What Is Your Integrity Worth?


So a guy who makes all kinds of great movies has apparently been arrested for a sex offense he committed 32 years ago. What’s worse is that Hollywood rallying behind this guy, as if his art somehow absolves him of all blame. They (and by they I mean Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch) apparently feel like he’s “suffered enough” feel as though he shouldn’t be prosecuted for this anymore, simply because too much time has passed, and it just doesn’t matter anymore.

So basically what these people are saying, is that if you orally, anally and vaginally date rape a 13-year old, just hang out for a few decades, and, as long as you’re famous, you won’t have to take the rap for the crime.

Does anyone else find this to be horribly disturbing? As if the trauma experienced by his victim (who by the way, just wants to move on with her life…quite frankly I don’t blame her), just doesn’t matter anymore.

So my big beef is this: What is with our culture giving a pass to famous people, simply because they’re famous?

For example, if I were this guy, I would have been arrested 31 years ago or less. Why? Because I’m just some nobody somewhere, with no money or film history to speak of. I would be treated like every other nobody out there, because that’s the way it works for poor nobodys with no money or fame.

And this goes back to the word “Should.” Wealthy, famous and privilaged people should not be allowed to get away with crimes that would otherwise ruin anyone else’s life. Its the principle of the thing, and quite frankly I’m a little disturbed by the cavalier attitude some have about what this guy has done.

Donald Trump is another fine example of this. How many times has this guy raised an empire, then run it into the ground and filed for bankruptcy. Shortly thereafter, this guy gets another TV show, or someone else is ready to throw money at him, simply because he’s “The Donald.”

Must be nice, and I suppose I could go on a rant about the haves and the have nots, and really make this about class envy.

But I’m not going to do that. After all, there are plenty of people who are willing to do that, and after all, you people are smart enough to figure out that you’re just as outraged about this concept as I am. I’m not going to say anything about this issue that you don’t already know, or haven’t heard somewhere else by someone else.

I will say this: the people who are involved in either the actual crime itself, or are supporters of the criminal, are people who are big directors. BIG directors. These men crank out movies that make millions, and many of which are blockbusters, or at least in Woody Allen’s case, have a huge fan following.

If these men are the ones who are making major motion pictures, what does this say about their integrity?

See, integrity doesn’t sound like its a lot, but its actually a huge part of our core values. Someone’s integrity determines how much you trust that person. By the same token, your integrity, and how much you portray that integrity can determine how much people trust you.

Guys like Polanski can hide behind their achievements and public triumphs, and use their agents and PR people to crush any bad press about them. But you and I, see, all we have is our integrity to go on. No one is going to hide the public from our flaws or mistakes.

I guess my point is, guys like Polanski will always have great achievments to dwarf this failure. If he died, no one would mention his crime..they would talk about what great films he produced and how much of an artist he was (if you don’t believe me, I present Exhibit A: Michael Jackson). You and I, we don’t get that kind of break. That’s OK; that’s just the way the world works, and we have to get over it. Its one of those things you can’t change.

We can, however, make choices every day that speak to our integrity, and the caliber of individuals we can be. We can make choices to be better than who we are right now, and make our own little world a little better as a result. We can make a difference in the lives of those around us with our Actions and Words, as long as those people are open to our influence.

What I’m saying is, don’t get mad at this guy for being a pervert, or at Hollywood for supporting him. Instead, use it as a reminder that you decide every day who you are and who you want to be. They will be judged by their achievements in entertainment. We will be judged by our integrity.

 Frankly, I’ll take integrity any day of the week and twice on Sunday.