Mail from our readers
Talk about controversy. Detractors and defenders of raunchy entertainment gave us an earful on Lisa Schwarzbaum’s decency essay. Writes Jan Slagle of Henrietta, Tex.: ”Thank you for having the courage to announce that the emperor has no clothes.” And Russ Lindway of Seven Hills, Ohio, cites a larger problem: ”It’s the human race that’s going too far. Pop culture is just a marketed reflection of the ‘filth, raunch, violence, and hate’ all around us.” Meanwhile, a raft of bookworms wrote to chide Jeff Jensen for revealing a major plot point in the fourth Harry Potter novel. ”While everyone on the planet has purchased [the book], not all of us have read it yet!” yells Denise M. Sidle of Leland, N.C. Oh, those Muggles … such slowpokes!
I applaud Lisa Schwarzbaum for writing ”Lewd Awakening” and EW for [having] the courage to print it. There is a loud, cynical portion of our society that says, ”Who cares?” The mature members of society will choose whether they want to watch or not, but impressionable children look at movies and TV and perceive them as our society’s standard for appropriate language and behavior. They say, ”It’s out there, so it must be all right.” We need to be careful about [what] we portray.
Vineyard Haven, Mass.
Finally, a credible voice on the ”inside” is willing to say what many of us flyovers have felt for a long time. When did a man being sodomized with a live chicken (Me, Myself & Irene) earn a place in the anals, er, annals of film comedy? It’s not puritanical to say that entertainment has lost its sense of decency. Just true.
I would like to commend Lisa Schwarzbaum on her opinionated but necessary essay about filth monopolizing popular culture. I am a 15-year-old male, a member of the group that is stereotyped as eating up raunch in the media, but I am not a fan of Eminem, the Farrellys, or Scary Movie. There are artists who, by expressing themselves creatively, may offend some people (e.g., Paul Thomas Anderson, Joel and Ethan Coen), but there are also those who shock merely as a way to gain attention.
What’s this, has EW suddenly grown a conscience? While I agree that the entertainment industry is out of control, I find it ironic you criticize many of the same movies and artists you’ve previously glamorized. Please keep up the great work in delivering Hollywood to our doorsteps. However, let’s leave the moral and social commentaries to the nightly news.
Chapel Hill, N.C.
A facetious song about murdering one’s spouse, throwing the body into a trunk, and hiding the evidence is controversial. Damn those Dixie Chicks! It’s annoying and disappointing that while Eminem is blasted for being too violent, too harsh, too explicit, a sweet trio of girls can croon about the same subject and no one even bats an eye. I’m not even an Eminem fan, but it seems this is exactly the kind of unthinking hypocrisy he’s railing against.
Eminem has sold over 5 million records. Scary Movie has grossed over $145 million. Howard Stern is still on the radio, and South Park [the movie] received an Oscar nomination for best song? It seems to me that none of this happens without a little help. Maybe it’s time we started looking at the true culprits for the so-called depletion of moral values-ourselves.
While you always supply the finest coverage of the show business industry, you have surpassed yourself with Kevin Bacon’s Hollow Man diary. Nothing before has offered not only insight into the processes of making a film these days but also the perspective of one of America’s most accomplished actors. I have this to say to the editors of EW: Get pen and paper to Tobey Maguire as fast as you can so we get a first account of the making of Spider-Man. This should become a regular feature. Not only does it keep the readers turning the pages, but it has them standing at the door and searching for the postman.
Rocky River, Ohio
The Parent Trap
Lois Alter Mark’s Parents’ Guide is way off the mark, again! Since when are ”references to erections, cleavage, oral sex, Viagra, impotence, etc.”; a man being ”raped by a genetically altered animal”; and a slew of ”four-letter words” (Nutty Professor II: The Klumps) appropriate for a 12-year-old?