Talk about something hiding in plain sight.
Show me a person’s body of work and I will see something of person who they are. To give an example: every homily I give tells the listener not just about what we believe, but what I believe as well. The kind of person I am and the spirituality I espouse are exposed with every word that trickles from my mouth. Who I am is seen through what I as a pastor am willing to allow in my parish and what I see as priorities.
Any artist will tell you that they expose a bit of themselves in their art. Be it writing, painting, sculpting, acting, and so forth, the artist reveals something of who he or she is to the world. Their values and beliefs seep through what they put out there or what the green light or even finance.
This can be a good thing or a curse. There are many in the artistic fields that are good people and their work shows this. There are those in the artistic fields, as well, who are vile, and their work shows forth that as well. When we look at the scandals in Hollywood and the entertainment industry, how can anyone be really shocked.
Other fields have had similar scandals, including my own of Catholic priesthood, but what gave scandal is that the work put out there and the life lived were at odds. You can’t preach peace, love, and crunchy granola on the one hand and molest children on the other. The indignation and betrayal was real. It was understandable that people didn’t see this coming.
I’m not feeling that with Hollywood though. In fact, I don’t feel that with the entertainment industry as a whole. They have been telegraphing who they are for decades. How many movers and shakers in the entertainment industry coveted those invitations to the Playboy Mansion, to cozy up with Hugh Hefner? Hefner built an empire on the exploitation of women! Shocker that many of these guys were exploiting women, huh?
Look at their movies. The mountain range full of violence and sexual exploitation of women is mammoth. Being excessively exploitative of women and children is considered daring and award worthy. Most musical genres have a dim view of women as little more than party accessories. How can we be surprised when the people that make this stuff and finance this stuff are engaged in this stuff?!
The scandal with the treatment of women is going to pale once the sexual exploitation of children comes out. Remember, this is the industry that wanted to give Roman Polanski and R. Kelly passes. This is the industry that has made money with the sexualization of our children. This is the industry that has endlessly marketed smut to our children and finances so much of the continued sexualization of our children. Several stars have talked about how they were passed around like party favors as children.
Looking at the body of work of this industry, it will be galling that anyone feign shock. It has been hiding in plain site, jumping up and down with glee, for many years.
Maybe the indignation that people have comes from the fact they should have seen this all along, but were so conditioned to admire these people, that it was simply excused away until it could not be excused any more. Let’s be honest. Look at what is on TV. Look at the movies. Listen to what is actually being sung. Take away the violence and the sex/sexual innuendo and what is left? How can we be truly shocked?
Garbage in, garbage out. We feed ourselves at a dumpster and we get the nutritional value of a dumpster. I cut out the diet of sex and violence given by the industry a long time ago. I found that without my emotions continually being manipulated towards anger, lust, greed, and gluttony, that getting my life in order was much easier. I am not saying I am a finished product by any means. However without a steady diet of violence, filth, and sex, I find it easier to be who I want to be.
I am not saying all songs are bad. Nor am I saying all TV and movies are bad. I am saying that the filth being exposed in Hollywood and the entertainment industry has been there all along, unhidden. Will its exposure change anything, or will it die down as the cornucopia of filth still spews on? That is up to us.
[See also: Yes, Silence About Sin Can Itself Be a Sin]