Dear Hollywood: An Open Letter From Annie Wood
By Annie Wood
I woke up at four o’clock in the morning today with a rant about you that I wanted to share. I share it because I don’t wish to hold the resentment inside and grow bitter because bitter doesn’t age well and it tastes icky.
Now, I know that you know that I love you. You, being my place of birth and all. I also know that you know that you go hand-in-hand with showbiz and that has been a huge part of my life since the get go.
With that said….
I just booked a headshot session (probably my 234th in my lifetime as an actress and a brief stint as a model) and it got me thinking about my lifetime of headshots. I keep one copy of all of them, somewhere, in various boxes, probably at my mom and dad’s house. One of these shots that popped into my mind was one of me smiling, while sporting a short hair cut. This shot came to be known as my “lesbian shot” because, I kid you not, those were the only roles I was called in for when that shot was sent out. As if lesbians hold all of their sexuality in their hair follicles. I thought it was silly at the time but brushed it off as just part of the whole “Hollywood stereotyping people again thing.” And, of course, it was. And still is. Well, I find this Hollywood trait to be limiting and… lame. If you, my dear Hollywood, were my boyfriend, I would have dumped you long ago for being so closed-minded.
I would like to add that, as a writer, I have been guilty of using stereotypes myself. Sometimes, it’s because it’s easy. Other times, it really feeds a joke or fits the character perfectly. I want to point out that I’m not saying to stop doing it entirely because I’m not an extremist. I am merely suggesting that you think it through, Hollywood, before you make snap judgments on the characters you create, cast or play.
Please take this all with a grain of salt. What does that expression mean anyway? What good would a grain of salt do? You wouldn’t even taste it. Oh, maybe that’s the point! No, I want you to taste it at least a little. So, take the following with a teaspoon of salt. The Hawaiian sea salt is very tasty. Unless you have high cholesterol.
Then skip the salt altogether.
I ask you to consider, dearest Hollywood, that maybe… just maybe….
1. Some seniors are neither wise nor cranky.
2. Some gay men have no sense of style and do not wish to help you decorate.
3. Some Jewish people don’t “look Jewish.”
4. Some young, Asian women do not wear pigtails or short skirts.
5. Some African American men don’t play basketball or steal things.
6. Some African American women are not bossy.
7. Some married men are happy and have quite a bit of sex with their wives and don’t stray.
8. Some women don’t think they’re fat.
9. Some women over 40 are neither soccer moms nor cougars.
10. And… some lesbians have long hair.
I’m not asking you to change, Hollywood. Ok, yeah, I am, but only for the better. I would like you to grow with the times and gain a tad more depth, that’s all.
(Not a lesbian but will happily play one on TV. With long hair.)
Annie Is a lifer actress and writer. Her new book of original comedic scenes, “Act Up and Make a Scene” can be found at the Hollywood Samuel French store and on Amazon.
Annie also is a writer-for-hire for actors looking for a unique scene written just for them.
For more information about that please visit her site and click on Writing. www.anniewood.com