Friday, August 24, 2007

Jack Warner, Please Come Home!

Where are Jack Warner, Harry Cohn and Louis B. Mayer when you need them? It seems the Hollywood culture, if you can call it that, has gone to rot since the demise of the bad old studio system, a time when the imposing movie moguls treated their companies as one giant rigid patriarchy. They were unforgiving father figures who ruled with iron fists and made sure that their charges were always in line.

A Linsday Lohan would have been taken under wing, groomed for stardom with hand-picked roles and taught public etiquette, especially whenever in the vicinity of the press.

Mouthing off would have been out of the question. Which brings us to Jamie Foxx. If you had the interest - or the stomach for it - you might have tuned in "Access Hollywood" last night to watch as Foxx impulsively defended the ugly dog-fighting extra-curricular activities of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, who recently pleaded guilty to the charges.

It was not a pretty sight - Foxx's defense of the indefensible, not the dog-fighting charges.

Glib and self-consciously cool as ever, Foxx took time out from “The Foxxhole,” his weekly show on Sirius Satellite Radio show, to talk to "Access Hollywood’s" Shaun Robinson about the situation.

“It’s a cultural thing, I think,” Foxx said. “Most brothers didn’t know that, you know. I used to see dogs fighting in the neighborhood all the time. I didn’t know that was Fed time. So, Mike probably just didn’t read his handbook on what not to do as a black star.”

Ah, just one superstar to another.

I love how Foxx mangles the word "cultural" in his rationale.

What Foxx doesn't understand is that dog-fighting is just the tip of the iceberg. What precedes it is even more loathsome.

Female dogs are literally bred to death, birthing puppies, which come into this world foolishly wanting only to be cared for. They are brutalized instead. They are strapped to treadmills for hours walking and running. They are starved and taught to despise their own species. When they don't preform, they are beaten. When they fail, they are "executed" - hung or drowned.

I can't understand how anyone can do this, but how any African-American man can participate in such activies is even more jaw-dropping, given that his ancestors probably experienced the exact same inhuman treatment. I hope this isn’t taken as a facile anology, as it certainly isn't meant to offend. Nevertheless, I find the irony of this case both sad and disturbing.

Vick certainly isn't strapped for cash. His alleged actions have much more to do with an irrational need to be cruel than it does with naked greed.

So much for the notion of man’s best friend, right? End of diatribe.

That said, Jack Warner, please come home! Hollywood needs you. Badly.

(Artwork: Jack Warner, right, with Max Reinhardt and Hal Wallis; Jamie Foxx; and Foxx with Michael Vick inset on "Access Hollywood")

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Anyone interested in perusing some 2060 of my film reviews, dating back to 1994, can do so by simply going to RottenTomatoes.Com


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Joe. A very, very brave piece. You gave voice to what needed to be said. Stars sure aren't what they used to be.

Emily said...

Very well put. This story gets more disgusting by the day.

Cindy Withers said...


Donna Lacey said...

I Never thought Jamie Foxx was cool. This proves it.