No matter what you think of Alec Baldwin’s politics, he’s taking real risk right now with his Hollywood career in putting down the movie industry. But before you go and call him a hothead based on his other behavior, it makes you wonder if every person of any political persuasion ultimately agrees with his assessment. What the power players in Hollywood actually think is another story. Then again, nobody knows what’s going on between the eyes of any movie executive considering they’re virtually invisible to the public.
The people most directly responsible for everything you and your children see in movies should take some public responsibility for what they think audiences want to see. And in the case of Alec Baldwin criticizing “Rock of Ages” as a horrible film, it’s a matter of taking responsibility for agreeing to be in a movie they later regret. It’s a road very seldom taken by actors because of the fear of backlash not unlike the House Un-American Committee over 60 years ago.
Is there a real chance of Baldwin’s film career becoming stalled based on his comments? With his more expansive diatribe against Hollywood in general and the downward spiral lately in quality characters, he’s a brave soul taking an establishment that probably still protects itself from those with loose lips. However, perhaps Hollywood is more forgiving when it’s clear a film is a flop.
There doesn’t seem to be a complete consensus on “Rock of Ages” being a disaster. It’s a little different from the days when Bill Cosby told audiences to stay away from his mega-bomb “Leonard Part 6” back in 1987. But Baldwin goes beyond what some stars have done in dissing their own movies. While most stars have survived their careers after speaking out against movies that were clearly not good, Baldwin takes it further by cutting right into the very creative heart of Hollywood.
No matter your opinion, he’s right on the money. For those who’ve grown tired of the derivative ideas and lack of effort at being creative in Hollywood, it’s refreshing someone finally spoke out. Whether that sets off a wave of other stars speaking out against the same will be interesting to see. That may not happen if Baldwin gets shunned from Hollywood and forces him to stick with his new cable news TV gig, the stage or to go into politics.
If he survives the criticism, it’ll prove that Hollywood is being more open to criticism, even if the process being criticized seems to be on automatic pilot. Someone who pulls strings in the industry has to speak out if there’s any real chance of changes taking place. With studio executives more or less cutting off ties with the public by their own volition, everything may end up in a vicious circle of capitulating to the moviemaking machine.
Perhaps in time, everyone working in Hollywood might be able to speak their mind about how good or bad their movie is without facing a court martial. Ironically, in the age of honesty, it might not make any difference when there’s a mechanism in place to bring more of the same.