Behind Hollywood’s Smoke & Mirrors

It started with Harvey Weinstein. Then the focus shifted to Kevin Spacey. From there, the focus continued onto a whole host of other public figures, including other celebrities and politicians (here in the UK & abroad as well).

Towards the latter part of 2017, the news has been inundated with almost daily reports of allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. As the allegations came pouring forth, a hashtag (#MeToo) was started by women on social media who claimed to have also experienced sexual harassment or abuse at some point in their lives as well. Certainly, these allegations are nothing new to Hollywood, but it seemed that there was an influx in 2017 which ought to be addressed.

A Word Of Caution
This has been spoken of elsewhere; however, I wanted to quickly highlight that allegations are not necessarily confirmation that harassment or abuse has taken place. It’s worrying that anyone can be accused of anything and the general public treats these people as guilty before proven innocent (as opposed to what the actual law states of being innocent until proven guilty).

Sadly, if we are not careful, these sexual harassment allegations have the ability to become our modern day witch hunting. As soon as someone is even accused of something, it puts a stain on their integrity, career, and life as a whole, even if there is no evidence that such allegations are reliable. People may have ulterior motives for accusing someone of wrongdoing, which is insulting to people who have actually experienced real abuse & real harassment (it may be helpful to look up the dictionary definitions of those words before jumping to conclusions).

Behind The Fame
The Hollywood lifestyle appeals to many. In fact, even I wanted to be a famous actor or musician at one time as well. It’s portrayed to the world as this ultra lifestyle which is full of joy, happiness, glitz, glamour, success, and money. However, behind the smoke & mirrors of “fame,” a much darker picture is unveiled.

Stories of actresses being objectified by men in the industry, feeling that they have to keep their mouth shut & just put up with the sexual harassment if they want to advance in their Hollywood career. Stories of people sleeping with a producer so that he will cast them in a major flick. Not to mention, the countless stories of celebrities who have turned to drugs, alcohol, or sex as outlets to deal with stress of living in the limelight.

We see the red carpets, the award shows, the TV interviews, and the paparazzi snaps of some famous person enjoying their favourite Starbucks drink in LA or their holiday in Mexico… but we don’t see behind the smoke & mirrors. Unfortunately, these people are held up as idols in our society to an unrealistic standard.

 

People that know me, know that I enjoy meeting celebrities when I bump into them from time to time. Why? Maybe it’s because I secretly want to see behind the smoke & mirrors. I can see someone acting in a movie or performing music on a stage, but I want to know what they are like in real life. I’m not in any position of influence, fame, or in the Hollywood lifestyle at all, but maybe if I was then I would be able to truly/clearly see that it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be.

Jim Carrey, the famous Canadian comedian, once said: “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” At root, they are normal people with extraordinary lifestyles, dealing with the same problems we all deal with.

What’s Done In The Dark
Nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. (Luke 8:17; cf. Mark 4:22)

This is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (John 3:19-21)

For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. (Ephesians 5:5-14)

Who would have thought that a book written nearly 2000 years ago would have so much to say about an industry that thrives on “15 minutes of fame”? The Bible is clear that what is done in the darkness will be brought to the light. If not in this life, in eternity. These men & women think that their sexual harassment is done in the darkness & no one will ever find out. Sometimes even 10+ years later, these things will eventually come to the light. In other cases, it is only after someone dies that these things come to light.

Whether the things we do in darkness are exposed in this life, God will eventually shine a light on everything we’ve done and we will have to give an account. How would we plead? Could we say that we are truly innocent and better than these “disgusting” public figures who have had their dark sins aired out in the media? Could we imagine all our sins not just on the front cover a magazine/newspaper, but being played out before the God of the universe?

We may call for the crucifixion of people like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Bill Cosby, politicians, and other public figures… but then we might as well sign our own death certificate as well. We’ve all done things in the darkness which will come to the light. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) & the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). The only way to be blameless in that day is to come to Jesus who is the light of the world (John 8:12) and He will show gracious forgiveness to match our horrible darkness.

A Harsh Reality
The glitter is not always gold when it comes to Hollywood. All is not as it seems. The 2017 sexual harassment/abuse allegations have shown us the tip of the iceberg. Sadly, there are still many who aspire to “fame” no matter what the cost is. There will, sadly, be more women and men who are treated in a demeaning, disrespectful, and inappropriate manner by other men and women in Hollywood who love the lights, camera, and action but do not love the light of the world.

Celebrities are people like you & I. They are not perfect & this is perhaps why we are so astonished when these allegations come out against people who we thought we could trust as good public figures for our society. We love the smoke & mirrors, but we ultimately want to know what is going on behind the fame. What will we find when we get there? Sinners like us who need the grace & forgiveness of Jesus, no matter how glamorous their life appears on the outside.

God Bless,
Tyson Bradley

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