OPINION | Barry Richard: America’s Growing Disgust with Celebrity Culture
The almost daily barrage of allegations of sexual harassment and otherwise disgusting behavior by our cultural icons may finally be having in impact. Americans have long been fixated on celebrities and have managed to cut them slack for behavior that would not be acceptable in everyday life. The worm may be turning.
Whether it be entertainment figures accused of raping children, harassing others for sexual favors, or over-valued football players who refuse to salute the flag before kickoff, Americans appear to have had enough. Movie theaters are having a tough time selling tickets and films made by the kings and queens of Hollywood are dying on the vine. Viewership for NFL contests continues its downward spiral and many stadiums can't fill all of the available seats.
The disgust and cynicism grows deeper as even once revered figures such as the Reverend Jesse Jackson, media moguls like Roger Ailles and Bill O'Reilly and loveable television fixtures such as Bill Cosby are accused of sexual misconduct.
How about entertainers with severed Trump heads? Or, rappers aiming guns at the president in their videos? Soundly rejected by the public as unacceptable.
Whether you like President Trump or not doesn't really matter. The outrageous way in which the opposition has cheapened long-cherish American traditions and values while trying to discredit his legitimacy has angered many who have now begun to respond with their feet and their pocketbooks.
Working America has had it with lectures from the elitist Hollywood crowd who will preach morals while displaying none of their own. The news media can no longer be counted on to tell the truth and oftentimes simply makes it up to fit its idealistic agenda. The hate and smear merchants have been exposed. Highly paid performers who march around "screaming helplessly at the sky" and lash out at American values are out of touch and are losing their influence on the people who pay the bills.
As we mark the first anniversary of the election of President Donald Trump, 82% tell a Politico/Morning Consult poll that they would vote for Trump again today. Not bad considering how quickly the value of a new car depreciates the moment you drive it off the lot. Given the crap Trump has had to deal with from both democrats and republicans and the media during that first year, I would say he is holding up pretty well.
The disgust with modern day culture did not begin with Trump, though he did tap into it and has effectively used it to advance his positions. There have been others, like Tipper Gore, a democrat who have attempted to raise awareness to the negative impact of that culture on families. Trump's keenness sensed a tipping point had been reached and seized in the moment.
When Trump began his long journey to "drain the swamp" while making America "great again," I'm not sure even he knew the impact it would have on the culture. Think about it, after just one year Hollywood, the media, the NFL and corrupt politicians on both sides of the aisle are running for cover.
How's that for an accomplishment?
Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.