I drafted this a week ago. Seems there is ‘another celebrity a day’ hung-up to scrutiny in the public square. Allegations, denials, apology and ‘interpretation’ is keeping celebrity publicists in grocery money – adding two more the other day, Matt Lauer and Garrison Keillor to the heap:
Exposing and shining light on every famous person with bad deeds in their resume is not just a society/media doing a make-good for not more effectively revealing foibles and fowl acts of Trump earlier. Politicos will argue the same about people named Clinton. But what is at play here is not about politics or celebrity. It looks like that right now, but it is much larger.
It isn’t just about men with roaming hands and out-of-control behavior – it’s about ethics on many fronts. Our politicians, our bureaucrats, our entertainers and our sports heroes can’t get away with it anymore. Greater scrutiny will keep many talented people off center stage. The ‘stage’ may suffer for a while, but that has to happen sometimes when times change, when attitudes change.
I feel compelled to write something about my hero Charlie Rose. No hero in usual terms – he didn’t save a cat up some tree or take an enemy hill – just someone I’ve admired greatly for decades. For his success of course, but more than anything, for his interviewing skill. I have been entertained and informed by his work. As someone who interviews people too, watching him made me better. I’ve not tried to copy his style, but he has taught so much about how to get people to open up.
His name joins the ranks of many ‘fallen from grace’ famous and/or powerful men who are collectively tarred with the same abuse brush. Over time we’ve been fans of their work – then they’ve fallen, been accused and in some cases prosecuted. Over time our views of the talents of Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, David Letterman, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Matt Lauer and how Charlie Rose have changed – we can no longer see them as talent, as fun/funny, entertaining or informative – because now we see them each as a predator, as pariah. Admittedly, not equal pariahs – not guilty of being the same, just guilty, just pariahs. They have counterparts in business. Many names have been in the news lately. Some remain there, especially some running for office. Many more, running for cover. Careers ended/altered, TV shows and movies cancelled. I imagine there are agents and lawyers rubbing their greedy hands with glee. And some prosecutors. And journalists too.
“What were they thinking?”
Obviously, not with a clear brain – but operating under delusion they would never be found out., that their partners/spouses would never find out, that their employers would never find out.
In the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s so many trail-blazing women worked to change society – to get men to change, to be recognized as a ‘real feminist’ – equal, fair, and fairly treated. As decades have passed much progress, but most would argue ‘not nearly enough’.
Now, not by plan or by an organized effort of women or governments – times are changing, the public shaming, the lawsuits, the shelved careers, the exoneration of marginalized and mistreated women – are seismic in nature.