Grrr! Russell Crowe Arrested

Would it be so hard for a movie star to show some humility?

Last week we had Burt Reynolds (search) slapping a CBS News staffer for not knowing what "The Longest Yard" was about, and now "Cinderella Man" Russell Crowe (search) gets arrested for assault after police say he threw a phone at a hotel front-desk employee.


As the story goes, Crowe was upset that he couldn't get a telephone connection to Australia at around 4:20 a.m., so he took it out on the employee by throwing the phone at him. The worker was treated at a nearby hospital.

Let's forget about the incident for a second.

Now let me ask you ... do you own a cell phone? Let's assume the answer is yes. Can you make an international call on your cell phone? Most cellular plans include international long distance calling, albeit for a much higher rate than your "anytime minutes" plan.

But if you really needed to make a call ...

Now let's just say you were starring in a big budget film, and you just found out that the film didn't fare well at the box office. Perhaps your film lost out to an animated feature starring a talking lion — like "Madagascar," I don't know.

Maybe even your film came in at number four, behind movies that have already been out for a few weeks, like the aforementioned "The Longest Yard" and "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith."

I'd bet you'd be a little upset about that. I'd bet you'd want to call home to hear the sound of your wife's voice or the cooing of your toddler son.

But if you're a movie star, an Oscar-winning one at that, I'd bet you'd have a cell phone. I'd bet that you'd pay the extra money so you can have that anytime connection, wouldn't you?

Okay, maybe not.

Maybe you're so used to other people doing your bidding and other people picking up the tab that it never occurs to you that you might have your own cell phone you pay for with your own dime. Maybe you forgot what it's like to work paycheck to paycheck, like a hotel employee might, and you no longer see people as people, but as servants.

After all, you are a movie star of epic proportions, and you're used to being treated as such.

Some movie stars are delusional enough to believe that they can get away with anything. They're Obliviots. Then again, I'd bet you know average Janes and Joes who behave the same way, right?

Maybe not.

The point is, whether the story is true or not doesn't matter.

Whether Crowe hurled a phone at someone isn't really the issue, is it? Whether Christian Slater (search) — who was arrested last week for allegedly groping a woman's behind — goosed her is not the question, is it? Whether Burt Reynolds was kidding when he slapped the news guy isn't really the problem.

The problem is that movie stars are no longer the class acts of yesteryear (though maybe they never were). But it goes beyond that.

It used to be that movie studios had all the power, and movie stars had to stay in line if they wanted to be hired for their next film.

These days the movie star has all the power, and the media feed into that power, and the people buy into that power, and the movie studios have no choice but to tolerate that power. And in the end, the movie star always gets his fee, but the movie studios are left with the fallout — and a film with less-than-stellar summer box office receipts.

To be sure, individual compensation is a great thing. It's the American way after all.

But sometimes individuals need a little help in the "respect for others" department, and sometimes the only way is the threat of never working again.

But that will never work because there's too much at stake, isn't there? What happens to the studio executive if he fires the movie star from his next project, and the movie star goes on to have a hit for a rival studio? He gets the ax, that's what.

Sadly, the big studios and music companies and sports teams are willing to ride out the wave of bad publicity, because the promise of more money is always there.

If you want to live in a better place, it's really up to you.


So Father's Day is coming up, and in lieu of an overpriced card, here are some GrrRecommendations:

"The Games Do Count" by ("FOX & Friends" co-host) Brian Kilmeade: Inspirational stories from our nation's headliners who credit sports activities with having a major influence on their lives.

"Hammerjack" by Marc D. Giller: This fictional thriller is a good one for the dad who loves science fiction. Giller was a "Stupid Lit'l Dreamer" subject a few weeks ago, and he'll appear on "The Real Deal" and "FOX Magazine" soon.

"Aero-Flex" weed-eater head: If dad likes to whack the weeds and he has a gas trimmer (not one that plugs in), the Aero-Flex is awesome. I featured this brand in a previous column and have received numerous responses from people thanking me for turning them on to it.

Of course, a nice bottle of Cabernet or Scotch, a fine cigar or simply a hug can work just as well.

Happy Father's Day, everyone.

Click Here for Your Grrrs | Respond to Mike | Grrr! Gear

Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for, and covers entertainment and features on the Sunday program "FOX Magazine." He also writes the weekly Grrr! Column and hosts "The Real Deal" video segments on