Trained in the Art of Deception: A Defense of Actors in the Age of Scandals

There’s a lot to be troubled about lately with the headlines of scandals involving actors. Just in the past month, we’ve seen Jussie Smollett, Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin caught up in alleged bad behavior. However, one aspect that I’ve not seen mentioned much in the media is the unfair vilification of actors as “entitled elites” who used their fame and fortune to cheat the system.

What bothers me most about that depiction is the broad brush with which this paints actors. Though the ones who achieve the most notoriety might be rich or even entitled, most actors are hard-working people who struggle with economic insecurity and even poverty in order to pursue their chosen field.

Along with musicians, actors practically invented the gig economy thousands of years ago. Many must worry about what and where their next job will be, even as the try to concentrate on the one they have now. And unlike an Uber driver or Grubhub delivery person, actors have specific skill sets and talents which are usually the result of years of training and hard work. Actors face more rejection than just about any job. For most, it’s hardly a glamorous life. Yet somehow, it’s a calling that remains fulfilling, even as they struggle to pay rent or afford healthcare. So, that Uber driver or Grubhub delivery person might also be an actor working a second or third job to make ends meet.

In so many ways, most actors are just like the rest of us. And, yes. That means a small percentage of them are unethical and deceitful. But isn’t that true for any profession? It might seem logical to think that those trained to embody characters would excel in real life deceit. In truth, an actor’s love for their craft is what keeps them honest.

So, let’s give actors a break. Unethical people are everywhere. And a few bad apples who happen to be rich and gained celebrity from their acting don’t represent the vast majority of hard-working artists with tremendous integrity, perseverance and grit.

Everything Right Is Wrong Again


They Might Be Giants were right.

Ever look at something that is apparently empirically true, yet still shake your head in disbelief. That’s me – this morning – looking at this article. Continue reading “Everything Right Is Wrong Again”

This is what guilt looks like

“Some men are born to blog. Others have blogging thrust upon them.”

– Socrates or maybe Seth Godin (note: need to look this up)

Today, I gained a new follower on my blog. I’ve now traded messages with her, and she seems nice. But if blogging is about being “of the moment,” I have no idea why someone would follow me now. Continue reading “This is what guilt looks like”

Groupon: Stunt or Stupidity?

Like many media-obsessed folks, I was on Twitter during the Super Bowl watching the critique of the ads in real time. Much of what I was seeing came from people in marketing or social media. And the 140-character limit made for necessarily succinct reviews. There was disagreement and some spirited banter. That is, until the Groupon ad ran. Continue reading “Groupon: Stunt or Stupidity?”

The Roy With The Thorn In His Side

Maybe the best career path to being a college basketball coach is through marketing. Follow me here. If you’re in marketing, you’re at least used to criticism and second guessing. Being the target of blame and derision. Unlike some coaches who shall remain nameless. Like Roy Williams. Continue reading “The Roy With The Thorn In His Side”

How About a Stimulus Plan for Marketing?

U.S. businesses are sitting on unprecedented amounts of capital right now. In many sectors, business has generally come back enough to make a little money. Not enough to hire people again. And certainly not enough to spend some of it on marketing. Perish the thought! Continue reading “How About a Stimulus Plan for Marketing?”

Know When To Fold ‘Em

The sage Kenny Rogers was full of great advice. But none was better than “…know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.” That bit of knowledge is crucial in nearly every aspect of life. Whether you’re gambling with men packing pistols, running a floundering NFL franchise or assembling a marketing plan. Continue reading “Know When To Fold ‘Em”

The Gap’s Gaffe Tastes Like New Coke

I suppose there are two ways to look at The Gap’s logo flip-flop. One view is that the company really listened to their customers and the graphic arts community at large and wasn’t too proud to admit they made a mistake. I’ve seen quite a few articles that take this stand. And this could very well be the case. On the other hand I have two words for you: New Coke.

Continue reading “The Gap’s Gaffe Tastes Like New Coke”

Chevy – Poster Child for Sexism?

What a gorgeous bit is nostalgia from Chevrolet! Or whatever this is trying to be. Especially in tough economic times like these, I like to think about the possible target audiences. Even for a poster, which is not technically advertising. Continue reading “Chevy – Poster Child for Sexism?”

The Ad Agency Model: What’s Broken?

Don’t get me wrong. Mad Men is great television. And there was a time when that kind of powerful, monolithic agency structure served a purpose as part of a greater business construction. Part of me cannot imagine a world without Madison Avenue and all it embodies. But outside of the super-corporate world, advertising agencies are struggling. Just last week I learned that another iconic Charlotte agency had closed. And it apparently didn’t even make a ripple in the news. Continue reading “The Ad Agency Model: What’s Broken?”