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Keeping It Real Or Just Plain Crass

August 11, 2013

Sylvester Stallone recently tweeted, [Bruce] WILLIS OUT…HARRISON FORD IN!!! GREAT NEWS!!! Been waiting years for this!!!” And just moments later, he followed up the tweet with, “GREEDY AND LAZY…A SURE FORMULA FOR CAREER FAILURE.” Stallone’s spokesman confirmed the insults targeted Bruce Willis who reportedly refused The Expendables 3 producers’ offer of a whopping $3 million to shoot four consecutive days on location in Bulgaria. Apparently, Willis insisted he’d drop out unless he received $4 million–that’s a million dollars a day. As of yet, Willis has not publicly commented on the issue.

This sort of media storyline is not new in the entertainment industry. Getting dissed publicly can happen in more ways than ever before: Embarrassing emails can be forwarded blasting the contents out to unintended audiences, Facebook and Twitter posts might alert the world to anyone’s latest shameful moment, YouTube videos have been known to lambaste one’s adversaries, or you just might find yourself the villain in Taylor Swift or Eminem lyrics. I think it’s fair to say these performance arguments–that is, the kind that are accessible to all–are on rise. An aspiring actor may be comfortable for now finding him or herself in the position to judge others’ public battles. But what happens when you suddenly find yourself at risk of being the person of topic in a juicy battle–either the proponent or the opponent? Is it wise to partake in this sort of public feud?

What’s to be gained or lost? Regardless of who is deemed the winner or loser of any particular public battle, do you respect the combatants any more or less when things get ugly? Is it satisfying to have one side a victorious winner and the other humbly defeated? Does the public really want to know the details of what happened? And if they do, should they be privy to what was once seen as a private matter? After all, it doesn’t take celebrity status for a fellow cast member to start bad mouthing another. In fact, things can get pretty hairy in elementary school plays! So the question is, do you hold yourself to a standard in which you purposefully refuse to partake in negative banter about your fellow cast and crew members? Or do you think the world is a much more interesting place when people are “real” and share their true feelings about grievances on the set? Please share!