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Polanski & Letterman: Perverts or Artistes?

October 3rd, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

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Roman Polanski and David Letterman: Pervert or Artiste?
So, I had this nice snarky column/rant written: all ready to post (thank you WordPress) and then David Letterman had his Big Reveal.
Then I got mad. Why? Because there was another white, aged, rich entertainment celebrity ( high and low culture in this case) somehow exposed as a Perv? No, it’s not that. It’s the Abuse of Power. One of the things I do for a living is handle Human Resources for small to medium sized Companies. I also teach Payroll accounting, which is part of HR. I try to act as an advocate for powerless Employees (EE) in the workplace. One of the biggest hurdles is ignorance of their rights in the workplace: that and fraternization ( under thirties call it “hooking up”) with co-workers and bosses (ER).
That is where Letterman comes in: was he a predator with unequal power OR was he such a “catch” that his female EEs couldn’t resist him? Yes, I know that some men will say, “But don’t the hotties in the workplace act as Predators to “catch” a rich, high status mate/sugar daddy? “ Well, yeah they do: but THAT IS NOT THE TOPIC OF THIS BLOG. The dynamics in the workplace is skewed in a pernicious direction by Predators: be they the Bosses or the (let’s be truthful here, OK?) GoldDiggers. It ain’t fair to hardworking EEs who just want to come to work: get meritorious advancements, be paid correctly and on time, have their measly 401Ks matched with a pitiful 3% (Heinous Safe Harbor provisions of ERISA to be dealt with at a later date), and go home unmolested to sexual partners of their choice. Does that sound like too much to ask?
Back to geezers trolling at the Workplace: maybe the girls wanted it, maybe the girls involved who worked/slept with David Letterman were treated fairly ( I will not say anything about covering ones teeth…) BUT there is matter other than fairness in the workplace. He is a satirist; he makes fun of corrupt, powerful men on his show. He gets paid handsomely (another inequity?) because he is Talent ( do you know that is what they call the performers in Adult Entertainment ?- which to my mind is neither Adult nor Entertaining?). Does the word ‘Hypocrite’ come to mind? When he is getting multi-millions for lambasting the foibles of Bill Clinton (workplace abuse or consensual sex?) while he has been running his own Harem? Makes him a bit less funny. I believe he used the word “creepy”.
In fact, when you see the show, he used the Monologue Spot to address the Injustice ( poor Dave being extorted- Just who is the victim here?) done to him and his family ( Regina had worked for him on the show before she left) and the Audience did not know how to react. They were laughing & clapping up until the point where he talked about the FBI Sting, and then they realized this was not funny. It became another ashamed powerful man defending his poor judgment ( or improper acts under EEOC, or DOL codes). A dictum of Public Relations confirms that the first person to speak is assumed to be the aggrieved party. It was spin or damage control, not Comedy and was not funny at all.
What do I think the Remedy should be? You know by now that I am a Do-Gooder Squishy-Thinking Big L Liberal, don’t you? Well, workplace sexual assault ( which is what it is if it is non-consensual) IS a major Issue. My remedies:
• Education in the High School level (prior to kids getting their first job) about their rights as EE
• Education about Sexual Harassment at the High School level: and
• A larger budget for Workplace Enforcement when there are aggrieved parties who have no recourse to Prime Time Monologues.
Rant Over: have a nice Weekend.

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