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The showbiz universe can be a particularly perverted one. This much we know and have (mostly) long since come to accept.
But there are still some stories stemming from the lives of the rich and famous that find us arching an incredulous eyebrow. Take, for example, the Simon Cowell “Spermgate” saga and Unicef’s unceremonious dismissal of Emily Blunt.
The mere thought of Mr Nasty as a baby daddy is enough to make any normal woman gird her loins. But that Lauren whatshername is attempting to use the most hackneyed ploy in the handbook to lock him down (while simultaneously assuming he’d finally set aside his ever-present harem in favour of her, no doubt) could very well be considered sheer lunacy.
Equally barmy is Unicef’s determination that acclaimed, multi-award-nominated Blunt isn’t “famous enough” to merit selection as an ambassador for the organisation. Seems you have to steal another woman’s husband and perfect the art of playing a sex kitten à la their poster girl, Angelina Jolie, to be deemed worthy of bearing the Unicef brand. Never mind the plight of the poverty-stricken children.
The prize for this week’s most perplexing chronicle, however, goes to Hannibal. Despite the second season of the show having long since drawn to a close, Dr Lecter and his kooky clan recently hit local headlines, following the outcome of a series of complaints laid against MultiChoice in respect of the show.
Briefly, the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) agreed with viewers’ objections pertaining to promotional material for the programme, which was aired during an April episode of MasterChef Australia.
As one complainant put it: “The visuals included violence, blood, a mutilated naked body, dripping blood – it was absolutely disgusting for an adult – but totally inappropriate for family viewing. I am totally shocked by the experience.”
Another wrote: “I have two little children who I am trying to protect from such evil things and such adverts during clean programmes that we as a family enjoy is unacceptable.”
Granted, it wasn’t particularly prudent to screen a promo during a family presentation for what anyone familiar with this iconic literary and cinematic figure knows is likely to entail a degree of gruesomeness. (Though it has to be said, given Dr Lecter’s astute culinary skills, the idea of tying Hannibal in to a cooking show was actually quite clever.)
Nevertheless, the pressing question one has to ask is: Why are parents so offended by such material, while brazenly allowing those same children they claim they’re protecting to fixate over films laden with age-inappropriate sexual content and supposedly “evil” supernatural beings (Twilight), to watch animated television broadcasts where the degree of violence easily overshadows that of any adult action movie (Dragon Ball Z), or spend hours on end playing video games where sociopathic characters (Manhunt), extreme brutality (Grand Theft Auto) and not-so-subtle eroticism are often the mainstay of the storyline?
And before the fire-and-brimstone folk come bashing down my door, yes, I too am a mother. And I too would like my child to maintain what little time he has left of his fleeting innocence.
But perhaps we would do better as parents to protect our children from the surge of stupidity flooding our global society, or its increasing egoism and lack of basic human kindness. As acclaimed author Margaret Atwood once wrote: “Stupidity is the same as evil, if you judge by the results.”
LARA DE MATOS