Tuesday, May 26

Weaponized Celebrity -

Blasphemy from
Charlie Hebdo to The Fashion Police . . .

It didn't take long for the Blasphemy Demagogues to move from cartoons in Paris to red carpet glamour on American TV, because that's the way wolves operate.

Wolves attack the periphery of the flock, so the supposedly frivolous topics of cartoons and Tinsel Town evening gowns were irresistible targets.

We are living today in America surrounded by a "Gotcha!" Culture in which anything you say can be twisted around to seem sinister and reviled by some anonymous lynch mob.

The Blasphemy Demagogues wasted no time in concocting a fake racist incident attributed to the commentariat ensemble on The Fashion Police TV episode reviewing the Academy Awards red carpet parade.

It all started, of course, with a Big Lie that something was said challenging whether it was appropriate for a young actress to wear a hair style featuring dreadlocks with an evening gown. But that wasn't what was said.

Instead the question which was raised was whether the size of Zendaya Coleman‘s hairdo was disproportionately too large and overpowering for her choice of gown and overall silhouette - a legitimate topic and not at all race-specific.

Their chatter prompted me to mentally shuffle through a series of remembered images from The Pre-Raphaelite Movement.

I hadn't noticed anything racist in the ensemble's chatter; nevertheless, there were immediate vociferous calls for The Fashion Police to be cancelled.

And one of the most painful consequences of this fake racist incident was watching Giuliana Rancic apologize in a video clip which evoked the horrors of watching tortured Korean War GIs confessing to imaginary sins.

Soon the incident was further exploited by self-styled activist celebrities who insisted that The Fashion Police must be eliminated from television fare unless the ensemble includes African-American commentators. But is this really necessary?

In a previous era, when there were only three or four TV networks, advocating to shoehorn into a television show a minority celebrity for the sake of affirmative action could have seemed like a plausible rationale. Today, however, there are plenty of TV channels, talk show ensembles, minority commentators and discussions about the entertainment industry.

And there is already a Black TV fashion talk show called Fashion Queens on Bravo. I hope neither TV show is cancelled for Blasphemy; I think there is room for both and more. I've caught Fashion Queens a couple of times, and it looked like they were having a lot of fun.

Thus, it has now become our responsibility as TV viewers to sort out real racist incidents from fake racist incidents.

I think some people need to pause and take a deep breath before lashing out at anything they don't like by calling it racist, which can effectively shut down any further conversation about the subject.