In order not to glorify the type of no-holds-barred greed behavior that trashed the U.S. economy and still drives the big banks to jerk around their customers, maybe it would be a good idea to give the film The Wolf of Wall Street a miss.
The movie tells the story of the true story of “the outlandish rise and non-stop pleasure-hunting descent of Jordan Belfort, the New York stockbroker who, along with his merry band of brokers, makes a gargantuan fortune by defrauding investors out of millions.”
In an open letter Christina McDowell, the daughter of an associate of the actual “wolf,” has some pretty strong words for the movie’s director Martin (Marty) Scoresese and its star, Leonardo (Leo) diCaprio:
“Your film is a reckless attempt at continuing to pretend that these sorts of schemes are entertaining, even as the country is reeling from yet another round of Wall Street scandals. We want to get lost in what? These phony financiers’ fun sexcapades and coke binges? Come on, we know the truth. This kind of behavior brought America to its knees.
“And yet you’re glorifying it — you who call yourselves liberals. You were honored for career excellence and for your cultural influence by The Kennedy Center, Marty. You drive a Honda hybrid, Leo. Did you think about the cultural message you’d be sending when you decided to make this film? You have successfully aligned yourself with an accomplished criminal, a guy who still hasn’t made full restitution to his victims, exacerbating our national obsession with wealth and status and glorifying greed and psychopathic behavior.”
Big surprise, self-styled wolf Jordan Belfort hasn’t made good on his debts. And he’s touring the country as a motivational speaker. For those of us who have suffered at the hands of our banks and mortgage servicers in the aftermath of the financial crash, I’m pretty sure I know what someone like Belfort would motivate me to do. (With or without weapons.)
Hence my decision not to see the movie and never to attend any event at which Belfort might be speaking.