Friday, February 03, 2006

Too Old for Today

I'm starting to write this one not knowing exactly what my opinion will be by the time I'm finished.

I read this morning that Dame Judi Dench...the wonderful British actress...was denied a guest spot on "Today", "Good Morning America" and "The View" recently because she was too old. At least that's the opinion of Harvey Weinstein the co-founder of Miramax films who is trying to promote a new film...
Mrs. Henderson Presents.. which stars Dench. She's 71 years old.

According to Weinstein the classy Brit was snubbed because she didn't fit the demographics that the producers of these shows were going for with their audience. Well, I can sort of understand that. And I certainly think producers of a show should be able to make the call on who their guests are. But, to not want an Oscar-winning...and currently Oscar-nominated...actress on your show for age reasons seems to be a little self-defeating.

Do these people think that noone in their target demographic has parents or grandparents? Do they also think that noone in that age group is able to stand 3 minutes of on-camera time of someone outside their own age group? I doubt it. I tend to think there's a little more to it than Mr. Weinstein would have you believe.

I would be willing to bet that as great an actress as Judi Dench is, she must be a poor talk show guest. I'm certainly not in a position to know, but I would think the possibility is pretty strong that she comes off as "stuffy", "erudite", "aloof", or possibly all of the above when she's not in an acting situation. The few times I've seen her "out of character", and working with her own personality, she has struck me that way.

So, as much as I'm becoming sensitive to the plight of the aging population, and as much as I dislike the gearing of everything our society does to the 25-39 age category, I don't have much of a problem with these shows not welcoming her with all possible pomp and circumstance. Mr. Weinstein is just upset at not getting a large dose of free publicity for his project anyway, I'm sure.

Do you think these shows would have passed on 75-year-old Sir Sean Connery if he were available? Not likely. So, I guess my opinion is, no big deal.

No comments: