• Lifting the Lid on Hollywood’s Hypocrisy

    by  • October 20, 2017 • Movies, Streaming, Television • 15 Comments

    Girl Code

    Recent scandals reveal the danger in entertainment industry culture. 

    Hundreds of gallons of virtual ink have already been spilled in chronicling the fall from grace of one of the most powerful men in Hollywood amid accusations of a decades-long pattern of bullying, sexual abuse, harassment, and rape: Harvey Weinstein. Hundreds more have been expended in examining the broader implications for the company he founded, projects already in development, women in the entertainment industry, and more.

    This isn’t about that.

    Well, it is and it isn’t.

    To defend the entertainment industry against the indefensible, there are those who have said the stories written about Weinstein are only so much moral preening. That Hollywood, in this regard, is no different than any other workplace or industry in America. But while predatory behavior and workplace harassment may be common, Hollywood is an uncommon industry, with a reach and global influence that surpasses any other industry or institution in the world.

    In the days after the scandal broke, more and more victims stepped out of the shadows to share their stories of abuse, harassment and assault; not just at the hands of Weinstein, but other high-placed executives in the entertainment industry, as well. James Van Der Beek (star of Dawson’s Creek) reported being groped by older, powerful men in the industry; Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon recounted her story of being assaulted by a director at the age of 16; America Ferrera (star of Ugly Betty) shared that she was sexually assaulted at the age of nine. Nickelodeon just fired Loud House creator Chris Savino amid allegations of sexual harassment. Loud House is the #2 rated series on the network for children ages 2-11.

    Given how wide-spread the problem of sexual abuse, harassment, and predatory behavior appears to be in the entertainment industry, isn’t it worthwhile to consider how a worldview that excuses and justifies this predatory behavior might be seeping into that which they create, and thereby influencing our shared culture, and in turn, influencing the world view of children who are the primary consumers of their creative output?

    Theologian and philosopher, Francis Schaeffer wrote, “People are unique in the inner life of the mind – what they are in their thought world determines how they act. This is true of their value systems and it is true of their creativity… The results of their thought world flow through their fingers or from their tongues into the external world. This is true of Michelangelo’s chisel, and it is true of a dictator’s sword.”

    How can the same not also be true of those who write, direct, edit and produce entertainment products? It would be naïve to believe they can leave their presuppositions, attitudes, and worldview at the door when they go to work. Their worldview is the prism through which they see the world, and it is the foundation on which all of their creative endeavors are built.

    The evidence of this worldview in the entertainment industry is in plain view for all to see. Netflix recently launched an animated series called Big Mouth which attempts to pass itself off as a humorous look at puberty – but which sexualizes children in the crudest and most demeaning, dehumanizing ways.

    And even if children aren’t the target audience for Big Mouth, this disturbing trend is also now showing up in programs specifically made for children.  Last month, Business Insider reported that a Netflix kids’ cartoon, Maya the Bee, included a scene in which Maya “unknowingly stumbles upon a rock with a drawing of male genitalia on it.”

    Going back, there have been numerous documented instances of children being inappropriately sexualized, or of inappropriate sexual content being inserted into entertainment products made specifically for children: A 1995 Loony Tunes allusion to prison rape, a thinly-veiled Rugrats reference to pornography, and on and on.

    The reason the Hollywood sex scandals have dominated news cycles these last three weeks is because they affirm what many of us have long observed and suspected: that those who are setting the cultural agenda, especially with respect to sexual mores and attitudes, have an unwholesome worldview, and that worldview is influencing the world our children grow up in.

    It is well and good that those who have been guilty of perpetrating sexual harassment and abuse are finally being exposed. But it is long past time for us to lift the lid off this sewer and expose the extent to which these worldviews have corrupted our culture.

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    About

    Ms. Henson is a noted expert on entertainment industry trends and the how the impact of entertainment affects children and the American popular culture at large. She also directs the organization’s Advertiser Accountability Campaign, which encourages companies to sponsor family-friendly entertainment. She previously supervised the research and program content analysis operations of the PT and produced a number of groundbreaking PTC studies that document the levels of graphic sex, violence and profanity on television. Some of those reports include: The Ratings Sham I & II, Dying to Entertain, Faith in a Box, The Sour Family Hour, The Blue Tube, and TV Bloodbath. She began her career with the PTC in 1997 as an entertainment analyst, documenting instances of inappropriate content on television. Ms. Henson has appeared on a variety of television shows including Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, Your World with Neil Cavuto, The Big Story, CNN Headline News’ ShowBiz Tonight, CNBC’s On the Money, MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, and CBN’s Newswatch. She is a frequent guest on radio talk shows across the country and has been quoted extensively in news sources such asEntertainment Weekly, Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, New York Daily News, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Variety, Associated Press, Reuters, and Bloomberg. Ms. Henson is a graduate of the University of Virginia where she received a BA in Government. She resides in Falls Church, Va., with her husband and their son.

    15 Responses to Lifting the Lid on Hollywood’s Hypocrisy

    1. gwen.swank@yahoo.com
      October 20, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      Nothing surprises me from Hollywood from now to the beginning of movies. There have always been scandals but with 24 hour news now nothing is kept in the closet as it was in the beginning of movies. They just don’t have moral high standards and it gets worse

      • Judy
        October 24, 2017 at 10:28 am

        This has been going on forever! No laws to protect me back in my day I had to take care of myself. No boss would do anything. where I came from So Sad, disappointing

    2. Barbara Lindeman
      October 20, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      Our culture is a sewer. It is becoming more and more evident all the time. We have desensitized our minds to the point where everything is ok. I love the line, “just get in step with the times, this is the 21st century” or “you are on the wrong side of history”. We don’t blush anymore. Look at the Miss America pageant. All the ladies have gowns that are cut down to the belly button. You have to show the breast almost completely, just don’t show the nipple then it is ok. You can’t buy a swimsuit that isn’t almost nude, but that is ok? Look at the women on national TV, showing more and more all the time, that’s ok? So when you hear about someone being predatory in their behavior, you don’t know why people are that way. Garbage in garbage out. There is nothing sacred anymore. If you advertise something 24 hours a day, why are you surprised when someone takes you up on it? Kids are fed garbage all around and then we wonder why they spit out the garbage. Hollywood puts out garbage, and then if we don’t just adore it and support it, we are being pointed out as just too critical. 50 shades of grey? Kids see that? Yes they do! The books that they read, if they can read, garbage. But if you don’t go along with everything Hollywood puts out you are just an old fogey. Kids and adults are sexualized daily in all we do and see. We are to accept everything, everything is ok. Sex is supposed to be one of those sacred things between two people and private. Now it is between any and everything and everybody. It is now a national pastime. So when a person like Weinstein comes out of the clouds, we are astonished. Why? When something is shoved into your brain day and night from birth to death, why are we surprised? Our culture is a garbage heap. But that is no surprise. And do you think it will change? I don’t thing so. Just give it some time and another Weinstein will show up. But for now, they are still in the shadows. Do you think he is the only one? And do you think you will only find them in Hollywood? Look again.

    3. Judy
      October 20, 2017 at 2:18 pm

      This idea that an unwholesome worldview can produce a creative outcome that is detrimental to children seems logical to me. Sadly, the vast amounts of money to be made is valued more than what is good for children.

    4. C Holmes
      October 20, 2017 at 3:17 pm

      Many women of integrity and talented women leave the entertainment industry instead of being subjected to continual sexual harassment. Some of those who stay apparently have no problem with the way women in the business are treated. Yes this absolutely affects the way women are portrayed in media. As consumers we need A la carte TV so we can stop subsidizing content that is offensive. Without financial pressure Hollywood will never change.

      • Bethany
        October 24, 2017 at 9:51 am

        I second all of that! This is also happening dramatically in the publishing world! As an illustrator I refuse to be part of the loss of innocence that’s promoted in children’s literature and the LGBT agenda that’s prevalent right now!

    5. pj
      October 20, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      We have been trying to screen TV and movies for years from the corrupt and pornographic content that the Liberals in Hollyweird want to pass off as normal behavior. It is sickening what they have been allowed to pass off as entertainment. The R rated movies of today should be X-rated and they know it! Our poor children are being desensitized daily and we feel hopeless when trying to protect them. Very sad for America and the rest of the world.

      • moax429
        October 23, 2017 at 1:29 pm

        The R-rated movies of today are most likely *appealed* from NC-17 (the current successor to the X rating).

        But that is *1000% true.” Those films *should* be rated NC-17 and “Hollyweird” *does* know it! (An appalling piece of trash I saw two years ago called “Deadpool” certainly fits that category.)

    6. Stephen Bauer
      October 21, 2017 at 6:57 am

      Thank you for the article. The most important people of influence, sadly, in our world are the entertainment executives, writers and staff who influence our children and us every day. We haven’t even talked about internet porn which the experts say is being seen by children as young as 6. There are things and behaviors we were never meant to see that stir things in us we were never meant to stir. The MPPA ( Motion Picture Industry) led by former Senator Chris Dodd, and many other groups are selling all of this in the name of “entertainment.” Please contact Mr. Dodd. All this is behind the actual on going hyper sexuality of our time and girls and women suffer the most. Yes I want to see all of Mr. Weinstein’s victims get justice but it is only a band aid on a hemorrhage. I am glad the Hollywood hypocrisy is being exposed, including Lady Gaga, starring in the Hotel horror on Fx. As men, we need to set the example to our children and grandchildren by treating women with respect and not like objects of sex. Thank you for the ongoing great work of PTC and for keeping us informed! Steve Bauer

    7. Shinji
      October 22, 2017 at 11:32 am

      Watch one of Dan Schneider’s shows (iCarly, Victorious, Sam and Cat, the currently airing Game Shakers) on Nickelodeon sometime. People are reasonably suspicious of the man because of all the sexual innuendo he puts in his shows aimed at kids. It’s not an incidental thing like it was on Rugrats; it’s every single episode.

    8. Jeffrey
      October 22, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      Where can I find information on this “worldview” and/or “inner life of the mind” you mention in your article?

    9. roy veteto
      October 22, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      i wonder how many of these hollywood perverts insist on making movies that have sex nudity profanity or violence – even when those things are not needed

    10. Gladys
      October 22, 2017 at 7:49 pm

      Ms. Henson has written an excellent expose of what is happening in the entertainment industry and how it affects our culture. Her research and groundbreaking findings of how the pornography industry affects our children and how it is purposely presented in a subtle manner as comedy in order to distract the viewer and hide the real purpose of the perverted message, is excellent. However I wish her important revelations and powerful msg would also provide the public, with solutions. All this is very good, but at the end we are left totally overwhelmed by the facts and feeling impotent and unable to resolve the problem. The American family needs help.

    11. Alexander Kristofer
      October 23, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      What do you have against guns? Its sad that cartoons for example wont show guns anymore

    12. Carol Morrisey
      October 24, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      All this just demonstrates the truth that human beings are sinful by nature. We can be taught to be “gentlemen and ladies,” polite, etc. but our hearts are corrupt unless we hand them over to Jesus to be cleansed. Our culture needs more of this truth and more lives changed by the power of God before we can clean up this mess.

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