If you are a Hollywood star, you can do drugs, get arrested, cheat on your spouse or say foul things about women, and Hollywood opens its heart to you. Even child rapist Roman Polanski got a standing ovation during the Oscars. Dare to call out the disgusting CBS show "Two and a Half Men," though, and your days in Tinseltown are numbered.
The entertainment industry can take just about anything except honesty.
By now, much of America has heard that Angus T. Jones, who plays the "half" man in "Two and a Half Men," recently criticized the show for being "filth." He blasted the show seven ways to Sunday, adding, "You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that. I know I can't." In a few short days, he went from "can't" to a mild recant, apologizing and saying he was sorry if he had hurt any of the "wonderful people" on the show. He didn't say the show was any less filthy, however, because there is no way he could have.
"Two and a Half Men" is one of the most offensive shows in the history of broadcast television. It is a 10-season-long juvenile sex joke filled with every kind of sexual misbehavior and innuendo imaginable. Prostitution, lesbianism, sex in every location imaginable, illegal drug use and mocking of religious faith fill the screen and millions of American homes each week.
To give a sense of the show's vulgarity: In one episode, the former star Charlie Sheen smokes pot and then hallucinates about many of the women with whom he has had sex. Some of the women regale the audience with where they had sex, including one who complains: "He did me in a little church in Van Nuys, right in the pew."
Mr. Jones' character started on this show when he was very young, playing the straight half man to the orgy of sexual humor. As he grew older, though, his character joined in the fun. In one episode, his character partakes in a threesome while still in high school. Two of the other characters actually are proud of him.
Thousands of words could be written on what an awful show "Two and a Half Men" is, but it is a symptom, not a cause. In the early days of TV, men and women unrealistically slept in separate beds. Sex, at most, was implied. Today, thanks to Hollywood, sex is included in everything that happens on TV, from sitcoms to dramas to award shows. The worst anti-family, anti-traditional-values stuff is celebrated the most, whether it's on "Glee" or Showtime's "Californication."
TV and movies no longer represent reality, but a left-wing fantasy world. In that La La Land, having hundreds of sex partners has almost no consequences, and businessmen and religious people are all evil -- unless they are homosexual or Muslim. Villains are seldom people of color because everyone is so desperately politically correct that they can't tolerate bad guys who are not white.
Incredible violence, underage sex and anti-American attitudes don't just flourish in Hollywood, they are an essential foundation for Hollywood's worldview. Ordinary Americans have allowed the lowest common denominators of our culture to define us simply because the loony left controls almost all entertainment outlets -- even sports shows, as Bob Costas showed with his recent anti-gun rant.
The major media have become the enemies of all that is great and good in America.
Do you doubt that? Then take a look at Disney. There was a time when Disney stars were thought of as symbols of goodness. Now they read like walking tabloids -- Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan and Vanessa Hudgens all have scandalized us with their personal lives, careers or both. Miss Hudgens is soon to star in her breakout, edgy role in the comedy "Spring Breakers," in which she engages in a threesome with James Franco and Ashley Benson.
Hollywood directors seem to take particular delight in featuring popular young actresses in edgy (i.e., naked or sexual) roles. "Twilight" movie star Kristen Stewart is just one recent example. The much-criticized actress appears naked in the soon-to-be released movie "On the Road" and also engages in deviant sexual behavior, according to The Huffington Post, no bastion of morality itself. The HBO show "Game of Thrones" is so pornographic that both The Huffington Post and The Washington Post have criticized it.
It's not just sex. Violence has been maximized to the point where head-choppings and gore on screen are commonplace. Showtime's "Dexter" is all about a good-guy serial killer. Torture porn series like "Saw" and "Hostel" are just one more way we are warping our youth.
Given that parade of perversity, it's sad that only Mr. Jones has had the courage to speak out about how bad entertainment has become. Hollywood parents line their pockets from their children's fame, and are too greedy -- or cowardly -- to follow Mr. Jones' lead and take a stand.
Dan Gainor is vice president for business and culture at the Media Research Center.