March 14, 2018

Hollywood Reporter: Honestly, What Were You Thinking?

I tried in vain to find any intelligence, humor or grace in Scheck’s article. Indeed, it’s really clear that Scheck began watching the programming with a specific agenda in mind—he knew he had to pan the show.

March 14, 2018

Matthew Belloni, Managing Editor
Hollywood Reporter

Mr. Belloni:

Honestly, what were you thinking?

Granted, the Hollywood Reporter is well-known for taking gratuitous potshots at the Hollywood religious community, but Frank Scheck’s “review” of the Scientology TV launch is a much sadder, stupider and more politically vile piece than any I have seen in your pages and site in recent times.

In these days of political correctness, when you are quick to chastise any unfeeling person who dares to criticize another’s sexual orientation, gender choice or skin color, you were unflinching in your willingness to print an article filled with predetermined jabs and sadly pathetic “wink-wink” jokes disparaging my religion.

I tried in vain to find any intelligence, humor or grace in Scheck’s article. Indeed, it’s really clear that Scheck began watching the programming with a specific agenda in mind—he knew he had to pan the show. After all, it might be dangerous for people to actually watch the Scientology Network and decide for themselves what to think about Scientology. So, whatever was on the air, it was his job to hate on it.

In the end, however, Scheck really couldn’t find much in the actual programming itself that could be criticized with any sanity. Instead, he criticized Scientologists appearing in the initial programming for

  • Being beautifully coifed and well-dressed
  • Helping to combat the effects of drugs and crime in their communities
  • Being middle-aged
  • Possessing “glowing skin”
  • Wearing “unhip” glasses
  • Having attractive children
  • Smiling a lot. (Smiling a lot? Really?)

Since even Scheck, try as he might, couldn’t really make the actual programming sound awful, he jeered at the religious practices that he worked so hard to deliberately misquote (really a stupid move, since they were so simply explained that even my 8-year-old niece was able to catch on). Criticism of the actual content of a media piece is one thing. Tasteless jeering at an entire group of people is …. Bigotry. Discrimination. Prejudice.

What makes Scheck’s pointless “critique” even more embarrassing for The Hollywood Reporter is that his tasteless attempts at religious smear and “humor” stand alone in the world of mainstream media.

Bigotry. Discrimination. Prejudice. The Hollywood Reporter.

The entire Hollywood community is ashamed of you today.

Sincerely,

Laurie Bartilson

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