1. As many of you know, Sherman Hemsley has passed away. I was watching on the news yesterday about how he was a trailblazer when it came to African-Americans in television. That’s certainly cool, but, to be honest, I liked watching him because he was hilarious—-with his strut and his characters’ wise-cracks and put-downs. I got to see him play a more sensitive role yesterday, however, as I watched his 1979 appearance in The Incredible Hulk (and he was a “Special Guest Star”, probably because by that point he was well established in The Jeffersons). There, he played a faithful friend of a mentally-ill guy who was aspiring to be a writer.
There is one scene that Sherman Hemsley did which especially stays with me. He was playing Deacon Frye in Amen, and Deacon Frye found himself answering a call on the suicide hotline. The call was from a teenage boy who was thinking of committing suicide, and Deacon Frye discouraged him from doing that because each day is a new day—-and you don’t know what that new day will bring. Deacon Frye stayed on the phone all night with the caller, which was noteworthy for Deacon Frye, since his character was not exactly the most sensitive and compassionate person in the world. But he’s right: each day is a new day.
R.I.P., Sherman Hemsley.
2. I applaud Christian Bale for visiting survivors and victims of the shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Celebrities are not perfect. That’s certainly the case with Christian Bale! But he recognized that he is admired by many people for his performance as Batman, and that there is a degree of responsibility that accompanies that. And it is commendable that he honored that responsibility.