All fall down | Inquirer Entertainment

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Kevin Spacey

It’s heartening to see that the wave of exposés of powerful producer-predators in entertainment and media hasn’t ebbed, as feared—but has in fact risen and crested in recent days, even starting to assume tsunami proportions.

This rising intensity is needed for the nascent movement to attain long-lasting reforms, and save many young aspirants and comers from victimhood.

However, while we encourage the serial naming and shaming of many predators, we rue the fact that the exposés have ruined the high-flying careers of some exceptional achievers.

Yes, they should be unmasked like their less exemplary colleagues, but it’s still a pain to see their talents and achievements being negated and rendered moot and academic—in one fell swoop!

The first shocking exposé of a major talent’s private depredations came when the award-winning actor, Kevin Spacey, was accused of using and seducing a number of young men, and even teenage boys.

Spacey quickly apologized for his exploitative conduct, and finally came out as gay—but, it was too late.

We rue Spacey’s downfall, because he wasn’t only a gifted TV-film actor. He was also a visionary theater icon who, for years, set high standards at London’s iconic Old Vic.

To see all those achievements drastically devalued was a tragic denouement that we hoped we would never have to witness again.

Alas, no sooner had we crossed our fingers to that effect than the other shoe fell with a thud: Another icon in our personal pantheon of arts and media greats, Charlie Rose, was also revealed by his victims to be a serial exploiter and predator at the work place.

We’ve written glowingly and admiringly about Rose from time to time, because his TV interviews with top artists and other trendsetters on CBS and Bloomberg have been consistently outstanding, insightful and choice.

What an unexpectedly crushing blow it was for us to recently find out that he had been a wanton wolf in scented sheep’s clothing all these years, habitually persuading or even coercing his female staffers to be “nicer” to him than they comfortably felt like doing!

The way Rose conducted himself on-cam, he was the very soul of principle, probity and unimpeachable good taste.

The truth, it turned out, was quite the opposite—a lesson learned for admiring but gullible viewers like us, to not judge a TV icon by his popular program’s pluperfect cover:

Television is supposed to be a rigorous unmasker of poseurs and hypocrites (the camera doesn’t lie, etc.), but Rose’s belated comeuppance shows that skillful deception can fool the medium and its viewers big time.

Indeed, on the local broadcast scene, quite a number of shallow and hollow personalities with questionable credentials and principles have won numerous awards for “excellence,” when it’s their excesses that should be exposed, not praised.

Will Rose’s shocking downfall prompt local viewers to finally realize that they have been taken for a clueless ride all this time?

A rose is a rose is a rose—but it’s also a belated opportunity, when the beautiful flower emits a malodorous smell, to realize that, all too often on TV, what you see is not what you get!

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