Today’s Dumb Woke Hollywood Casting Question: “Why Does Hollywood Keep Using Fat Suits?” [Corrected]

The New York Times today decides to try a new frontier in the woke casting double standard adventure—you know, the incoherent theory that minority actors should be considered for all roles and all character types regardless of sex, race, size or physical characteristics, but it is unethical for white performers to play any character that they have to act and use make-up to evoke. You know, like good Hollywood liberal Tom Hanks claimed when he issued his recent  mea culpa for playing a gay, AIDS battling lawyer in “Philadelphia.”  So, using the same logic, Tom must have been equally hostile to “diversity, equity and inclusion” when he took a role away from some brilliant, unknown actor with a 75 IQ to play Forrest Gump, just as an autistic actor should have starred in “Rain Man” instead of Dustin Hoffman.

Suuuure. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The Great Stupid often has that effect on me. Sorry.

The Times’ query, in the headline to a column by Arts Section pundit , is “Why Does Hollywood Keep Using Fat Suits?” Gee, it’s a mystery! And come to think of it, why does Hollywood keep using make-up? Special effects? Fake blood?

Here’s a much tougher question: why does the New York Times let people who know nothing about performing, entertainment, business, audiences, comedy, and casting write columns like this? Continue reading

Stop Making Me Defend (Ugh) Roy Moore!

Is Roy Moore the most repulsive public figure to warrant an Ethics Alarms “Don’t Make Me Defend…” posts? Oooh, tough call. I checked: the all-time leader in such posts is Donald Trump, with Joe Biden a distant second. Then we have Jack Phillips (the anti-gay baker), Sean Spicer, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, Kathy Griffin, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Joy Behar, Alex Jones, Lenny Dykstra, Woody Allen, Stacey Abrams, Chris Cuomo (twice!), Nicki Minaj, Tucker Carlson, Nancy Pelosi and Pete Rose. That’s tough and nauseating competition. What do you think?

But I digress. The occasion for my rallying to Roy’s side is the $8.2 million verdict in his favor in his defamation suit against the Senate Majority PAC for a negative TV ad characterizing some of the sexual misconduct accusations against him that helped derail Moore’s failed 2017 U.S. Senate bid in Alabama.

Senate Majority PAC funded a group called Highway 31 that ran a $4 million advertising blitz against Moore, concentrating on the accounts of his pursuit of teenage girls early in his career when he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. It is beyond reasonable dispute that Moore was creepy with young girls, even Joe Biden-like. However, defamation is when one states as fact something for which there is no factual evidence and that harms another’s reputation.

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Ethics Quiz: Hitler’s Watch

Adolf Hitler’s watch, shown above, recently sold at auction for over a million dollars. (The auction house had been expecting more, between 2 and 4 million.) The sale provoke some angry rhetoric online: many believe that it is unethical, indeed immoral, to acquire, keep or sell artifacts from Nazi Germany. In several countries, putting such things up for sale is illegal.

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is this:

Is it unethical to sell or buy Hitler’s watch?

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A Case Study In How The The Culture Gets Stupid: “Shark Week”

It’s Shark Week. If anyone needs more evidence that the corporate media has no scruples whatsoever and will use its ubiquity, influence and power to treat the public like guinea pigs and puppets, look no further.

The nonsense debuted in 1988 as a Discovery Channel marketing stunt, and has since metastasized into TV’s longest-running programming event. The idea was and is to scare people, because people like being scared, except that unlike Jason, Freddy, Michael Myers and the Alien, sharks are real. People being irrationally terrified of sharks has led to an alarming drop in some shark species populations; it has also made significant numbers of impressionable Americans phobic about the ocean.

The failure of our education system to teach critical thinking and probability also helps.

I personally witnessed a post-Shark Week panic on a Wellfleet, Mass. beach when a school of dolphins cruised by about 100 yards from shore. It’s amazing nobody was hurt: the screaming stampede out of the water looked exactly like the famous scene in “Jaws.” That movie, of course (Yes, that’s young Alex Kintner getting eaten alive above) was the inspiration for Shark Week, and the late Peter Benchley’s low-brow rip-off of “Moby-Dick” was the inspiration for Spielberg’s break-though movie. The film holds up almost 50 years later because of the performances and the direction, though, as Marty McFly sagely observed in “Back to the Future II,” the shark still looks fake.

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Unethical Quote Of The Month, Ethics Dunce And Ethics Corrupter: First Avenue In Minneapolis

Wow! Congratulations! An Unethical Triple Crown!

The depressing thing is that I should have to explain to some people what’s unethical about this.

The show, it appears, was sold out. Never mind. People who were not going to be at the show didn’t want people who did to have the chance, and a cowardly, mealy-mouthed, censorship-embracing management didn’t have the integrity or ethical literacy to tell them to learn to live with the reality that everyone doesn’t have to think like they think.

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Tales Of The Great Stupid, Baseball Division: Incredibly, The Josh Donaldson /Tim Anderson/”Jackie” Fiasco Gets Worse

Unbelievable.

In Act One of this fiasco, covered here, narcissist African-American star White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson implied that Yankee third-baseman Josh Donaldson called him a racist slur—which turned out to be “Jackie,” a slur never before recognized as such. (My late mother used to call me “Jackie.” I can never forgive her… ) You see, Anderson had referred to himself as the current day Jackie Robinson in an interview a few years back, an example of hubris that would have gotten him eaten by a three-headed something if he was in a Greek myth, and Donaldson chose to rub it in when Anderson was tagged out at third. Deserved mockery is not racism, but Anderson’s manager, Tony LaRussa, claimed it was. Tony can read the room: today any criticism of a prominent black American is “racism.”

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Ethics Signs And Portents, 5/10/2022: Langella’s Lament, Kellogg’s Indoctrination, Lightfoot’s Incitement, And Yellen’s idiocy.

That photo of the dueling signs in my neighborhood (Alexandria, VA) is from the Washington Post last week. Ethics Alarms first noted this obnoxious phenomenon here in 2016, with several updates since.

That’s some scoop there, Lois Lane!

1. Now here’s an even more obnoxious sign of the times: cereal boxes presuming to indoctrinate kids. What possible excuse is there for this, on the side of this Kellogg’s box:

I don’t care about the box design or the cereal: it’s a product, and if a parent wants to buy it, swell. It’s a marketing gimmick. Yuck, but so what? However, this, on the side panel, steps over the line into the culture wars and indoctrination. Not on my breakfast table…

2. Oh, fine: the Treasury Secretary is an idiot as well as an Ethics Dunce. Janet Yellen is now on record as endorsing one of the more offensive and cretinous arguments in favor of Roe v. Wade: snuffing out more children in the womb is good for the economy! “I believe that eliminating the right of women to make decisions about when and whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades,” she said in response to a question at a Senate Banking Committee hearing. Continue reading

The Duty To Warn: As Will Surprise No One Who Is Familiar With This Blog, I See A Serious Ethics Issue Related To My Recent Visit To The Emergency Room

I’m going to have to cover this topic with one metaphorical hand tied behind my metaphorical back, because some of the important details land in the realm of confidentiality.

Last week, one of my loved ones had a frightening experience, slowly becoming disoriented and confused regarding time, place and language, hallucinating, falling down an unlit staircase and only missing serious injury by pure luck, speaking nonsense, then gibberish, and finally being unable to speak at all. By the time the EMTs were summoned, I was worried that I was witnessing a stroke in progress, which is what the paramedics thought when they arrived.

But it wasn’t a stroke. In fact, the ER doctors couldn’t figure out what was going on. By then the patient was trembling, thrashing around (so much that an MRI was impossible), frightened, angry, aggressive, and talking incessantly but incomprehensibly. They thought it might be a tumor, or an infection, or bleeding, or an interaction of many factors. It was like a “House” episode.

The real reason for the symptoms was that the patient hadn’t filled a long-standing prescription for Levothyroxine, a very common drug ( also known as synthroid) used to treat an underactive thyroid. The weather had been bad and ice was everywhere, so the trip to the CVS was put off one day, then another, then another. An unremarkable few days off the drug, which had been taken regularly for decades with occasional short interruptions, stretched into a week. That, the doctors concluded, had caused it all. Once the drug was injected, complete recovery occurred overnight.

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Black Like Us

 Confirming my own half-baked research, apparently African-American actors are indeed disproportionately represented in TV commercials now. American Thinker records,

In the United States today, the White population (not including Hispanics) is 57.8%….Blacks comprise 14% of the U.S. population but appear in 50% of commercials. White actors now appear to promote health insurance, gold, loans, and some medicines. Moreover, if a White person appears in a commercial, he/she is usually old, sick, a freak, or at the very least, an appendage to a Black partner. If there’s a doctor on the screen, he’s usually Black, while the patient is usually White. Caucasian young men appear in only 4% of the commercials! If some aliens began to study the population of Planet Earth through our TV commercials they would have a somewhat distorted picture of Americans, to put it mildly.

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P.M. Ethics Dispatches, 1/11/2022

We have to keep baseball ethics alive even if baseball itself is in a state of suspension: the owner and players are, for the first time in decades, arguing about how to divide up their billions, everything from roster size to minimum salaries are on the table, and as of now, the two sides aren’t even talking with the season just a couple of months away. One of the issues to be settled is whether the National League will finally capitulate and adopt the designated hitter rule, which was accepted in the American League on this date in 1973, a day which many traditionalist fans then and now regard as an unforgivable scar on the integrity of the game. Baseball has always been celebrated for its equity and balance: as it was envisioned, every player on the field had to both hit and play defense. The DH, which is a batter who never uses a glove, also allowed the pitcher to be a defense-only specialist, never picking up a bat which, advocates of the new rule argued, was a result much to be wished, since the vast majority of hurlers are only slightly better at hitting the ball than your fat old uncle Curt who played semi-pro ball in his twenties. All these decades years later, the National League and its fans have stubbornly maintained that the DH was a vile, utilitarian gimmick spurred by non-ethical considerations, mainly greed. When the rule was adopted, American League attendance lagged behind the NL, which also was winning most of the All Star games, in part because that league had embraced black stars far more rapidly than “the junior league.” The DH, the theory went, would make games more exciting, with more offense, while eliminating all the .168 batters in the ninth spot in every line-up.

I had a letter published in Sports Illustrated in 1973 explaining why I opposed the DH as a Boston Red Sox fan. Since then, I have grudgingly come to accept the benefits of the rule: it gave the Sox David Ortiz, allowed Carl Yastrzemski to play a few more years, and let American League fans see such all-time greats as Hank Aaron at the plate after they could no longer play the field. It was a breach of the game’s integrity, but it worked.

1. At least that’s fixed. The Supreme Court issued a corrected transcript of the oral arguments in the Biden vaccine mandate case, and it now accurately records Justice Gorsuch as saying he believes the seasonal flu kills “hundreds…thousands of people every year.” The original version wrongly quoted him as saying hundreds of thousands, which allowed those desperately trying to defend the outrageously wrong assertions by Justice Sotomayor regarding the Wuhan virus to point to Gorsuch and claim, “See? Conservatives are just as bad!” Prime among these was the steadily deteriorating Elie Mystal at “The Nation,” who, typically for him, refused to accept the correction. Sotomayor is one of the all-time worst Supreme Court justices, though she will be valuable as a constant reminder of the perils of affirmative action. Her jurisprudence makes the much maligned Clarence Thomas look like Louis Brandeis by comparison. Continue reading