Hearsay about celebrities after their deaths. Do we give credence?

Tools    





I don't think that alone should shut down their claims. There are plenty of reasons a victim could have against going public with their accusations until the perpetrator has died. Oftentimes, survivors feel more at ease under these circumstances since it takes away the possibility of the abuser retaliating against them. As has been said, every scenario should be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
__________________
IMDb
Letterboxd



Hmmm. Kirk Douglas was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. He was very handsome and magnetic. Half of the women in the country would probably have laid down with him. I wouldn't think Douglas would have had to force any woman to have sex with him. Same with Gable.
I thought you all died when the asteroid hit?

Seriously though, rape's about power, not sex and no one is attractive to everyone. As you say yourself, half the women in the country probably would've. That means half wouldn't. Why would she have been one of them? Now he has a reason to rape her (according to your argument) so all the reasons you put up for why he wouldn't are void, aren't they?

There'd have been (and this could be said about anybody male or female) huge numbers of people who'd not have had sex with them. Maybe because they didn't fancy them? Maybe they were married? Relgious reasons? Anything could be a reason. Maybe they were drunk and not being very nice? Who knows.

Personally I think a lot of the underage stuff is more down to this power dynamic (forbidden fruit, doing something illegal, etc) than actual sexual attraction. When it's that easy, it gets boring for some people. That, and they don't often hear "no" to anything and react badly when they do.
__________________
5-time MoFo Award winner.



Hmmm. Kirk Douglas was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. He was very handsome and magnetic. Half of the women in the country would probably have laid down with him. I wouldn't think Douglas would have had to force any woman to have sex with him. Same with Gable.
Nah, this isn't how that works at all.

It would be perfectly accurate to say he didn't lack for options, but then, that also doesn't really matter. When someone becomes fixated the fact that they could have someone else doesn't factor into it. And in particular, I'd say someone who has no trouble attracting women would be all the more likely to fixate on someone who doesn't want to sleep with them. To think of sex as perfectly fungible across all people is, frankly, bizarre.

In other words, none of this factors into the likelihood of this happening. And to whatever degree fame and power might mitigate it, they're just as likely to spur the kind of entitlement that might contribute to it.



I thought you all died when the asteroid hit?

Seriously though, rape's about power, not sex and no one is attractive to everyone. As you say yourself, half the women in the country probably would've. That means half wouldn't. Why would she have been one of them? Now he has a reason to rape her (according to your argument) so all the reasons you put up for why he wouldn't are void, aren't they?

There'd have been (and this could be said about anybody male or female) huge numbers of people who'd not have had sex with them. Maybe because they didn't fancy them? Maybe they were married? Relgious reasons? Anything could be a reason. Maybe they were drunk and not being very nice? Who knows.

Personally I think a lot of the underage stuff is more down to this power dynamic (forbidden fruit, doing something illegal, etc) than actual sexual attraction. When it's that easy, it gets boring for some people. That, and they don't often hear "no" to anything and react badly when they do.
You could have a point about rape in general. Perhaps you've been a victim of rape yourself? If so, I'm very sorry to hear that, ma'am.



For a lot of crimes, the statute of limitations ends with death. Being a cynic, I know that money, fame and influence have a malign effect on behavior and I know that the rich and famous pay people to keep this stuff out of the public eye. I guess a lot of it ends up with that question of whether you want to see or buy a movie because of the behavior of cast or crew. This all goes way back to old movies, "morals" accusations, "communist infiltrators" and any of the various forms of moral horror of the moment. I recall the old silent Birth of a Nation inciting riots, etc, so it's not a new question. Who knows about Shirley Temple, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn or Judy Garland and "the casting couch". Everybody involved there is dead now, so we will never know the truth without an overlay of decades of subsequent attitudes and accusations.

For me, it's sometimes yes, sometimes no...depending. I have seen Birth of a Nation and, yes, it is reprehensible, but I still do like The Wizard of Oz. So if we DO prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that some long-dead star did something awful, the what? Do we seize all copies of the movie, publish a ban, or issue a declaration? Personally, I have more interest in the sins of the present than in the old ones.



You could have a point about rape in general. Perhaps you've been a victim of rape yourself? If so, I'm very sorry to hear that, ma'am.
Thankfully I'm neither a rape victim or female. But thank you for your concern.

It's just that, like most abuse, it's a power/control dynamic. That isn't to say there can't be a sexual element (to go slightly off topic, with the exception of money/greed, virtually all serial murders are sexually motivated even if sex/pentration doesn't occur) but it's about control and having/showing dominance.



I've come across some news items recently (don't want to go into details just yet) about negative rumors, hearsay, claims about or accusations of celebrities after they've died.

How should we take these?
  • Accept that the accuser has a right to their story and understand there may have been good reasons to keep it a secret when the person in question was still alive?
  • Or view it with skepticism and ask, why didn't you speak about this when the person in question was around to defend themselves. It's uncouth to speak badly of the dead and disrespectful of their survivors to besmirch their name if you have no evidence to support your claim.
  • Or, just forget about it and move on since nothing can be done about it now anyway?
This is a double edged sword though, because someone can easily come out with an fake accusation that this or that happened and the person that's being accused is no longer here to defend themselves. Since we live in a world nowadays where social media is the court of law, even if they didn't do what they were being accused of while they were alive, their name is forever tarnished.
__________________
Last Movie Watched: The Watchers (2024).
Last TV Show Watched: Ghosts US (S3:E4).



This is a double edged sword though, because someone can easily come out with an fake accusation that this or that happened and the person that's being accused is no longer here to defend themselves. Since we live in a world nowadays where social media is the court of law, even if they didn't do what they were being accused of while they were alive, their name is forever tarnished.
Yep. That's the problem in a nutshell, and how it differs from accusations made toward someone still here who can defend themselves from them.



Wood was terrified of Douglas after he trapped and raped her. This was well known when both were alive, and his power to further destroy her life was the reason she and her mother decided not to speak out. That's the problem in a nutshell.

Much of Lewis's monstrous behavior likewise came to light during his lifetime.

It seems that an analogy to the dilemma originally proposed here might be an audience member at Our American Cousin's ill-fated performance complaining that Lincoln's untimely death ruined their evening out. Some might say that larger issues take precedence.



Wood was terrified of Douglas after he trapped and raped her. This was well known when both were alive, and his power to further destroy her life was the reason she and her mother decided not to speak out. That's the problem in a nutshell.

Much of Lewis's monstrous behavior likewise came to light during his lifetime.

It seems that an analogy to the dilemma originally proposed here might be an audience member at Our American Cousin's ill-fated performance complaining that Lincoln's untimely death ruined their evening out. Some might say that larger issues take precedence.
I heard about the Wood / Douglas incident only a couple weeks ago on a radio program. I've heard plenty about the conspiracies surrounding Natalie's death, but never heard she'd been raped.

I heard a lot about Jerry Lewis both before & after his death (such as his not leaving anything in his will to certain of his children), but never heard an accusation of rape until recently.

Interesting analogy, and indeed the larger issues SHOULD take precedence... but that's only if they are true. If they're not true, than spreading falsehoods would be the larger issue. Unfortunately for most of these claims, we'll never know.



P.S. During the height of the "Me Too" movement, there were also claims of sexual abuse made against Michael Douglas. I read his response and believed he was innocent. Now, I'm not so sure. (Like father like son?) The claims against Michael were apparently dismissed. But for all the real cases, there was some bandwagoning going on as well.

A couple others I remember were care givers for Stan Lee who made accusations. First, Lee was a very elderly man at the time, but I think, by all accounts, these were dismissed as claims by would-be money-grubbers trying to take advantage of a rich but dying old man.
Same with George Bush senior. And hey, maybe he did grab some lady's butt, but when you're that old and wheelchair bound, and suffering from dementia, you may do odd things that you never would have done when you were of sound mind and body.



I heard about the Wood / Douglas incident only a couple weeks ago on a radio program. I've heard plenty about the conspiracies surrounding Natalie's death, but never heard she'd been raped.

I heard a lot about Jerry Lewis both before & after his death (such as his not leaving anything in his will to certain of his children), but never heard an accusation of rape until recently.

Interesting analogy, and indeed the larger issues SHOULD take precedence... but that's only if they are true. If they're not true, than spreading falsehoods would be the larger issue. Unfortunately for most of these claims, we'll never know.
You make some good points. Unfortunate initial examples however.

The Douglas men (father and son) have always reeked of predation to me, and I've never been a fan of either. I am NOT Spartacus.

Lewis is more complicated, as while he was a bitter, vicious, entitled monster even as a young man, he was also undoubtedly a genius.

For me, this Vanity Fair promoted story about wild gay Hollywood doings, all involving dead celebrities, is truly ripe for your criticism.

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood...harine-hepburn

As the nutbag hoarder who made these claims himself said, he'd never have brought any of it up when they were alive. But in the "if someone says it and we can make money from promoting it then it must be true" world of modern journalistic malpractice, it's forever out there, ridiculous as it is.

So yeah, I get your point, but the Wood incident in particular muddied the issue for me.

I'd add that as far as spoiling enjoyment of art goes, Woody Allen lost me as a viewer and fan when he took up with Mia's charge, and her subsequent allegations involving Dylan further soured me. And everybody's still alive there.

Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Piven and George Takei among others have been very credibly accused of varying degrees of misconduct as well, and all still alive too.

There's just no firewall between humanity's evils and art. Quite the opposite in fact. Even Star Trek isn't safe! I call it the Riefenstahl Conundrum, though Wagner or Picasso could be substituted. How does one parse the person, their deeds and their art? Is it possible? Kevin Spacey is a highly effective film creep because he's Kevin Spacey. American Beauty.

The good news is that fresh art's being made all the time, so as soon as one idol's clay feet are revealed, new ones pop up. They can be toppled later, maybe even justifiably.



I'd go with "just move on". There's nothing productive about post-mortem rumors and accusations. The perpetrator is dead, can't be convicted, absolved or confronted. I can see why people drag up this stuff (notoriety and profit) but it's a waste of time. Maybe someone else will want to investigate, uncover truth and all that, but aside from a quick glance at an article that I forget in 5 minutes, nothing will come of it. So many idols have been shattered in my life that I've gotten blasť about them if the target of the accusation is dead.



Where it gets even more interesting is with figures like John Wayne, who was a booze-addled bigot and ever more marginalized throwback even during his own lifetime.

His greatest roles?

As booze-addled bigots who were ever more marginalized throwbacks even during their own lifetime.

Not just his greatest film performance, but one of the greatest in the history of cinema, Ford beating him like a rented mule throughout, Wayne was absolutely magnificent as Ethan Edwards, a man out of place and time.

That scene (anyone who has experienced the film knows the one I mean) with Wood is utterly sublime, and to bring everything full circle, was shot at the time of Douglas's predatory assault on her.

Art.

Life.

Monsters and the enduring shadows of monsters.

And of course, redemption.



Trouble with a capital "T"
Where it gets even more interesting is with figures like John Wayne, who was a booze-addled bigot and ever more marginalized throwback even during his own lifetime.

His greatest roles?

As booze-addled bigots who were ever more marginalized throwbacks even during their own lifetime.

Not just his greatest film performance, but one of the greatest in the history of cinema, Ford beating him like a rented mule throughout, Wayne was absolutely magnificent as Ethan Edwards, a man out of place and time.

That scene (anyone who has experienced the film knows the one I mean) with Wood is utterly sublime, and to bring everything full circle, was shot at the time of Douglas's predatory assault on her.

Art.

Life.

Monsters and the enduring shadows of monsters.

And of course, redemption.
Nothing says social signaling more than your post...and that's the problem with 'calling out' dead people. No one here knew them first hand so all it amounts to is social media types using the opportunity to hang their own agendas on the backs of the dead and famous.



Social signaling? That's the takeaway from my comments? I thought this irrelevant fallacy was generally introduced under the disparaging term virtue signaling. Have you seen The Searchers? I wonder what you'd think of it based on your comments.

But I'm just speaking truth. I'm happy to call out living rapists and predators on all points of the spectrum as well, as I have above. I'm also happy to call out those who use the views of others as a basis for silencing them by whatever means. I was disappointed, though far from surprised, when Debra Messing did this a few years ago for instance.

Curious what people think about the meaningless though preposterous allegations of gay sex romps in the Vanity Fair story. Maybe discussing that will prevent this topic from veering too far into fiery territory.



Trouble with a capital "T"
Where it gets even more interesting is with figures like John Wayne, who was a booze-addled bigot and ever more marginalized throwback even during his own lifetime.
It is not OK to mock people with diseases, and alcoholism is a disease that many suffer throughout their entire lives.



Social signaling? That's the takeaway from my comments? I thought this irrelevant fallacy was generally introduced under the disparaging term virtue signaling. Have you seen The Searchers? I wonder what you'd think of it based on your comments.

But I'm just speaking truth. I'm happy to call out living rapists and predators on all points of the spectrum as well, as I have above. I'm also happy to call out those who use the views of others as a basis for silencing them by whatever means. I was disappointed, though far from surprised, when Debra Messing did this a few years ago for instance.

Curious what people think about the meaningless though preposterous allegations of gay sex romps in the Vanity Fair story. Maybe discussing that will prevent this topic from veering too far into fiery territory.

It wasn't virtue signalling what you wrote. There is a tendency in internet dialogue for people to latch onto particular phrases or sentences and, and as a result, miss the entire point of what actually being said.


And calling John Wayne a booze addled bigot, while maybe not the kindest of terms, is clearly an accurate description and something that was on the record pretty extensively while he was alive and well.


And as for saying 'booze addled', take it from a similarly booze addled brain over here that it's a pretty on point description of what being a drunk is like. Your brain is addled and it is because of booze. Personally, I see pretty minimal harmful intent on the term, even though I imagine it's possible some would. But there isn't many polite ways of calling a person a drunk, and Im not much into completely skirting ever mentioning these things if someone is publically known to have been one.



It wasn't virtue signalling what you wrote. There is a tendency in internet dialogue for people to latch onto particular phrases or sentences and, and as a result, miss the entire point of what actually being said.


And calling John Wayne a booze addled bigot, while maybe not the kindest of terms, is clearly an accurate description and something that was on the record pretty extensively while he was alive and well.


And as for saying 'booze addled', take it from a similarly booze addled brain over here that it's a pretty on point description of what being a drunk is like. Your brain is addled and it is because of booze. Personally, I see pretty minimal harmful intent on the term, even though I imagine it's possible some would. But there isn't many polite ways of calling a person a drunk, and Im not much into completely skirting ever mentioning these things if someone is publically known to have been one.
Thank you CR. I kept thinking of those recordings that came out I think in the 90s.

I do apologize to anyone who took offense of course, and I hope it's clear to all that the performances I was speaking of, including True Grit, are genuine treasures. If all I'd ever seen of Wayne were his work in these two movies, I'd think he was one of the greatest movie actors of all time. Unfortunately, there's The Conqueror among other work.

I hope the topic can move in a lighter direction, as we seem to have covered the more heated aspects, and can now consider things like cruelty to hamsters (gerbils?) in the film industry.



The trick is not minding
Nothing says social signaling more than your post...and that's the problem with 'calling out' dead people. No one here knew them first hand so all it amounts to is social media types using the opportunity to hang their own agendas on the backs of the dead and famous.
Or maybe theyíre rightly called out for their behavior. Behavior that you donít get a pass on even if deceased.
Wayne helped chase off several people from Hollywood because he didnít agree with their political views, and even bragged about it. He supported the blacklist. That alone makes him an persona non grata in my book.

Itís perfectly ok to call our dead people for their past misdeeds, even if they might be your favorite actor/artist/director or what have you. They arenít meant to be put on a pedestal.