Hollywood is a weird little place where some of the largest egos outside of Washington thrive in an elite, secretive world. Its inhabitants from time to time will lash out at the rest of us who don't buy into their limousine liberalism, but for the most part, their comings and goings are protected.

Sometimes someone slips up and provides a brief glimpse inside the seedier side of Hollywood, a world of perversion and acceptance. Those who wish to stay in the club go along to get along and keep their mouths shut, or face the unbearable risk of being ostracized and shunned by those they so long to be like.

Its a world full of underage cabana boys and struggling starlets who pleasure the rich and famous in hopes they might someday be accepted into the club. It is a world that includes monsters who abuse children for their own perverse needs, yet are protected and defended by their peers and their adoring fans. It is a sick and demented society that attempts to judge the rest of us based on its twisted view of reality.

Barbra Streisand pulled back the drapes and gave us a glimpse inside that sordid world this weekend when she defended pedophile Michael Jackson by telling the U.K.'s Sunday Times "his sexual needs were his sexual needs." She insisted Jackson's alleged sexual abuse of children "didn't kill them."

Streisand issued a clarification of her repugnant comments in which she blamed the victim's parents for letting them spend the night with Jackson before finally issuing a full-throated apology on Sunday. Streisand's apology was too late and I suggest it was probably intended more to stamp out the fire she ignited by her original comments.

Hollywood is about performance art. On the outside, it's glitz and glamour. On the inside, it's a gritty and competitive world run by the wealthy and connected who cheat, lie, scheme and do whatever it takes to remain relevant. Those who wish to survive look straight ahead and remain silent

Streisand gave us an important reminder of what is considered an acceptable cost for that relevancy.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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