Calendar Feedback: Hollywood hypocrisy on bullying
Thank you to Mary McNamara for her column about bullying in Hollywood [“Hey Hollywood, Stop the Bully Act,” April 13]. Bullies also exist in families, schools, neighborhoods, the military, the police and other workplaces.
As a victim of bullies as a youngster and teenager, I have felt their power. Walking from school one day, an absolute stranger walking across the street called me a name. For reasons I cannot explain, I intuitively found it humorous that this stranger felt that I was a threat to his sense of self. And suddenly my stomach pain disappeared and I stood tall, realizing that this bully, and all bullies, are cowards, and the perceived weak trigger their own insecurities.
We tolerate bullies in the workplace and in families to survive. We all should know this: We give bullies emotional power they do not deserve; they deserve our scorn, maybe our pity.
Mary McNamara wrote a column about the inner workings of the film industry, focusing specifically on people who behave badly and get away with it as long as they are making good movies.
What happened with Harvey Weinstein was an exception. There are many more like him, they just don’t get in trouble.
Books, books and more books
Re: April 11 Calendar: OMG! A whole section of books. Thank you. But I still want the Book Review section back.
Darlene Moses Olympius
Asian American erasure?
Is The Times erasing Asian Americans anew, making them again an “invisible minority” in American society? It seems so.
Carolina Miranda’s column about the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens [“Facing a History of Deep Inequity,” April 4] and its fraught history with communities of color failed to recognize the institution’s biggest and most successful initiative in diversifying itself, its audiences and its offerings.
The opening of the Chinese garden in 2008 and its subsequent expansions — an investment of about $56 million — was a bold choice for an institution that historically skewed white. The project has radically changed the Huntington’s community, making it far more inclusive of a major part of the region’s people. In pre-COVID surveys, about 28% of visitors self-identified as Asian; roughly 30% of members are Asian now; and hundreds of Asians are among its major donors.
For all the Huntington’s visitors, of every race, the garden is one of its top attractions.
In keeping with the Huntington’s mission to educate, the Chinese garden, with its older Japanese counterpart, promotes Asian culture via concerts, exhibitions, festival celebrations and a site-specific play.
Of course, the Huntington knows it has much, much more to do about diversity, equity and inclusion. But it came to that realization 20-plus years before George Floyd’s death and it acted. And since President Karen Lawrence arrived three years ago, she has reenergized the campaign for its further advance toward greater inclusivity.
Simon K.C. Li
Editor’s note: The writer, an assistant managing editor at The Times until 2007, is a trustee of the Huntington but says he is not writing on behalf of the institution. Li and the role of his wife, June Li, as curator of the Huntington’s Chinese garden was mentioned in the story but not expanded on.
Thanks for a pretty good column about the Huntington Library. It’s an important L.A. County institution and is trying to be more inclusive. As a former San Marino resident and a San Marino High School grad, I feel the changes look to be overwhelmingly positive.
What was really missing from the story was an exploration of how the Huntington’s lack of leadership diversity is (or isn’t) affecting the visitor experience. After all, that’s how the vast majority of us interact with the museum.
For example, does the Huntington track the demographics of its members or other visitors? If not, why not?
The story does mention the Chinese garden and the Japanese garden. But I would have liked additional information to help us contextualize how diverse the collections are.
And surely, some members of the Huntington over the years have been people of color. What do they think of the state of the institution and these new efforts?
The end goal should be to build a stronger Huntington, not simply to have a more diverse leadership team.
Your revisionism is sickening.
If there were no Henry E. Huntington, there would be no Huntington Gardens and the ladies mentioned in the column would have no jobs.
Racist language double standard?
Greg Braxton’s article about the Amazon series “Them” [“Does ‘Them’ Go Too Far in Its Racist Violence?” April 12] describes the trauma of oppression with examples like “pickaninny” dolls and “The N-word has been burned into the front lawn.”
The latter is universally acknowledged as a racist affront these days. Something terribly offensive to both Black and white people.
However, on the same page, August Brown calls the late rapper DMX a superstar [“An Appreciation: A Fierce Voice”] and describes his hits as “classic.” DMX’s family said, “Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever.”
Also in the appreciation are lyrics from his songs, which use the N-word.
Is this a double standard or is it hypocrisy or ignorance?
Solidarity with the arts
Regarding Carolina Miranda’s column “Oscars Are Off Track” [April 4]: I sure wish the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would have thought to use the Music Center. It would have been a great boost to the theaters in the complex and, as Miranda said, three of this year’s best films came from stage shows.
Showing solidarity with the arts — it would have been such a good idea.
Carolina Miranda’s coverage of the arts is so fine, The Times is lucky to have her.
Maureen “Mo” McFadden
Art Critic Christopher Knight politely panned LACMA’s opening exhibit [“What’s Ahead at LACMA?” April 1]. He was being kind.
Room after room in the Broad Contemporary Art Museum building showed the same huge, boring cartoon face and the infantile drawings of an obviously untrained hand, by Yoshitomo Nara.
Bill Viola is my favorite video artist, but what was chosen for this show has to be among his less interesting works.
For the rest, a miscellany of pieces struggling to squeeze into dubious themes. The high quality of the Fiji exhibit in the Reznick was a contrast and relief from the rest.
I had expected a wonderful exhibit to celebrate LACMA’s reopening after the pandemic shutdown.
Why were the curators so stingy with their riches?
Fleetwood Mac’s other less famous member
Regarding Rob Tannenbaum’s article on Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac [“Fleetwood Mac Is Ever Green,” April 4]: Growing up in the Bay Area and listening to Tom Donahue on KSAN, the only band that I ever heard play “Oh Well” and “Rattlesnake Shake” was Fleetwood Mac.
To this day I’ve never heard the other versions mentioned, just the definitive ones by Peter Green and company.
When the history of Fleetwood Mac is discussed I find it rather sad and almost abhorrent that Bob Welch’s name and music is absent in the conversation. He was the person who carried Fleetwood Mac to FM radio success and was the bridge between the Peter Green years and the eventual Buckingham/Nicks era.
With all due respect to Green (well deserved), Bob Welch deserves better than anonymity in a band he played a major part in.
Great writing speaks for itself
Mark Athitakis tells us Hemingway is outdated, irrelevant and, let’s face it, not woke [“Is Papa’s Writing Still Relevant Today?,” April 5].
This is a truly crabbed and reductive view of the man and his work.
Only a great writer could bring the sensual world to life the way Hemingway does. Whether he’s writing about the forests and streams of Upper Michigan, or the oysters and sausages and wines of Paris, or the pageantry and savagery of the bullring, or the hills and savanna and magnificent animals of Africa, or the mysteries of the Gulf Stream, he makes the attentive reader experience what the narrator experiences. Along with those experiences a cast of memorable and idiosyncratic characters leap off the page and stick in the mind.
It’s no accident that so many thousands of readers have been drawn to visit the places he wrote about so vividly.
The man may have died in 1961 but still, in his books, Hemingway lives.
Georgia on her mind
Re: “Silence Not an Option for the Studios” [April 1]: Bravo! Keep featuring Mary McNamara’s columns. Her work is brilliant, relatable, informed and such fun to read.
She makes me think, every time.
Deborah Moore Manning
Thank you so much for reminding me that showing your ID during an election year is racist.
When I go to the liquor store today and buy cigarettes or beer I will stare down the clerk and tell him that he’s an irredeemable racist.
Same thing when I enter a tattoo parlor.
Also, when I go to the doctor’s office or board an airplane I will give a steely look toward the nurse or the stewardess and say, “You are a racist and this racism must stop.”
I also hope that as you woke reporters at The Times enter your secured building that you will take a noble stand and self-righteously denounce the racist security guard for daring to ask for your ID.
And if he dares to defy you, then you quickly raise your arm high in the air with your clenched fist and demand justice. Maybe even shout in his face, “no justice, no peace.”
You go, girl. This just goes to show you how important social justice warriors like McNamara are and how incredibly necessary she is in this existential fight for our democracy.
Rancho Santa Margarita
What’s the big deal?
Was Friday a slow news day? It is the only reason I can think of why The Times would put an article on the front of the Calendar section about someone having their name mispronounced at an awards ceremony [“Awards Gaffe Rocks Stage Alliance” by Jessica Gelt, April 2].
It is also hard to understand how being given an award is now an “equity” issue. People’s names of all races are mispronounced all the time. Get over it.
Regarding “Screen Actors Guild Awards” [April 5]: So intriguing. So historic. So politically correct. So boring. So, I didn’t watch them.
A main reason I decided not to watch was that “The Trial of the Chicago 7” was nominated. If the real-life “Chicago 7” had not instigated a riot in the windy city, Hubert Humphrey would not only have defeated Richard Nixon and saved America from Watergate but also the beginnings of a mainstream media that became so powerful that it has been able to take down at least two presidents.
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