Monday, April 7, 2014
The Court of Public Opinion and the Disappearance of Empathy.
Wow, check this out. Fatty Arbuckle was accused by a known blackmailer of murder. Right? He get's subjected to three trials before he's acquitted. Then it gets really goofy, his films are banned. Looks to me like true empathy . . . the kind Jesus preached about . . . has been dead for a long, long, time. Next time a nasy thought comes into your thoughts, squish it like a bug on your windshield. You'll be way a head of the crowd and feel better for it. Rest In Peace . . . Mr. Arbuckle, you've earned it. Please note that the jury apologized. I haven't heard of that happening lately. Have you?
Between November 1921 and April 1922, Arbuckle endured three widely publicized trials for the rape and manslaughter of actressVirginia Rappe. Rappe had fallen ill at a party hosted by Arbuckle at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco in September 1921; she died four days later. Arbuckle was accused by Rappe's acquaintance of raping and accidentally killing Rappe. After the first two trials, which resulted in hung juries, Arbuckle was acquitted in the third trial and received a formal written apology from the jury.
Despite Arbuckle's acquittal, the scandal has mostly overshadowed his legacy as a pioneering comedian. Following the trials, his films were banned and he was publicly ostracized. Although the ban on his films was lifted within a year, Arbuckle only worked sparingly through the 1920s. He later worked as a film director under the alias William Goodrich. He was finally able to return to acting, making short two-reel comedies in 1932 for Warner Brothers. He died in his sleep of a heart attack in 1933 at age 46, reportedly on the same day he signed a contract with Warner Brothers to make a feature film.