Director Oliver Stone’s son, Sean, converted to Islam this week while filming a documentary in Iran. The 27-year-old Sean has long been a backer of genocidal anti-Semite Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. “Iran is ruled by law,” explained Stone the Younger. “People don’t like Ahmadinejad, but that doesn’t warrant a war or an uprising.”
It’s not surprising that the son of a virulently anti-American father would turn to Islam. But it just goes to show that the values espoused by Hollywood parents infect their children. Is it any coincidence, for example, that Whitney Houston, who was brought up by her showbiz mother in the presence of celebrities like Dionne Warwick and other stars who likely used drugs habitually, fell into the trap of alcohol and drugs once she went Hollywood herself?
Or that Hugh Hefner’s son, Marston, who grew up watching his father degrade women, was accused this week of assaulting his girlfriend, a Playboy Playmate? Or that the sexually over-the-top and androgynous Cher, had a daughter, Chastity (Chaz), with sexual identity issues?
A few years back, two of my younger sisters attended a Los Angeles-based Shakespeare camp along with Kathlyn Beatty, daughter of Warren Beatty and Annette Bening. At that time, Kat was a nice young girl; my sisters went over to the Beatty’s house for a pool party along with the rest of the cast after they put on their play.
Now, Kathlyn is in the process of becoming Stephen Ira – a process at which the Beattys were reportedly devastated.
In all likelihood, there is a genetic component to some of this behavior. But the number of Hollywood children with serious issues seems far higher than in the general population. Hollywood fame and celebrity has casualties. All too often, those casualties are the children of the famous. Parents who spend their time becoming sexual icons all too often screw up their children, who grow up without a solid sense of proper and improper sexuality; parents who spend their time mouthing anti-American slogans shouldn’t be surprised to see their children go full-scale anti-American.
After all, for kids, it’s the actions of parents that define their childhoods. They learn from their parents what is important and what is not. For Oliver Stone, religion and pro-Americanism clearly wasn’t important. For Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, celebrity and sex symbol status clearly trumped certain other values. For Hugh Hefner, sexuality trumped everything, including decent perspectives on women. And so on.
In the end, what this suggests is that values matter more than income. All of these kids grew up rich beyond measure, receiving whatever they wanted. But their parents’ values were skewed. Celebrity harms celebrities, as we know – just ask Britney Spears – but it also has other, less noticeable victims, including celebrities’ children.