Probably the two big stories in the entertainment world this week (other than the boring Oscar ceremony) are John Galliano and Charlie Sheen, both on the basis of some ranting and raving.
I have to admit that I’m kind of ambivalent about the John Galliano thing. Who cares if he used some disparaging words when yelling at someone? Who cares if he might be a racist? He’s a fashion designer, not the King of England. He might as well be a comedian or a rapper – two groups who are allowed to say whatever they want about anyone. Yet John Galliano flips out and the fashion world (well, mainly Natalie Portman, but he did get fired from Dior) is in an uproar. I’ll be honest here. I didn’t care when Mel Gibson went off, and I don’t care that John Galliano went off on the same topic. He didn’t physically hurt anyone. Emotionally, maybe, but speech is purportedly still free. It’s unfortunate he feels that way, but isn’t he entitled to feel that way? Have we all become so PC that having any feeling other than what is morally appropriate can be career ending? Who hasn’t been called a bad name at some point in their life? (I just heard one of my opposing counsels in a prior case referred to me as a bitch. Do I care? No.) I believe a lot of people are racists, or think unpolitically correct names about other people, even though on the surface they appear quite open minded, and would never dream of saying such a thing out loud. It’s nice to know Galliano might be an ass, because now you can decide whether or not to buy his fashion with that knowledge in hand, but at the end of the day is it really a big deal? By contrast to this, the Supreme Court ruled today that the idiots over at Westboro Baptist Church are allowed to picket at funerals and say whatever the hell they want. (Now, granted, Galliano is in Europe, but…) So Galliano gets raked over the coals, and the Westboro Baptist Church gets the seal of approval, when in my opinion what they do is far worse. Total craziness.
Speaking of Charlie Sheen, he seems to be having a great deal of fun. Here’s a guy who could have been a truly A+ List star (although arguably maybe he is given his salary, even though he is on TV instead of in films) given his start in Platoon and Wall Street, but kind of threw it all away with the drugs and hookers. Here’s the thing, though. He seems to be having a hell of a time doing it. What guy wouldn’t want to be a multi-millionaire, living with two porn stars, getting high, telling off his boss, and basically doing whatever the hell he wants? Sounds like fun to me. People keep talking about whether he’s mentally ill, and while his actions seem to indicate that it might be true, I guess there's nothing anyone can do to stop him from making an ass of himself on every talk show in the nation. What’s extremely interesting about the whole thing is that none of his bosses have ever said that he showed up late for work, showed up high at work, or didn’t do his job. In fact, I heard the exact opposite – he showed up early and nailed his lines. So if he’s acting a little crazy in his personal life yet getting the job done, does it really matter? (although, to the extent that any of the domestic violence stuff is true, I don't condone that at all, and that's a whole different issue). I think his behavior will do nothing but bring more viewers to Two and a Half Men. What he’s doing is publicity money can’t buy.