Honolulu Lite


strikes back
at Hollywood

In a scathing ad placed in the entertainment industry magazine Variety and in a series of TV commercials, a group calling itself Citizens Against Schlock -- made up of high-level military, government and intelligence officials -- asked Hollywood to stop bombarding American citizens with crummy movies designed only to make its actors and producers rich.

"Before you unleash another stinker like 'Crossroads,' with Britney Spears, upon an unwary public," says Secretary of State Colin Powell in one commercial, "I have only one question to ask: Why? What did we ever do to you?"

In another commercial, a teary-eyed Donald Rumsfeld, secretary of defense, looks straight into the camera and pleads, "For the love of God, can't someone stop Adam Sandler before he makes another movie? The suicide crisis hot lines were flooded after the release of 'Mr. Deeds' by people who simply can't take Mr. Sandler anymore."

In the Variety ad, signed by 100,000 sub-Cabinet officials, government bureaucrats and midlevel managers working within the military industrial complex, Citizens Against Schlock urged Hollywood to take immediate steps to overhaul the way movies are made and the entire "star" system.

"Just because the advanced cinematic technology is there doesn't mean that a movie such as 'Rollerball' should be made," said Tommy Thompson, secretary of health and human services.

Christine Todd Whitman, former New Jersey governor and current administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said it is morally unconscionable that Hollywood would fire off a movie such as "Enough" across America. "Jennifer Lopez may be a pretty good singer," said Whitman, "but trust me, in all my years of protecting the environment and governing a state, I've never seen such lousy acting. 'Enough' is enough."

Actor Martin Sheen, sitting in a mock-up of the Oval Office while shooting an episode of "The West Wing," said it was outrageous that "a bunch of government hacks who have absolutely no experience in the movie industry would pretend to tell Hollywood how it should operate."

On an appearance on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor," the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff said Sean Penn and George Clooney had been terribly miscast in "The Thin Red Line" and that their characters should be been played by Pee Wee Herman and Bette Midler, respectively.

Actress Susan Sarandon, while admitting she has not appeared in a decent movie since "The Great Smokey Roadblock" in 1976, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that while there technically is a right of free speech in America, these critics of Hollywood's business practices should be politely but firmly shot at sunrise. With cameras rolling.

Charles Memminger, winner of National Society of Newspaper Columnists awards, appears Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. E-mail

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