Abused And Abusing: The Bruce Willis Ethics Scandal

I was not surprised when Bruce Willis’ daughter announced this week that he was “stepping away” from acting because of what she called “aphasia.” For actors, that can be a convenient technical term for “I can’t remember my lines, and it’s not my fault,” but in Willis’s case—he’s only 67—many believe it may mean more, like that he is suffering from the after-effects of a stroke or head injury. The reason I was not surprised by the announcement is that the “Die Hard” superstar’s movie appearances have been embarrassing to him and painful to watch for at least 3 years, and there was no discernible reason, other than the fact that he appeared to be not fully engaged.

During the pandemic, when my wife and I were forced to watch far more movies we had never heard of than we wanted to, we quickly learned to avoid any Willis movie of recent vintage, and there are a lot of them. It was puzzling: Willis would be named up front as one of the stars, but he frequently had nothing to do. He looked okay, except that the spark was gone, and Bruce Willis’s spark is most of his justification for being on screen. He showed no energy, moved slowly, seldom changed expression, and delivered his lines flatly. It was suspicious. And it wasn’t our imagination. One tweeting movie fan wrote in February,

While I wasn’t paying attention Bruce Willis became the king of crappy, low budget, direct to video action films. 32 of them since 2014. Apparently he gets most of the film’s budget to show up for a day or two of filming then they build the rest of the movie around that. Nice.

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More Advice Column Malpractice: “Dear Prudence,” Elder Abuse and Voter Fraud

I have to wonder about the values, ethics and trustworthiness of any publication that employs an advice columnist as deeply incompetent and unethical as Emily Yoffe, a.k.a “Dear Prudence.” I’m sure that I would be compelled to correct her regularly if I read her responses with any frequency, which is one of the reasons I don’t read the column. 2011 Ethics Alarms Commenter of the Year tgt just flagged this horrific example of Emily’s craft, and correctly guessed my reaction, writing, “get ready to facepalm.”  Now that my visage is permanently concave, allow me to retort.

The query comes from a woman whose mother has filled in absentee ballots for her parents, voting her own preferences and not consulting them. Worse, the grandmother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, is a life-long partisan of the party her daughter voted against on her behalf.  The questioner asks “Prudence,” “Should I attempt to intervene in some way?” Continue reading