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Some Advice For Hollywood
12 June 2003
Nine simple rules for
the next generation of Hollywood celebrities to follow if they wish to preserve
and maintain their star status.
I'm a huge fan of the movies and the escapism they provide. I also
happen to be an avid collector of movies on DVD and I love the experience
of seeing films on the big screen. However, I've grown resentful of
many in Hollywood for their actions and words during the past year.
I resent being put in the position where I have to remind the woman at Best
Buy who is about to purchase Jennifer Aniston's "Picture Perfect" that Ms.
Aniston called the leader of our country a "F#cking Idiot". As I watched
that woman toss her initial choice to the side in disgust and proudly pick
up a Bruce Willis movie, I realized that it is my duty to educate and advise
the upcoming generations of Hollywood celebrities. For the sake of
other movie fans like myself, I hope they will learn from this list of rules
aimed at preserving and maintaining the star status they've worked so hard
Rule #1 You are an ENTERTAINER. Your job is to play make-believe
characters and to sell tickets and DVDs. Once you make it as a star,
you will lead a charmed life and enjoy an opulent lifestyle. The average
working stiff like myself will live vicariously thru you. Remember,
you are in a business that is ultimately dependent upon obtaining and maintaining
a large fan base that will spend its hard-earned income on your products.
Rule #2 Do not forget Rule #1. It is so important that
we need to repeat it. Your flamboyant lifestyle is totally dependent
upon the whims of the viewing public. That leads us to rule #3.
Rule #3 Stay out of politics unless you plan to run for political
office and no longer wish to make a living as an entertainer. Remember
the old saying concerning polite dinner conversation and the exclusion of
topics related to religion and politics? You should apply this to your
career as well. The fewer people you offend, the more tickets you will
Rule #4 If you choose to ignore Rule #3 and seek to utilize your
star status to speak out on political issues, remember that not everyone
will share your point of view on the matter at hand. The more controversial
the topic, the more likely you will lose a portion of your paying customers.
Again, if you choose to become a political activist, it could cost you a
portion of your livelihood. You may want to evaluate how much you enjoy
the lifestyle, privilege, and status you have worked so hard to achieve.
Rule #5 Do not affix your signature to any type of political
document, especially one that is linked to radical political groups.
It will only come back to haunt you. Ask your agent first if he/she
thinks it is a good idea. If your agent tells you it is not a problem,
get a new agent. He doesn't have your long-term success in mind.
Rule #6 Don't allow anyone to talk you into marching in a parade
or joining a protest where the following are present:
1. The majority of those present look like extras from "That 60's Show".
2. Those attending are willing to chain themselves to anything.
3. People are willing to lie down in front of oncoming cars.
4. Voluntary vomiting is used as a form of protest.
5. People in attendance feel compelled to hide their identity via a ski mask or a bandana.
6. The American Flag is not proudly displayed or where it is being desecrated.
The presence of any one or all of these items listed should clue you in that
this is not going to help you sell more movie tickets.
Rule #7 Remember that freedom of speech is a two-way street.
You are free to speak your mind, but with that freedom comes consequences.
If you happen to choose a particular cause that is offensive to enough people,
don't be surprised if you quickly become persona non grata. This is what we refer to as the Danny Glover Rule.
This may also apply if you wage personal attacks against a certain person
or persons your viewing audience hold in high regard.
Rule #8 If you choose to ignore the Danny Glover Rule,
please don't whine to the media about the repercussions of your actions.
This only makes it worse. Your viewing public is made up largely of
hard-working stiffs that don't want to come home from work and see you on
TV telling them how wrong they are. That does not help your situation.
Furthermore, don't confuse consumer backlash with McCarthyism. No one
forced you to speak out and the government has not arrested you, so take
your licks like an adult. We'll respect you more for it.
Rule #9 If you happen to ignore this advice and follow in the
footsteps of celebrity activists like Martin Sheen, Janeane Garofalo, George
Clooney, etc. and offend a large percentage of your viewing audience, be
prepared to apologize. Don't delay, don't hide, and please be sincere
about it. The public knows who you are; you were either interviewed
on TV and in print, you affixed your signature to some silly statement, or
participated in a protest march. It's best to confront this head on
and just suck it up. That is, of course, if you wish to get back into
our good graces. America is a great country and its citizens
are very forgiving. However, it's impossible to forgive when forgiveness
isn't sought. Please remember this. It's your career we're talking
So there you have it; nine simple rules for the next generation of Hollywood
celebrities to follow if they wish to preserve and maintain their star status.
In today's world of instant news coverage and limited privacy, these rules
should be printed and handed out by every agent to their newest client.
Listen to your fans Hollywood; your career depends on it!
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