When actions impact brand

No, this isn’t about the current kerfuffle over WorldCon. If you want an excellent take on it, check out Jason Cordova’s post over at Mad Genius Club. This has to do with how a Hollywood persona’s dramatic tweets proving her deep-seated Trump Derangement Syndrome have ruined a show for my mother and myself. Oh, and there’s a bit of speculation about how the revelations about Harvey Weinstein would have impacted the same show had it been filmed even a month later than it is.

The show I’m talking about is one of my mother’s favorites, and one of the few “reality shows” I don’t run screaming from the room when it comes on — Project Runway. Well, to be specific, Project Runway All-Stars. The new season started last night and I found myself distracted 1) by my frustration with the “host” of the show and 2) wondering how things might have been different if it had been filmed later than it had been. Finally, Mom (my dear, 86-year-old conservative mother) realized I was biting my tongue about something and asked why. I thought for a second and then answered honestly, surprised when she agreed with me. You see, she usually doesn’t pay attention to what’s going on with the Hollyweird crowd but, as I’ve discovered over the last 14 months, it’s hard to ignore them when they are all over the media — and social media — putting their Trump Derangement Syndrome on full display.

Let’s start with the least objectionable about the show last night. One of the “judges” is Georgina Chapman. Chapman, for those of you who don’t recognize the name, is big in fashion and is also the soon-to-be (if not already) former Mrs. Harvey Weinstein. When the allegations of sexual misconduct first hit the news, Weinstein trumpeted not only how they were false but how his wife stood by him. Well, that lasted only so long and, if I remember correctly, back in November she said she wanted a divorce.

So that begs the question of whether Lifetime TV and the producers of Project Runway All-Stars would have had her back as a judge if the series started filming in December or later. One the one hand, I can see them doing just that. After all, they could paint her as the wronged woman, maybe not in the same ay as the women Weinstein allegedly assaulted or threatened or whose careers he supposedly tried to ruin when they wouldn’t play ball with him. But, on the other hand, there have been a number of people, many of them women, wondering how Chapman didn’t know what her husband had been up to, especially since it seems like his actions were one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood.

Whether this is an issue Lifetime and the show discusses as the season progresses, we’ll just have to wait and see.

But the real distraction for me was Alyssa Milano, the Heidi Klum-wannabe who acts as host for the show. I’ve never been a fan of Milano but her anti-Trump tweets have been so far over the top, I want to reach through the screen and smack her. Like so many from Hollyweird who kept their mouths shut when men like Weinstein were allegedly assaulting one woman after another, she took to social media to condemn Trump for his “assaults” against women. If you look at her Twitter feed, you’d think she was a political pundit instead of a second-rate actress. As with Rosie, Chelsea Handler and others, she seems to be letting the President live rent free in her brain and it isn’t a pretty sight

One of her least offensive tweets came in response to Trump relaxing the regs to allow some off-shore drilling.

Of course, what she doesn’t do is discuss the regulations that will be placed on drilling or the fact that by opening it up like this, it will help lower our dependence on foreign oil. Oh no, the real complaint is that he undid something the great Obama put into place. (Full disclaimer: I worry about off-shore drilling because of potential oil spills, etc., but you have to look at the whole picture and not just the worst case scenario.)

But here is the real indicator of what Milano is like and, to be honest, in a lot of ways she has turned a caricature — but then, so has much of Hollywood. It’s hard to take any of them seriously — as a person or as an artist in their field — when you see tweets like this:

This “specialness” is just too much. And it is too distracting. This sort of histrionics guarantees that people seeing her on the screen won’t look at her work because they will be distracted by her actions on Twitter and in other social media venues.

I’m not saying she shouldn’t be allowed to speak her mind. Unlike WorldCon, I don’t believe in muzzling people until they actually, you know, break the law. However, I don’t have to listen to her and it is my option to turn off any show she is associated with. Which is what will happen with PR All-Stars. Neither Mom nor I could get past the distractions of Miss High-and-Mighty, I-Know-More-About-Politics-Than-You, Trump-Is-Evil Milano.

So, we are taking our advertising dollars and walking elsewhere. There are consequences to actions and Milano’s constant whining about the President means that at least this household will be turning off her show.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Posted January 5, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    There are so many TV shows and movies I can’t watch anymore. I can’t watch without thinking about who these people are, the things they’ve done, and the things they’ve said. I keep hoping my favorite celebrities will just keep their mouths shut and stay on the straight and narrow (i.e. out of the back of a police car or rehab), so I can enjoy some entertainment. But then I see the news and think ‘there goes another one’. :sigh:

  2. Orvan Taurus
    Posted January 6, 2018 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    There is no over the air TV signal here to speak of (on a GREAT day, I get ONE transmitter barely good enough to watch – with a hang-on-the-wall style indoor antenna). Some years ago I gave up cable as I realized we were paying over $50 a month and watching less than a nickel’s worth. Haven’t really missed it. In fact, when I go places that do have TV, I marvel that the shows are watched at all. They manage to insult even this simple beasts intelligence. Ouch.

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