their health care, I found the sarcasm from people who are not under the same kind of financial constrains to be deeply offensive. And I must not have been the only one to take offense, because the video faded away in record time.
Still, it was nice to come across this video response by Jon David, that summed up my feelings beautiful.
(h/t Big Government)
I’m not sure how or why the celebrityhood of actors became so elevated, but maybe it is well past time to let the pendulum swing back the other way. As Glenn Harlan Reynolds at the Washington Examiner points out:
…until pretty recently, actors and theater people were just a rung, or maybe a half-rung, above common criminals in the public estimation, and suggests that the Polanski scandal, and Hollywood’s tone-deaf reaction to it, may go some distance toward returning things to the status quo ante. … Though self-righteous moralism has been Hollywood bigwigs’ stock-in-trade for decades, the evidence suggests that, overall, their moral position is nothing to brag about, and the Polanski affair may bring this home in a way that earlier scandals have not. Indeed, the Hollywood response to the Polanski affair suggests that, in Hollywood’s estimation, artists enjoy a sort of droit de seigneur by virtue of their talent, or at least their acclaim. It’s easy to see why an industry founded on the casting couch might feel that way, but it’s surprising to see such alleged experts in communication state their position so bluntly. In the words of Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, “It’s poor salesmanship.”
But poor salesmanship seems to be a problem for major studios these days.
IF THIS year’s Hollywood box-office sales could be turned into a film, they would fit only one genre: horror. Like zombies who keep getting up, the turkeys of 2009 just won’t stop coming: Land of the Lost, Gamer, Surrogates, Funny People, Love Happens, The Taking of Pelham 123… It is now clear that only a fraction of the $US400 million ($450m) total outlay will be recouped at a time when DVD sales are vanishing. Inevitably, heads are beginning to roll.
So far it is only studio heads at Walt Disney and Universal. But with merchandising and brand tie-ins needed to replace cash from lost DVD revenues and dwindling Wall Street loans, more heads are bound to follow. Especially when films like Land of the Lost, Will Ferrell lastest has worldwide takings, currently, at barely two-thirds of the $100m that it cost to make.
And in case you missed their post the other day, The New Agenda would like you to join them in sending a loud and clear message that
CHILD RAPE IS WRONG AND PERPETRATORS SHOULD BE PUNISHED.