Pampered star's omission unforgivable

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 April, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 April, 2001, 12:00am

Presumably, when actress Julia Roberts next holds a big birthday bash, she will ensure that she thanks her hairdresser and the caterers, but her parents may have to be satisfied with an effusive apology later for her having missed them out.

It is not enough for Roberts to say she is desperately sorry for having omitted to thank, during her Oscar winner's speech, Erin Brokovich, whom Roberts portrayed in the film of the same name. If Roberts had things in perspective, it would not have been possible for her to forget.

The real-life Ms Brokovich did real, hard, grinding work, against all odds and along the way fighting the scepticism of condescending colleagues supposed to be on her side, to win help for small people being ridden over by rich and powerful business interests. She's still doing it. Roberts simply walked around a movie set and pretended to do it.

In all the hundreds of times that Roberts must have run through in her mind what she would say if she won, Ms Brokovich must have simply been another name on the list, and a minor one at that, behind the producers, directors, hairdressers and others that Roberts thought should come first. Yet just a so-so speech would have thanked Ms Brokovich first, and at length; a good speech would have mentioned her only, because in comparison the others pale into insignificance.

Throughout the filming process, Roberts and her luvvy pals must never have understood this. It is an indictment of society that we rarely give the few Brokovichs of the world a fraction of the recognition or pay of the obscenely overpaid Roberts.

Nearer the mark would be a glittering ceremony televised worldwide at which Ms Brokovich accepts an award for her achievements and forgets to mention the insignificant role played in it by an actress called Julia somebody - but I don't suppose we'll see that anytime soon.


Tai Hang