Mail: Larry Flynt
Thanks for the story on Larry Flynt (#364, Jan. 31). ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY seems to have a knack for presenting the facts and assuming its readers are intelligent enough to make up their own minds. Too bad the film didn’t make that assumption. It would have been nice if the movie treated its audience like adults who can handle dissenting views instead of talking down to us with First Amendment propaganda, however well-intentioned.
So Stone thinks that Flynt printed a photo of a woman being run through a meat grinder ”as a joke.” One can’t help wondering: If it was Stone’s wife being run through the meat grinder, would the punchline be quite so humorous?
Jacksonville Beach, Fla.
I’m disappointed with the recent cover of EW. It looks like something that should be on the cover of Hustler, not a family magazine like EW. If I had kids, I wouldn’t want them seeing this picture sitting on my coffee table.
HARD ROCK DISPLAY
I was appalled by the danger involved in making Asteroid. When I read about the numerous close calls and that the executive producer thanked God that no one was killed, I wondered if the visual-effects company, Stargate Films, was in over its head. After the Crow incident, I thought there’d be greater safety. No one should risk their life for a special effect, no matter how dazzling.
EDITOR’S NOTE: According to executive producer John Davis, safety is a No. 1 priority. ”We would never risk a life to get a particular shot, but we would always prepare to confront any danger that might result from shooting this kind of movie.”
You stated that the Reagan administration ”came up with a PR coup in naming [its] cherished missile shield after Lucas’ film” (Star Wars). In fact, the appellation was never intended as complimentary. Sen. Edward Kennedy (Mass.) accused the President of using ”misleading red-scare tactics and reckless ‘Star Wars’ schemes” to push through larger military budgets. Rep. Ted Weiss (N.Y.) criticized Reagan for promoting ”futuristic ‘Star Wars’ schemes.” The pejorative moniker quickly took hold in the news media. In 1985 George Lucas even filed a lawsuit to prevent the use of his trademarked title in two TV ad campaigns about missile defenses, but he lost in court. In the end, the linkage of Reagan’s dream and Lucas’ film was more a PR disaster than a coup.
STEPHEN I. SCHWARTZ Director, U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project, the Brookings Institution