Mr. Wow Blog
The Smog of Fear Envelops Hollywood….
2:39 pm | January 19, 2018

Author: Mr. Wow | Category: Point of View | Comments: 10

FRIDAY, January 19th 2018

GOOD health and good sense are two of life’s greatest blessings,” said  Publilius Syrus

I REALIZE it is arrogant in the extreme to wonder if any of you wondered where I—this column–was on Wednesday?  Probably not, but I am going forge ahead as if you did.

   Last Friday, just as I finished writing up my night out seeing Trudie Styler’s “Freak Show” movie, I was knocked sideways by the flu.  It had nothing to do with Trudie’s film.  I suppose I was just susceptible to the current bad flu epidemic going around, and flu shots that have been, this year, notoriously inadequate. 

   At one point, feverish and wracked with body aches, I was sure I had somehow entered that “Law & Order” episode where the flu vaccines were replaced by saline solution.  (Don’t pretend you don’t know that one—we’ve all seen all the L & O’s multiple times, know the guilty party but stick to the end anyway.  Like Pavlov’s dog, as soon as the familiar thumpy Mike Post theme music comes on, we are inevitably conditioned to keep watching.)

   I am writing today hunched over and feeling as if I’ve been beaten with a rubber hose from head to toe.  So–an improvement!   

  Illness also prevented me from going to an episode screening of the new TV series “The Alienist.” This included dinner at NYC’s fabled Delmonico’s, where I have never been. 

    I am very annoyed at my flu!

I DID manage, in between a lot of “Whhhyyyyy?” cries, to keep up with some of what’s been going on.  Nothing fun, alas.  More careers damaged or ruined, in ongoing sex abuse allegations.

   So I will talk about harassment—from a different angle. 

   First– Mark Wahlberg, inexplicably the highest paid actor in the U.S. right now.  I met Mark years ago, during the height of his crotch-grabbing underwear fame, but he behaved like a soft-spoken choir boy with me. He was charming. And smart.

   In recent years, he’s come to Jesus and says ridiculous things like he hopes God can forgive him for making “Boogie Nights,” in which he played a porn star. 

   In reality, Wahlberg should fear the Deity loosening the lightning of his terrible swift sword because of Wahlberg’s participation in the “Ted” films, his “Transformers” re-boots,  “Daddy’s Home,” 1 and 2. Not to mention “The Happening.” That one should put Mark and director M. Night Shymalan in the fiery pit for eternity.


   My opinion aside, he manages to make enough hit movies to garner him astronomic salaries.  Fair is fair—he’s worth it.

   Then the time came for Mark to re-shoot some scenes in Ridley Scott’s current “All The Money in the World” (Kevin Spacey, career in tatters, was edited out and replaced by Christopher Plummer.)  Wahlberg has a terrific agent, who negotiated a million plus for his client’s additional work.  Michelle Williams, another of the film’s stars, worked for scale, by choice.  When this news broke, Wahlberg was torn to shreds by all the perfect people in the media—he was a monster for actually having good representation. In the end, he was forced into donating his salary to charity.  I’m pretty sure he didn’t want to do this.  No matter how much money one has, one always feel more secure with, well, more.   But Mr. Wahlberg could see the nail polish on the wall—his very successful career might be in jeopardy.  He was seen as somehow abusing his position as a man.  He had to give in. 


   “All the Money in the World” has not made all the money in the world.  It might have made more if they’d kept Spacey in, actually.

    Wahlberg is the only member of that cast who has box-office power, and making deals based on that power is what show business is about.

   Male actors are not required to give up their salaries because their female co-stars are poorly represented or not as popular.  If women want parity in payment, they need to work smartly and proactively with producers and agents—it’s not the responsibility of their male counterparts to deprive themselves.

   Oh, and as always, this movie star kerfuffle has NOTHING to do with ordinary women being abused and harassed and underpaid all across this country.  Does Michelle Williams think the female cashier at some supermarket, or the waitress in a diner, can summon up the courage and garner press attention to be better paid, or to be left alone by her lecherous boss, etc.?


A MORE unhappy situation, as far as I am concerned is that of Timothee Chalamet.  The extremely talented 21-year old star of “Call Me By Your Name” was—in my opinion—bullied and harassed into giving his small salary on Woody Allen’s upcoming movie, “A Rainy Day in New York” to the TimesUp organization. 

   Unlike Mr. Wahlberg, I bet Timothee actually is missing that money.  But, his extraordinarily promising career was threatened.  He had to give in. Now he can safely journey to a well-deserved Oscar nomination. (I wonder in the current climate if Woody’s film will even see release?)


   Here’s the rub.  The accusations against Woody Allen—that he molested his own adopted child, Dylan– were made in the aftermath of his horribly bitter split from Mia Farrow.  We’ll never know the truth of it.  What we do know is that Allen has never been accused by any actress he has worked with of inappropriate behavior or verbal abuse.  So, his situation—shatteringly ugly as it is–inhabits an entirely different realm than what TimesUp and MeToo are working so diligently for. (Of course many people will simply never forgive or forget the extreme creepiness, and cruelty of how Woody’s relationship with Mia’s adopted daughter Soon Yi Previn rolled out. Soon Yi has been his wife since 1997, but that hardly changes the terrible beginning.)

  But we also know this: in Mia Farrow’s life there are two known sexual predators—her own brother John Charles Villiers-Farrow, who was arrested on charges of child molestation. He is now serving 25 years in jail.   And there is Mia’s good friend, the “Rosemary’s Baby” director Roman Polanski—who drugged and raped a 13 year old girl in 1977.  Farrow has never denounced him.  And right now would be the perfect time, yes?

   But I guess Mia is simply leaving Roman to heaven, and will spend the rest of her life attempting to consign Woody to hell.

ONE MORE abuse note.  I had to laugh watching Stephen Colbert grilling James Franco about allegations that surfaced about the actor, hours after he won a Golden Globe for “The Disaster Artist.” Colbert, age 53, and having worked all his life in the notoriously misogynist world of comedy, is of course a perfect human. (Likewise Seth Meyers, another moralist from the famously female unfriendly “SNL.”)

    Colbert, so evolved, sees nothing degrading, abusive or harassing in presenting “comic” skits about Melania Trump.  I mean, what the hell does mocking this poor woman have to do with… anything?  Nor are his monologues critiquing the Trump marriage—whatever it is—anybody’s business or vital to our current battle against dangerous autocracy.

   As far as I am concerned, this is a man with power, abusing a woman who actually has none.


  • TheRudeDog

    Please take no offense, but I read your first 6 paragraphs in the voice of The Dowager Countess Grantham, and it was spectacular!  Hope you’re on the road to recovery.

    3:03 pm | January 19, 2018
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow
      I take no offense at all.  In fact, I laughed, so I might be getting better!

      3:24 pm | January 19, 2018
  • arcadiayarddog

    All good points but the most serious to me is, the harder and louder women in show business and politics shout, the harder the worst misogynists in regular society berate and abuse their hapless victims. What a mess. We’re still pretty much on our own. And yes, who cares what Melania is doing? She’s got the life she’s worked toward but it’s none of my business what she does. Let her be, we have enough to worry about without watching her 24/7.

    3:24 pm | January 19, 2018
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Yes, Hollywood men might behave better. (And LOTS of female enablers in these situations too) but for the average woman, this black-clad movement won’t help much. 

      3:41 pm | January 19, 2018
  • rick gould

    Hey Mr. W–So my big question: Is Mira Sorvino going to give back her Oscar to the Academy, now that she has expressed director’s remorse, some twenty-something years after the fact? Absurd.
    And hope you get well quick, Mister. I got over the flu part, but the bronchitis that comes with it never wants to leave!

    9:01 pm | January 19, 2018
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      I’m even fonder of Salma Hayek, who says she endured all sorts of gross humiliations from Harvey W. because she just HAD to get “Frida” made.  So, she  got it made and  remained silent for 15 years.  HW did much worse, apparently, to others in the ensuing 15 years.  But now Hayek is a heroine of MeToo and TimesUp.    Yeah, I’m less achy, but very bronky.  

      10:09 pm | January 19, 2018
      • BabySnooks

        So many hypocrites in all of this. People keep their mouths shut if it pays to  And in Hollywood obviously it does. 

        1:28 pm | January 22, 2018
  • Deirdre Cerasa

    Glad you are in the “able to sit up while they make the bed phase” of the flu. I would like to believe #metoo and #TimesUp might make some difference in curbing harassment and sexual assault. I am not especially optimistic. Yes, can we please let Melania be as irrelevant as she clearly wishes to be?  

    10:11 pm | January 19, 2018
  • Mimi

    As someone who was abused by my ex husband for years, and was finally able to divorce him when my children grew up – I’m very sorry for those who have been abused. 
    But, I also think that these women made the choice to stick around because of personal reasons. I’d much prefer that the women would get smarter and get proper representation and negotiate money up front. I actually saw a talk show host interviewing Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks asking them if they were being paid equal amounts for ‘The Post.’ They were quite gracious and said very bluntly that they didn’t know. Obviously they were being paid amounts that each of them were satisfied with. Why should I care. And why should the interviewer. Do i think that equal amounts of money will solve anything? Absolutely not! People have exactly the power over their bodies (except for rape) that they demand. Are the abusers creeps? Of course. But the time that it should be reported is immediately. Absolutely! 
    I’m hoping that sunlight will shine so that abused people will fell good and able to report immediately. And if someone has negotiated better terms in a contract, they shouldn’t have to donate it. 
    There are many reasons for staying with an abuser. Mine was ensuring the safety of my children. Under the law at that time he would have been entitled to unsupervised visitation. So I stayed. And never left them alone. Regrets? None at all. 
    Sorry for the rant! I’m still recovering from the flu. And my altruistic side is temporarily buried under the aches, pain, and shivering. I hope that you feel better. 

    1:32 pm | January 20, 2018
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow
      Dear Mimi–

      No need to apologize to me  for any rants!  I’m sorry to hear of your unhappy experience with abuse–and the flu.  (Mine is slowly abating, but I have been left utterly depleted and exhausted.  Today, finally, I didn’t sleep 20 hours.)    I just received an email from a  woman in Sydney, Australia, who first told me I was no Liz Smith and had no talent (I won’t argue that) and that I should cease and desist my “war on women.”   She said that as a white, privileged man, I just didn’t get it.  And I get it, from that perspective.   It’s a difficult subject, and once removed from true abuse and harassment, the waters can (have) become a bit murky.  But righteous anger is always a major component of a new movement–although the battle against sexual harassment is nothing new.  It simply has more impetus because of the many in show biz who have fallen.     But perhaps the election of Trump and this current climate will lead more women into politics–I just read an encouraging piece in The New Yorker on that very subject.  Although I am a firm believer that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, I still tend to think women are, in general,  closer to our better angels than most men.    We shall see.  

      2:39 pm | January 24, 2018
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