Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Whither Hollywood?, or Salma doesn’t ‘Koootchie Koootchie Koo”

One of my political science professors had an unpleasant experience with our local school system. His wife volunteered to help at the school her children attended, only to meet a stonewalling response from the administration, despite the fact that she had at least two earned doctorates. The fact that she was Mexican probably had a little to do with it. They undoubtedly feared that she would traumatize the students by breaking out a flamenco guitar and singing "La Cucaracha." I was reminded about her in relation to the following:

"If Salma were white and male, she'd be bigger than Harvey Weinstein," says Alfred Molina, who played Diego Rivera to Hayek's Frida Kahlo in the Miramax-financed "Frida."

"Salma held her own against everybody," says Weinstein, pairing his star with Julie Taymor, who directed the movie. "I call them the Ballbreaker Twins. I should be the one getting sympathy, having to deal with women that strong. Between the two of them, I didn't know which way my ass was getting kicked."

The pitfalls of looking good

I’m sure that the magical question on everyone’s mind is, “Why -isn’t- she (bigger than ‘Harv,’ that is)?” What is there about making movies that requires a pasty complexion and the “right” secondary sex characteristics? Well, Ms. Hayek has the explanation:

"No one would hire me," (said Hayek in the interview). "I had studio heads say to me, 'You could have been the biggest star in America, but you were born in the wrong country. You can never be a leading lady, because we can't take the risk of you opening your mouth and people thinking of their maids.'"

Entertainment Tonight - Salma Strikes Back

Hmm, let me check out there...

All you moviegoers who employ Hispanic maids, raise your hands...

I thought so.

The hyper-protesting Hollyweird jerks that we’re hearing so much from lately are awfully silent about this. I guess that Viggo, Babs, Sheryl and Co. had to get their pro-fascist “Acid baths are too good for Saddam-hating scum” tee-shirts made up while this was going on. As for "artistes" that should have a stake in this issue, it seems that ‘President -Josiah Bartlett-’ is too busy “passing for WASP” to really concern himself with real-life racism and sexism in his own bloody industry. Martin knows which side his bread is buttered on.

Wait a mo, I just had a brainstorm. Hayek is 1/4 Lebanese, perhaps she’s just not putting her best minority claim forward. Strap a suicide bomb around her lissome waist and throw her an AK-47 and she’d probably be head of production for a major studio right now.

The sad thing is, that’s probably the -only- way she’ll ever be one, given the cowardice of the H-wood “left-behinds.”

Sad, really.

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