I am very excited about my new FB group, "Your Brave New Hollywood," which is a gathering of actors, writers, directors, producers, and others from the entertainment industry and creative community who are dedicated to creating feature films, TV shows, plays, musicals, songs, etc. that are free from vulgar and violent scenes and dialogue.
And before I go on, let me say this:
I do not not support, endorse or enjoy violent and vulgar movies and TV shows, and don't always agree with those who do. But I do support artistic freedom and creative expression. I may not understand the "vulgar"/"violent" choices - and I will always question why someone does enjoy such choices. But I will never work to prevent those individual choices from being selected.
Also, I feel you can't believe in peace and/or say you believe in peace, and then go on to make, act in, direct, produce, screen, watch or be a part of in any way violent and vulgar movies and TV shows.13 minutes ago·
Any way you slice it, I am dedicated to creating violent-free - and that's what my new organization, "Your Brave New Hollywood," which has commenced on Facebook, is all about.
I think the best way to explain it is this:
When I stub my toe, more times than not, I swear or I "curse." If I find it difficult to forgive myself over a mistake, I may curse myself. And if I become angry in a particular situation, I may employ a vulgar word to make my case.
But none of this takes place in a controlled environment. As humans, our negative emotions sometimes get the best of us - without any positive results...except maybe - down the road - we will learn to not make those mistakes again.
But with film, TV, stage plays, books, music - such is not the case. These creative outlets present fictional scripts, words and songs, and are maybe sometimes based on reality. But the actual properties themselves - are two-hours, or 3-minutes, or 60 minutes, or one 1/2 hour of non-reality presentations ...created with control.
Same goes for TV reality shows. There are individuals, producers, studio and network execs, actors, etc. - all of whom ultimately decide what makes it to the screen, gets on the air, or into a song. These are controlled "projects."
The stuff of real life is just not like that. We SHOULD have better control of our emotions, but more times than not, we don't.
But with creative, produced "controlled" projects in Hollywood, we are indeed ABLE to present whatever we want - in a dignified manner. And you can still be "edgy" and present artisitc perspective. You don't have to do that with vulgar language, and violent car chases and murder scenes.
And let me clarify, this is NOT ABOUT CENSORSHIP. I don't want to boycott ANYTHING, even projects or movies, TV shows, songs, etc. that I personally find offensive (like "Kick-A__" or "Two & A Half-Men," and to some extent, even a show like "My Wife & Kids."
This is about asking the question WHY?
Why do those in creative power even choose to produce, star in, direct, etc. in TV shows, movies, etc. that are offensive, and vulgar and violent?
What is IN THEM to make such choices? Who has guided them in their lives to allow them to think that such paths are, dare I say, "honorable"?
As I recently posted in a status report on my FB wall, when I used to teach acting, I would instruct my students to please not choose scenes with violence or vulgarity. I would instruct them, instead, to impress me and their intended audiences with their TALENT.
To be "courageous" enough to do so - even in the midst of peer pressure...which to some extent shows up in Hollywood.
- which is where the "Brave" part comes in with regard to YOUR BRAVE NEW HOLLYWOOD.
There's a certain "club" in Hollywood that seems to be "against" NON-VULGAR and NON-VIOLENT films and TV programming...thinking somehow that such properties are "too preachy" or not "edgy enough" or "too Christian"!
Well, truth be told, Christianity doesn't have the corner on the Love market. I know a lot of atheists who are very loving-kind people.
There's also the sense that many in Hollywood think that modern audiences won't go for anything unless there are curse words or violent acts included in the script.
I don't buy that.
And this is also NOT an attack on creative freedom in speech or artistic expression.
Again, I don't want to stop anyone from displaying their artistic creations.
But if such creations are littered with violence and vulgarities, once more I would ask, "Why do you feel the need to create such productions?"
"Because that's reality," is not a good enough answer.
Vulgar and violent films and TV shows, to some extent may, mirror reality. But that's not been MY reality and it's not the reality for a lot of people. And if everyone would really have the chance to choose, I bet even those people who DO commit violent acts and speak vulgarly all the time - would ultimately prefer not to.
They just think it's okay and acceptable, or they've not received the proper guidance in life and/or the media has disensitized society to believe that such productions are "okay."
When, clearly, they're NOT okay.
So, I guess really what I'm try to say and do with YOUR BRAVE NEW HOLLYWOOD - is to introduce the "High Road" - and encourage everyone else to take it.
YOUR BRAVE NEW HOLLYWOOD is also a club.
But it's NOT an exclusive club.
It's a club that EVERYONE is invited to join.
Yes, it's an UNCOMMON club, but it's not a "holier-than-thou" club.
It's uncommon because it goes "against" what Hollywood might percieve as "cool" and "edgy." But it's also an uncommon club because it encourages its "members" to create TV shows, movies, plays, songs, etc. with UNCOMMON words and scenes. Because creative types are, quite frankly, NOT common folk.
On the whole, creative individuals are intelligent, wise, funny, insightful, compassionate, loving, sweet, joyfull and so many more beautiful things.
So why not concentrate on sharing that beauty and stop attempting to create a "harsh reality" that people, whether their experiencing it or not, would probably not like to experience in the first place?
Either way, I'll probably keep stubbing my toe and swearing in reality. But if I am ever to recreate that scene for a movie or a TV show, I'll still stub my toe, but instead of cursing, I may have my "character" just sit there and wreath in pain - or maybe just say, "Darn it!"
I will then allow my script and the talent of the actor who is playing me - to shine through...to pass on what has all too often become a "cheap" way to get an emotion across - at the expense of all those concerned, behind and in front of the camera - and for the audience!
THE BIGGER PICTURE
One of the reasons I wrote books about "Bewitched," "Kung Fu," the "Bionic" shows, and "Life Goes On, is that each of these classic television programs displayed "isolated" characters, who felt "different." And we are each seeking acceptance, in one way or the other.
So with my books - and the TV shows I have produced and consulted on - and in my small measure of a way, I have made every attempt to instill that "Light" I keep talking about into my work.
And each of us, in any area of expertise, has the ability to do the same, and not just with our work or in our workplace, but into our very lives, homes, neighborhoods, cities, states, countries, etc. We are awakening from the ignorance of the past - and yet reaching farther still into the past - before the recorded past - where there was only Love and Light. The same Love and Light that remains in each of us today.
Slowly, but surely, each of us is peeling off the "mud" of our beings...seeing past what may be considered short-sightedness...to see that, you and me and I and they and them and we are all one and the same.
It's not easy to point out such things in a world that all too often seeks to divide. But as I've said many times before - on Facebook - and elsewhere - we all must learn to ignore our differences, and to concentrate on what makes us the same.
That said, a new day is dawning, when the misguided leaders of the past and their thinking - will soon be gone...replaced with a higher thought...a though of acceptance...in a world, undivided by race and only united through humanity.
For as I have also previously relayed (here on FB and elsewhere), there is only one race: the human race. And the word "unity" may be found in "comm-UNITY" for a reason.
In fact, many modern words hold ancient meanings. And all words have as much power as we give them.
But if we start by creating GOOD words (with our work, our scripts, our books, our essays, our poems) - and keep open the lines of communication and close down the borders of dissension, we'll have half a shot in the world. More than half.
And maybe we won't live to say the peace we all seek. But our children and their children will - and the new history books that we will be responsible for writing the ways to that peace - either on Facebook - or in real books - will be there to guide them.
Link to "YOUR BRAVE NEW HOLLYWOOD" group on Facebook