Hollywood is biased against an important cross-section of society and it has been like this for over 50 years, if not longer. And none of you have ever noticed or said anything about it. It is time to rise up and voice our disdain for Hollywood and its consistence abuse.
Hollywood has always been resistant to change. Even today, when we have such celebrated thespians as Denzel Washington, Will Smith and Halle Berry, Academy Award winners and box office giants, there is still the perception that there aren’t enough good roles for African-American actors and actresses. Or consider Hollywood’s insistence that a woman be young and beautiful in order to get the good roles, while the women who are advancing in age are being given the roles of mothers and grandmothers. Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Sly and the Governator, they continue to get roles into their 60s and 70s and yet other than Meryl Streep, I defy you to find a woman over the age of 45 who headlines major motion pictures.
And Hollywood is replete with activists who continuously raise awareness about these important social issues. It was only a few years ago that a woman finally won an Academy Award for Best Director. A momentous occasion for Hollywood and women everywhere! 12 Years a Slave won best picture and Lupita N’Yongo won best actress. Tremendous strides have been made, even over the past 10 years, in equality in Hollywood.
But it boggles my mind that Hollywood consistently ignores one of the most important and impactful contributors to entertainment. And I blame one person: Hayley Mills.
I’m going to take you back to 1961 and a film called “The Parent Trap.” If you aren’t familiar with the movie, the synopsis is simply this: identical twins separated by their parents at birth meet at a summer camp and decide to switch places in order to try to get their parents to get back together. Of course madcap hilarity ensues and the twins succeed in their quest with mom and dad getting back together at the end.
But there is one small yet significant piece of the equation that always gets overlooked: the twins were played by the same person! They didn’t use actual twins!!! This is what’s wrong with Hollywood today!
Consider the following examples of actors and actresses who played identical twins:
– “The Parent Trap” (1998)—Lindsay Lohan;
– “The Social Network” (2010)—Armie Hammer played the part of both Winklevoss twins, in face only. Instead of using real twins, they used Armie Hammer and another person and then digitally placed Armie Hammer’s face on the other twin;
– “Liv and Maddie” (2014) – Dove Cameron;
– “Twins” (1998) – here Hollywood didn’t even try to get people who looked alike, choosing Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger
– “Dead Ringers” (1988) – Jeremy Irons;
– “Leaves of Grass” (2010) – Edward Norton; and
– “Adaptation” (2012) – Nicolas Cage;
And the list goes on—other notables are Bette Davis, Eddie Murphy, Andy Garcia, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew Modine, and Jean Claude Van Damme.
Frankly I think that Hollywood needs a wake-up call. Identical twins have been stepped on and ignored for too long and this identical twin has had enough. When the musical “Miss Saigon” premiered in London, there was incredible controversy about the fact that Jonathan Pryce, a British actor, was cast to play a Vietnamese pimp. Why isn’t there similar controversy when one actor is cast to play identical twins?
Hollywood has been silent for too long. Something needs to be done and I, for one, will be boycotting any films or television shows or any other form of entertainment that feature identical twins played by one actor or actress.
I urge you to join me in making a stand. Tell the executives in Hollywood that we will not allow these injustices to continue.