Taking to his Twitter account on Monday, comedian Ricky Gervais explained that while he did not personally disagree, ideologically or politically, with some of the speeches given by Hollywood’s chosen ones at Sunday’s Oscar ceremony, he felt that these celebrities were not nearly as persuasive as they seem to think.
“I have nothing against the most famous people in the world using their privileged, global platform to tell the world what they believe,” Gervais wrote. “I even agree with most of it. I just tried to warn them that when they lecture everyday, hard working people, it has the opposite effect.”
Exactly. Why is it so difficult for the Brad Pitts, the Joaquin Phoenixes, and the Robert De Niro’s of the world to understand this simple fact? How far up your own rear do you have to be before you start thinking that you will make a single bit of difference up there at the podium? DO they think that? Do they really? Or are they just virtue signaling so their Hollywood buddies will pat them on the back and say things like, “OMG, you’re so brave. You said just what I was thinking!”
Although we’re not sure anyone, anywhere, was thinking what Joaquin Phoenix was thinking in that rambling speech. We’re beginning to believe that he wasn’t exactly “acting” in that movie.
When politically-minded actors are asked about this hubris, they usually say something to the effect of how they’re compelled to use their platform for good. Well, sorry to say it, but you’re doing nothing of the kind. You want to do good, donate to charity. You want to do good? Encourage people to volunteer for a cause that helps people, animals, whatever it is that’s near and dear to your heart. That kind of thing, we can abide. Standing up on a stage and railing against President Trump? Uh, no. Spare us.
The problem is that your big soapbox is entirely unearned. Or, to put it another way, you earned it through something that has nothing whatsoever to do with politics. You earned it because you’re good at standing in front of a camera and playing pretend. Don’t get us wrong – we love the movies, we love great acting, and all the rest. But what does being a great actor have to do with having coherent views on the current political situation in the United States? Why should anyone listen to Brad Pitt over, say, the manager of the local Dunkin’ Donuts?
At least the Dunkin’ manager has some sense of what it’s like to live a normal life in America.
According to the Nielsen’s, the Oscar ratings were down three million people from last year. Maybe that’s three million everyday, hard working people who have had it up to here with the lectures.