Today marks the beginning of No Name-Calling Week, ‘an annual week of educational activities aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds,’ according to www.nonamecallingweek.org. For one week out of the year, children in grades five through eight are encouraged not to fling epithets at one other.
Kids who can’t stand to take a holiday from intolerance, however, have something to look forward to as adults: getting famous.
Lately, there’s been a rash of bigoted celebrities getting in over their heads, offering up weak excuses and being forgiven (or forgotten).
Most recently, we have Isaiah Washington’s alleged remark to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ co-star T.R. Knight regarding the latter’s sexual preference, right after Washington throttled co-star Patrick Dempsey and called him a ‘bitch.’
Initially, Washington denied the incident, but last week he issued a statement admitting that he ‘can neither defend nor explain’ his actions. I can explain it: He’s a bigot. This is nothing more than a refusal to accept responsibility.
Recall Michael Richards’ recent crash-and-burn at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood. As bad as this was, his apology on ‘The Late Show with David Letterman’ managed to make things worse.
Instead of owning up to his racism, Richards blamed the ‘force field of this hostility’ and said his ‘rage [went] all over the place, it went to everybody in the room.’ That’s a lot easier to accept than bigotry, I guess.
Of course, there’s Mel Gibson’s well-documented DUI on PCH in July of last year. Gibson later blamed his anti-Semitism and sexism on ‘a moment of insanity’ and a ‘horrific relapse’ into alcoholism instead of just admitting his own prejudices. He couldn’t even be bothered with a sincere attempt at reconciliation: ‘The tenets of what I profess to believe necessitate that I exercise charity and tolerance.’ Sounds like God’s twisting his arm.
So chin up, Playground Bully. Don’t let the threat of accountability and tolerance get you down. Make it in Hollywood and you can get back to doing what you do best
Filed Under: Opinion