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Hollywood Ignores the Homeless Crisis in Their Own Backyard

Celebrities choose not to use their platform for the humanitarian crisis in California

By Ramona Russell, January 9, 2020 8:52 am

This past Sunday, the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards took place at The Beverly Hilton Hotel, located in Los Angeles County, where three people a day die on the streets from homelessness.

As host Ricky Gervais comically pointed out in his opening monologue, celebrities should not use their acceptance speech for political purposes since they are “in no position to lecture the public about anything,” because they “know nothing about the real world,” and have had “less time in school then Greta Thunberg.” Yet many of them did, knowing they have the ear of millions of people, including elected officials.

Russell Crowe, who won for his role as Roger Ailes in Showtime’s “The Loudest Voice” was in Australia protecting his family from the bush fires. The message he sent along said, “the tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change-based,” and “we need to act based on science.” His message urged everyone to respect our planet so we all have a future.

When pregnant Michelle Williams accepted her award for her role in FX’s “Fosse/Verdon,” she alluded to the fact that she would not be where she is today had she not had an abortion and spoke of the importance of a women’s right to choose. She urged women to vote in their “own self-interest” because “it’s what men have been doing for years, which is why the world looks so much like them.”

Patricia Arquette, who won for her performance in Hulu’s “The Act,” talked about our country being on “the brink of war” and “people not knowing if bombs were going to drop on their kids’ heads,” and begged of everyone to give our children a better world.

During his acceptance speech for “Joker,” a film about a descent into mental illness, Joaquin Phoenix thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press for “recognizing and acknowledging the link between animal agriculture and climate change,” and said “it was a very bold move making tonight plant-based” because of the powerful message it sends.

In 2018 alone, over 1,000 people died on the streets in Los Angeles County and the area is now seeing a comeback of medieval diseases such as Typhus, Typhoid Fever and Tuberculosis, which is infecting police officers who say sixty percent of their calls for service are transient-related.

Some celebrities do incredible work with their foundations or as UN ambassadors to third world countries, yet the skid rows of Los Angeles and San Francisco have consistently been shown to be worse than those places where they put much of their focus. While many in Hollywood have used their platform to bring an incredible amount of attention, influence and change to issues such as gender equality, sexual harassment and the environment, the drug-addicted and mentally ill, who are a danger to themselves and others, go unmentioned.

Everyone has their own personal experiences and reasons which lead them to advocate for certain causes, but not one award winner or presenter turned their attention to the almost 60,000 plus homeless in the city of Los Angeles, where they live, work and celebrated their accomplishments. With a viewership of 18 million that night, one person could have made a difference.

Ramona Russell

Ramona Russell is a writer, advocate and public relations and social media strategist, and the creator of Save Sac, an advocacy group whose focus is the public health and safety for the city of Sacramento, California.
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7 thoughts on “Hollywood Ignores the Homeless Crisis in Their Own Backyard

  1. You’re so right, and I don’t think anyone has pointed this out before.
    Maybe the reason is because they are silly, clueless, narcissistic, uneducated and sheep-like, and can only parrot what their pals say.
    Or maybe it’s because more than any group they are extremely sheltered, thus wherever they are the homeless are not. No doubt the vagrants are shooed away before awards shows and such, never mind that there is armed security for the celebs. The City of L.A. did it for Biden when he appeared in Venice, why not do it for the Hollywood Royalty too?

    1. Why should anyone care about the homeless? We think it’s unfortunate because we have a home that we worked our asses off for. Whoever their mother or father and siblings are, can bare the burden of taking their DNA sharer and take care of them. It’s not our problem other than watch them kill themselves. I saw 2 dump trucks loading up garbage that was left at a homeless camp. The county had to cut down all the trees and bushes to get to the garbage. If the homeless can’t clean up after themselves, what do you think would happen to your property if you took them in? Gollywood isn’t going to do it, nor is it their responsibility to do so. I’ve become hardened against the homeless. BTW, there’s at least 3 more dump trucks loads of garbage that will be hauled off. PIGS!

      1. Unfortunately this situation has gone way beyond so-called “quality of life” issues, like garbage and dirty streets or crazy people yelling at you when you’re running errands or taking your kids to school. It is a legitimate public safety and public health issue and is only getting worse by the day. Instead of addressing these dangers, certain of our city mayors and other public officials and their cronies have chosen to worsen the situation because solving it would mean the money faucet they have come to depend on would dry up. Most of the people on the street are in very bad shape —- mentally ill and addicted — and don’t even know what planet they are on. Many CA politicians have ignored their duty to spend taxpayer money in a way that would help these people and protect the rest of us and instead have benefited financially and politically off of the backs of such misery and continue to do so even in the face of the public waking up to what’s happening.
        If that isn’t the definition of con artist and sociopath, I don’t know what is.

  2. Awesome article-there should be more like this from all directions. Your California government needs to take charge as it is their job-yet they continue to allow and cause it to happen with pampering legislation. This cannot be turned around with the “leaders” in place-VOTE them out in every place you can. It will take years but it must be done.

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