Jewish World Review December 3, 2012/ 19 Kislev 5773
Actor rips his show --- with good reason
By Mitch Albom
Let's face it. He's got a point.
Sure, he's part of the show -- and it's one of the most popular on TV. Sure, he reportedly makes
But people have been attacking Jones for days, calling him a hypocrite, mocking him in videos and, of course, shouting the kind of thing you always hear when a celebrity speaks out on something:
"If it's so bad, why don't you quit and give ME your money?"
What's strange is that this anger boils hotter than any directed at the makers of shows like "Two and a Half Men," which truly do pander to the lowest common denominator. (Sample line: "Mom's been on more hotel pillows than a chocolate mint.")
Yet when Jones appeared in a video for a religious site last week and said, "You cannot be a true G0D-fearing person and be on a television show like that. I know I can't. I'm not OK with what I'm learning, what the Bible says and being on that television show" -- he was ripped to shreds.
Here's a question: Is it better if he thinks the show is dirty, lewd, poison for young minds, but keeps his mouth shut about it?
Why? Because he's getting paid?
If that were all that mattered, then anyone employed by a tobacco company -- even a factory worker -- should never say that smoking is a bad habit. And anyone working for
Either you're part of the problem, or you're part of the solution, right?
Except no one would argue that. The tobacco worker would be sympathetic, especially if he or she needed the job to support the family. And drunken driving should be railed against no matter who you are or where you work.
So it's more likely the vitriol toward Jones is rooted partly in envy: He makes a ton of money, his critics don't. Understandable. But not a reason to ignore what he's saying.
Listen, I agree that it is hypocritical to tell people not to watch a show that you are on, but you know who else thinks that?
Perhaps his contract doesn't allow him to leave mid-season without serious penalties. Perhaps there are other reasons. Who knows? The kid is 19 and has been on TV since he was 9. I seriously doubt he has thought this out.
Besides, in a lesser reported quote, he also said, "I don't think I would be on the show this year if G0D hadn't kind of pushed me into it. ... I am there for a reason."
If he believes his star status helps him spread his religious message, how is he different than countless admired athletes and actors who do the same?
Besides, if you're looking for hypocrites, why stop at the actors? How about writers who won't let their own kids watch their shows? How about advertisers who run from a whiff of controversy but regularly underwrite the decay of decency?
Yes, Jones said of his show, "Please stop watching it and filling your head with filth." But throwing darts at him is missing the bigger -- and more threatening -- target. These "sitcoms" themselves. The level of raunchiness now boggles the mind.
I watched an episode last week of "The Office," a show known for its clever writing. The last minute was a stunningly lurid conversation with
This is a
If you want to get angry, you might start with stuff like that.
And you know who you'd be agreeing with?
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