Dr. Ted Baehr is the founder and publisher of MOVIEGUIDE, chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission, and a well-known movie critic, educator, lecturer and media pundit. He also is the author of several books, including "The Culture-Wise Family" with legendary entertainer Pat Boone. For more information, please call 800-899-6684 or go to the MOVIEGUIDE website.More ↓Less ↑
The mass media not only can devour vulnerable children who are merely the partakers of entertainment, it also can completely consume many young people working in the entertainment industry.
Recently, the news reported several heartbreaking stories of young actresses who have fallen victim to the terrorism of the mass media by being swept up into the hedonism and moral decay that Hollywood and celebrity too often offers.
The loss of Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan, a talented, young actress whose family-friendly movies include: “Herbie: Fully Loaded” and “The Parent Trap,” has been the topic of several controversies recently.
Once known as Hollywood’s Teen Queen and the next ”It-Girl,” Lohan is now considered to be the town’s top party-girl who misses film shoots due to both alcohol and drug-induced hospitalizations.
This past month she came under-fire from the CEO of Morgan Creek productions who said that her absence from the movie set (due to partying) cost the production hundreds of thousands of dollars. He also wrote a scathing letter calling her, ”discourteous, irresponsible and unprofessional.”
Lindsay herself has been more than vocal about the effects of the media in her own life, saying that the four characters from HBO’s ”Sex & The City” had ”changed everything for me, because those girls would just sleep with so many people!”
About her personal love life, Lindsay states that she wants her boyfriend to be a one-woman man, but she hopes to keep fooling around. She said, ”If I’m going to give my body to someone, I’d rather them not be with other people. But, I want to be able to if I like someone else.”
The saddest story: The downfall of Dakota
Another young woman who seems to have lost her way is Dakota Fanning, a promising young 12-year-old whose credits include wonderful movies of hope and faith like “Dreamer: Inspired By A True Story” and “I Am Sam,” both of which have won Movieguide? “Teddy Bear” Awards for family movies.
In her latest movie, ”Hounddog,” however (which comes out this fall), Dakota reportedly appears ”semi-naked” and has even shot some ”child-rape scenes.”
Dakota Fanning is only 12! This is simulated pedophilia promoted by Hollywood!
Even so, her agent says the movie is challenging her as an actress, and ”not just the rape scene … [But] in every scene she gets better and better.”
Where are this young girl’s parents? Where are her protectors? Well, Dakota’s mother reportedly has said that Dakota’s ”gritty performance” will win her an Oscar.
What a tragedy that this bright, young, innocent child has been sacrificed to the golden statue of the Academy Awards!
This story is repeated time after time. The casting couch has gone from behind closed doors to being filmed in Technicolor for the next movie. Many actresses whom I commend in interviews for performing in family films tell me they want to play a prostitute in their next movie or that they just did such a part. Once they stoop to sleaze, their career usually craters, and many are ostracized by Hollywood after they have demeaned themselves for the craven god of being a ”cutting edge” actor. Some are so shunned after they stoop to conquer that they end up shoplifting or overdosing to survive the embarrassment. These were promising actors who felt the Hollywood pressure to get down and dirty.
Why do their careers crater?
Quite simply, their peers in Hollywood have lied to them. Performing sleeze offends American teenagers, who are the largest group of moviegoers. A new entertainment poll of 12- to 24-year-olds in the United States has found that a high number of teenagers (58 percent of boys ages 12 to 17 and an amazing 74 percent of teen girls) are offended by sexual material in movies and TV programs.
Melina Erkan, 12, said she’s not watching MTV and VH1 as much because of all the scantily-clad women. “Sometimes in the music videos these days, the women they have dancing in the background, they dress really cheap, and women don’t really look like that and act like that … When I see that, I change the channel to something I like.”
A story on the poll did not give percentages for ages 18-24, but Hannah Montes, a 21-year-old college student in Missouri, said she has stopped watching TV because of all the vulgarity she saw.
“I get tired of hearing all the cussing and the sexual innuendoes,” she said.
The poll was conducted this summer by the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg. The 1,650 qualified respondents to the poll included 839 minors age 12-17 and 811 young adults age 18-24.
The golden age of Hollywood
During the Golden Age of Hollywood, the Entertainment Industry understood the value of a star’s reputation. Good wholesome young stars were groomed to appear that way in every movie so that they would be seen as celebrities that moviegoers would admire and want to see again and again. Now, Hollywood chews them up and spits them out like the used prostitutes on the streets of Bangkok. This is reprehensible.
Parents and grandparents everywhere need to open their eyes and become media wise – young stars like Lindsay Lohan and Dakota Fanning have a tremendous influence on their children and grandchildren.
We need to pray for both Lindsay and Dakota so that they will be gripped by the Hand of God instead of the Jaws of Satan. Their lives need to be transformed by Jesus Christ so that they will not seek the rewards of men, but so that they will seek to win for the Lamb of God the rewards of His suffering.