5 'Modern' Hollywood Scandals (That Are Actually Super Old)
The world might feel like an ongoing dumpster fire right now, but we can seek solace in one thing: At least the weirdos in Hollywood are doing even worse. Sex scandals, embarrassing foul-ups, mustaches getting in the way of major productions ... it's never been this bad in Tinseltown before. Except, you know, for all the other times when those exact things happened.
Here's evidence that Hollywood didn't hit rock bottom in 2018, because it's been there for a long time.
Announcing The Wrong Winner At The Oscars Is Almost As Old As The Oscars Themselves
Back in 2017, the dignity of Hollywood's biggest annual self-congratulatory awards ceremony was soiled forever when some Twitter-loving goofball handed Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope, causing them to announce the wrong Best Picture winner. Will society ever recover? Will we ever learn to trust, nay, love again? Yeah, probably, because it's not the first time this has happened.
In 1933, for instance, Will Rogers announced the winner of the award for Best Director by saying, "Come on up and get it, Frank" -- a message intended for shoo-in winner Frank Lloyd. Unfortunately, Rogers forgot that famed director Frank Capra was also 1) in the audience, and 2) nominated in that exact category. Both Capra and Lloyd stood up and started making their way toward the stage until an announcer clarified who the real winner was. It was a retreat so traumatic for Capra that we wouldn't be surprised to learn it inspired the attempted suicide in It's A Wonderful Life.
In 1964, meanwhile, a stagehand handed Sammy Davis Jr. the wrong envelope, causing him to announce the Best Score winner as John Addison instead of Andre Previn. Fortunately, he managed to play off the error by joking, "Wait till the NAACP hears about this" and comically putting on his glasses right before reading the actual winner, but that's not entirely surprising, considering SDJ could make the phone book seem cool. We don't think that NAACP line would have helped Warren Beatty much, though.
50 Years Before Henry Cavill, Cesar Romero Refused To Shave His Mustache To Play The Joker
Justice League was bad for a lot of reasons, but one particular highlight was the hilarious saga of Henry Cavill's super-mustache. When Warner Bros. called Cavill back for some JL reshoots, rival studio Paramount refused to let the actor shave the mustache he grew for his role in Mission: Impossible -- Fallout. Instead of simply explaining that Kryptonians grow staches while they're dead, Warner Bros. decided to CG a clean-shaven mouth onto Cavill's face, which ended up looking like they commissioned the work from the people who made those Annoying Orange videos.
Unbelievably, this isn't the first time a DC Comics property has tangled with an actor's unfortunate facial hair situation. Throughout the filming of the 1960s Batman TV show, Joker actor Cesar Romero refused to shave his trademark mustache, despite the producer's obvious insistence that at no point in the canon of the character did the Clown Prince of Crime sport a cowboy ranch. As a result, the makeup team for the show had to generously slather Romero's hairy upper lip with white facepaint every time the Joker made an appearance. Good luck unseeing it now:
The kicker is that Romero's performance in the show was so beloved that even the Batman '66 comic makes sure to include the mustache in its rendering of the Joker. So hey, who knows, maybe 50 years from now, comic book artists will go out of their way to make Superman's mouth look as stupid as possible.
Christopher Plummer Was Hired To Replace A Problematic Actor At The Last Minute ... In 1967
After the world found out why ol' Kevin Spacey was so good at playing creepy villains, the disgraced actor posed a little bit of a challenge for the film All The Money In The World. Spacey played one of the main characters in the movie (the titular "all the money"), which was already done shooting. But director Ridley Scott understandably decided "Nope, screw that." As a result, veteran thespian Christopher Plummer was brought in to replace Spacey, and wound up being nominated for so many awards that we wouldn't begrudge him if he started specializing in replacing troublesome players at the last minute. Hell, let's have him replace annoying neighbors and terrible politicians, too.
It's not like he didn't have prior experience in this department. See, before the IRL version of All The Money In The World had even happened, Plummer was briefly hired to replace Rex Harrison as the title character in Doctor Dolittle (the 1967, non-Eddie-Murphy version).
Harrison got into a fight with the movie's director, which was the culmination of weeks of Harrison being an asshole to everyone on set, from refusing to work with Sammy Davis Jr. ("I don't want to work with an entertainer. I want an actor. A real actor, not a song-and-dance man."), to his drinking habits, to generally being a rabid egomaniac. After he marched off the set, the producers decided that instead of begging him to come back and complete the work he'd already been paid for, they'd much rather hire a replacement. Enter Plummer.
Plummer signed onto the movie, and Harrison found out right away, probably because Plummer was staying in his house at the time. Harrison was so mortified that he begged the producers to take him back, which they did. It's hard to feel bad for Plummer, though. As a result of these shenanigans, he went home with a cool $87,500 to get lost without a fight. So maybe he was banking on Spacey making a comeback after all.
"Gritty" Superheroes Were So Laughable By The '90s That Bob Newhart Had A Sitcom Mocking Them
As the 2010s wrap up, the trend of taking formerly wholesome superheroes and turning them all grim and gritty gets more and more ridiculous. First it was Superman snapping his sparring partner's neck, then Batman branding criminals like cowardly, superstitious cattle, and more recently it was Robin cussing out Batman in the Titans trailer -- although not within earshot, because otherwise he'd wind up cleaning the bugs off the Batmobile's windshield with his tongue.
The thing is, we've been here before. The 1990s were the heyday of "gritty" comic books, captained by artists like Todd McFarlane, who created Spawn, and Rob Liefeld, who created Deadpool ... as a completely serious character. The genre was such a laughingstock in 1992 that even Bob Newhart had a sitcom calling them out on their bullshit. The show, Bob, saw Newhart play a cartoonist whose old-timey, 1950s values superhero Mad-Dog gets picked up by Ace Comics -- a thinly veiled parody of McFarlane and Liefeld's company, Image Comics. Ace wants to relaunch Mad-Dog as a psychopathic vigilante who eats his girlfriend (not a euphemism) and brutally murders his boy sidekick just so people won't wonder if they're having sex.
The main crux of Bob was the struggle between Bob and the vaguely McFarlane-esque executive in charge of the relaunch over how the character should go. This is typified by the last episode of the first season (yes, this got more than one season), in which they argue over whether Mad-Dog or a monster should be the one to impregnate Mad-Dog's girlfriend.
If you're dying to know the answer, you might find it if you pick up one of the comics that Marvel released to promote the show. One side of the magazine consisted of the wholesome Newhart-esque version, and the other showed the Liefeldian nightmare-scape ... which was indistinguishable from some of the grimdark drivel Marvel was putting out.
Hugh Hefner Printed Marilyn Monroe's Nudes When She Got Famous
Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, Hulk Hogan, Scarlett Johansson, Leslie Jones, Kate Middleton -- the number of celebrities who have had their nude pictures leaked online is so long that we need to stop or risk becoming even more despondent about the state of the human condition. Of course, minus the "online" part, this isn't a new thing, and you can blame noted feminist icon Hugh Hefner for it.
Back in 1949, when she was a struggling actress with bills to pay, Marilyn Monroe agreed to pose nude for a pinup photographer for the princely sum of $50. She did it under the fake name of "Mona Monroe" out of nervousness, and (as she described it in a later interview) shame, although she could have picked a better alias. Like "Amos McGillicuddy," or something.
The photos were sold to a calendar company, which in 1953 would then sell one of the nude images (plus a clothed one) to a certain Hugh Hefner for some pokey-ass magazine he was putting together. By this point, Monroe had become a star, and so Hefner knew that putting her on the front cover -- and guaranteeing punters the chance to see some skin -- would be a license to print money. It was.
The issue sold like scorching hotcakes, and soon the country was demanding answers from Monroe about why she'd degrade herself in such a humiliating, awful, sexy way. They got their answers a few days later when in an interview, Monroe talked openly and candidly about her struggles as a young actress and her embarrassment and revulsion at having done the shoot in the first place, which was unheard of at the time amongst typically secretive celebrity types.
Hefner clearly took this to heart, and ... continued being a creep to Monroe, even in death, by arranging to be buried right next to her.
Adam Wears is on Twitter and Facebook, and has a newsletter dedicated to depressing history facts. It's not as heartbreakingly sad as it sounds, promise!
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