Please do not mistake this post for being scattered... What with final papers, exams, and projects, I've been relying on the occasional celebrity announcement to procrastinate. One story in particular caught my eye -- Scarlett Johansson received a star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Although I respect her as an on-screen and theatre actress, this made me begin to question the process that goes into getting your name embedded in the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.
Since 1960, more than 2,400 brass and terrazzo stars have been installed in honor of famous people in motion pictures, live theatre/performance, television, recording, and radio.
While, of course, the icons are there -- Frank Sinatra, James Dean, Louis Armstrong, Doris Day, Marilyn Monroe, and the like -- there are also a few that make me question the whole thing. Paula Abdul? The Victoria's Secret Angels (as a special group, of course)? Donald Trump for his roles on television?
Perhaps even more frustrating to me than those who were included are those who were overlooked. Where is Frankie Valli's star? As the lead vocalist of The Four Seasons since 1953, he was partially responsible for the pop/rock movement to follow the '60s. Even Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl" was inspired by Valli's work!
And Leonardo DiCaprio? Maybe it's just me, but I consider him one of the great actors of my generation. From Titanic to Blood Diamond to Inception, DiCaprio has been an incredibly diverse actor from the very start.
What about Robert Redford? Or Clint Eastwood, Robert Downey Jr., Joseph Gordon-Levitt, or even Jane Fonda? What about these epic stars of film and music who continue to be unrecognized?
Do we really live in a world where Scarlett Johansson is honored before the likes of Robert Redford?!
In order for someone to get their name on a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, individuals must be nominated by a sponsor, who then becomes responsible for the $30,000 installation cost. The form includes a brief biography of the nominee (essentially no more than five pages with which the sponsor can share the nominee's life story), the star's qualifications, a list of his/her contributions to the community and civic-oriented participation, and an original signed letter of agreement from the nominee.
Each year, approximately 200 nominations are submitted to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Walk of Fame Selection Committee. Stars can be nominated by anyone -- including fellow celebrities and fans -- they just have to be able to afford the respectable nomination fee. Every June, the committee selects nearly 20 individuals to receive stars.
So, therein lies my anger. Some actors, musicians, etc., have been honored for contributions that, although impressive, certainly do not, in my opinion, warrant the same recognition that has already been given to people the likes of Sinatra and Monroe. Then, there have been others who remain completely overlooked, regardless of all they have done in the celebrity community (although I may be a little biased because of my deep devotion as a Frankie Valli fan).
I'm curious to hear others' thoughts on my random musings... Are there people that you think should have a star but don't? Or already have a star, but maybe don't have the same level of accomplishments as their fellow recipients? What about the process itself? Comment away!
Well, now that I've gotten this little entertainment rant out of my system, tune in next time for our regularly scheduled programming -- back to politics and current events!