Walk All Over Your Favorite Humans, Animals, and Fictional Characters
Let us look at the greatness of Hollywood; a place where many celebrities have lived and perished, succeeded and struggled, and made works of ever-lasting art that will go down in history. To honor these great achievers, there is a series of sidewalks made of stars collectively called the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Gaze at such great artists on the Walk of Fame including Rodney Dangerfield, Johnny Carson, and Lucille Ball. The magical feeling will fill your gooey insides when you realize you’re looking at people who propelled the entertainment business forward, until you stroll past a star, rub your eyes and projectile vomit when you see that the Olsen twins and Kermit the Frog have one too.
There are so many problems with undeserving people getting one of those ever-so-cherished memorials. The highlight of the Olsen twins’ career involve playing one character Michelle on “Full House.” Kermit the Frog is a key figure in the shaping of many of our lives; we learned numbers in Spanish, something about the difficulties of being green, and that if you jam your hand up a sock puppet and make funny voices you can get a ton of cash, but Kermit’s not a person.
Non-human character icons such as Kermit are entertaining, but don’t belong on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Jim Henson deserved one. Kermit didn’t. Take Disney, for example, and its multiple ‘Walk’ stars including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and one that simply features the text “The 50th Year of Disney.” So “The 50th Year of Disney” gets just as much recognition as William Shatner and Don Rickles? How do you think Orson Welles would feel that one day his star could be surrounded by stars of Teletubbies and Barney The Dinosaur? The Simpsons has a star. It is a historic show with many quality years under its belt, but it shouldn’t have a star. Matt Groening can have a star, the voice actors can have stars, but not the characters. The 3 Stooges have a combined star, but don’t they deserve their own separate recognition with their actual names on them? Where’s the logic here?
It takes $30,000 for anybody to get a star once they’re approved by a secret committee. The Walk of Fame website explains that the ‘Walk’ is made up of over 2,000 artists who have made significant contributions to film, radio, television, theatre and recording industries. What significant contributions has basketball player Kobe Bryant done for any of those industries? What the website doesn’t reveal is that it’s also simply another promotional tool. Celebrities will even act like they’re receiving an award after they pay the cost so it looks like they’re getting something for their talent. An actor will get a star that conveniently coincides with their latest release. If there’s money to be made by sticking your hand in cement, then expect that person to more easily get a star.
The Walk of Fame has turned into a giant billboard full of advertisements rather than the acknowledgement that it was intended. Yes, in the grand scheme of the universe, none of this really matters, however, if media is truly to push forward as art, then we must award those who truly deserve it rather than whore out the latest cash in. If it continues, then it may very well turn into the Walk of Shame.