Donald Trump hit the entertainment headlines this week with the revelation that West Hollywood City Council have unanimously voted to remove his star from the Hollywood Walk Of Fame following multiple vandalism attempts.
Only, here’s the thing, the vote wasn’t legally binding. And, if we were betting people, we’d say it’ll never happen.
That’s partly because of the way the system works – the process involves a potential honouree being nominated, going through a lengthy application process, before paying $30k (which means anyone being removed will probably have to be refunded).
It’s also partly because the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which administers the walk, has previously said it’ll never happen.
“The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has received inquiries asking whether we are planning to remove the stars of Walk of Famers because of alleged misconduct. The answer is no,” said Leron Gubler, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president and CEO.
“The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a registered historic landmark. Once a star has been added to the Walk, it is considered a part of the historic fabric of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.”
“Because of this, we have never removed a star from the Walk.”
Former chairman, Johnny Grant, previously made a similar statement.
“Stars are awarded for professional achievement to the world of entertainment and contributions to the community. A celebrity’s politics, philosophy, irrational behavior, or outrageous remarks have never been cause to remove a Walk of Fame star,” he said.
It’s pretty clear why they’re being so definitive – removing one star would mean they’d have to remove several, because Trump isn’t the only offensive person being stepped on by tourists every day.
If he goes, then this lot have to join him.
Trump has said and done some pretty terrible things, but the main reason given for his star removal is for “disturbing treatment of women” along with “other actions”.
Well, if we’re going by that definition, it doesn’t get much more disturbing in terms of treatment of women than Bill Cosby, who has been convicted (he’ll be sentenced later this year) following dozens of accusations by women who said Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them.
Trump has been accused of assault, but has not been convicted of any crimes, or even stood trial (at the time of writing), so it could be argued that Cosby’s star should be removed long before Trump’s.
One of Trump’s most vocal supporters, Roseanne Barr recently found herself removed from her own show following accusations of racism (which Roseanne denies) thanks to an offensive tweet that compared Valerie Jarrett to ‘Planet Of The Apes.’
If West Hollywood City Council wants to take Trump off the pavement for his words on women, Roseanne’s words on race could make her a contender to go too.
Roseanne’s said she’s lost everything because of the controversy – not everything, not yet; she’s still got her star.
Six women came forward to accuse X Men: The Last Stand director Brett Ratner of sexual assault last year, which Ratner strongly denied at the time.
But Trump also denies his own sexual assault criticisms, dismissing his offensive ‘pussy tape’ as being ‘locker room talk.’
Again, if accusations are enough to tarnish a celebrity’s Walk Of Fame legacy, Ratner will have to be removed.
An iconic star who’s been in some of the greatest films ever made (Mommie Dearest being a particular cult fave of ours), Joan Crawford has also been accused of some horrendous behaviour, including starving her children, tying them up, and beating them with wire hangers.
The accusations have been written about in detail in Christina Crawford’s memoir ‘Mommie Dearest’ – which should provide the West Hollywood City Council with more than enough reasons to unanimously vote to remove Crawford’s star.
Spacey was famously edited out of All The Money In The World by Ridley Scott, and replaced by Christopher Plummer. It was a hugely expensive and complicated process, but one that Scott felt was necessary to protect his film, following multiple accusations of sexual assault against Spacey – which were considered so seriously, they were investigated by Scotland Yard.
If Trump’s “disturbing treatment of women” is enough to make the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce change their rules, then Spacey’s alleged “disturbing treatment of men” should follow the same standards.
If the accusations were enough to get him removed from a Hollywood film, then why not the Walk Of Fame?
Silent movie star Fatty Arbuckle was at the centre of Hollywood’s first major sex scandal – accused of raping an aspiring actress named Virginia Rappe, before going on trial for manslaughter following her subsequent death.
Arbuckle went through three separate trials before eventually being exonerated for the crime. But his innocence wasn’t enough to satisfy Hollywood at the time – six days after Arbuckle’s acquittal, Will H. Hays, head of the Hollywood censor board, banned Arbuckle from ever working in U.S. movies again. Hays also insisted that all showings of Arbuckle films be canceled, and exhibitors complied.
Unable to find work following the controversy, Arbuckle was forced to work as a director under a pseudonym. In terms of tarnished legacies, Arbuckle is one of earliest examples – but his name is immortalised on his star, which is located at 6701 Hollywood Boulevard.
Arnie has had a star on the Walk Of Fame since 1987, going on to make some of his best films, including Terminator 2, having a successful political career, before returning to film in 2013.
But in 2003, six women came forward to accuse the star of groping them on film sets – accusations Arnie responded to.
“It is true that I was on rowdy movie sets and I have done things that were not right which I thought then was playful,” he said.
“But now I recognise that I offended people. Those people that I have offended, I want to say to them I am deeply sorry about that and I apologise because that’s not what I’m trying to do.”
Unlike Trump, Schwarzenegger admitted to his wrongdoing – which means he should also suffer the consequences of his actions, if the Walk Of Fame rules are indeed changing.
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