I am fascinated by the manufactured outrage over Christian “The Dark Knight” Bale’s caught-on-tape-on-set cursing tirade during the filming of “Terminator Salvation.”

I will kick your *ss,” says Bale in the rant. “I want you off the f***ing set. No, don’t just be sorry. Think for one f***ing second. What the f*** are you doing? Am I going to walk around and rip your f***ing lights down in the middle of the scene? So why the f*** are you walking right through? You do that one more f***ing time and I’m not walking on this set if you’re hired.”

In less than four minutes, Bale used the f-bomb 36 times — and to that ongoing wonderment — I can only ask, “Who Cares?”

It’s obvious those feigning outrage over Bale’s outburst have never worked in the entertainment industry — or even a regular office or sat at a family dining table! — where this sort of cussing is the everyday commonplace.

I’m not big on potty mouthing, but I forgive its fornication tumbling live out of one’s mouth than when it is strategically placed in a text context for condemnation.

You don’t have to be a nice guy to be famous and successful in show business — Bing Crosby proved that long ago — and Whoopi Goldberg and Terry Crews are calling b.s. on those trying to single out Bale as an unrepentant bad boy.

Bale’s rant has taken on mimetic proportion to touch the Memeingful realm as a YouTube music video. Beware the “naughty bits” are uncensored:

Since there’s no such thing as a coincidence, we need to ask how this Bale rant happened to be recorded, and why was it released to the public now? 

Who gains from its release and who is hoped to be wounded by its listening?

Did the revelation of the expletive explosion backfire?

Does the rant actually make Bale more likable and less condemnable?

Is this the sound of a recantation-in-progress:

Bruce Franklin — assistant director and associate producer on the film — told us “Christian is a method actor and was completely immersed in his scene … his reaction was from the heat of the moment.”

The target of Bale’s attack — a director of photography named Shane Hurlbut — was not fired from the movie, despite Christian’s threat that if Shane screwed up one more time, he should be kicked to the curb.

Franklin said Bale was under a lot of pressure because of his crazy “Dark Knight” promotion schedule, and that the crew — Hurlbut included — ended up shooting for another seven hours.

Christian Bale is a fine actor.  He’s human.  He’s misunderstood.  His genius forgives him in the public square.

However, we reserve a dark corner of the public square for those that actively chose to wound Christian Bale by releasing a private fight into the public light:  May the guilty forever live in the slime they tried to use to paint Christian as something less than the shining star he has worked so hard to become. 

7 Comments

  1. I have seen a good number of defenses for the rant, notably the one by Harry Knowles, and I certainly agree that too much is being made of this. He was focused on the work and it was ruined by carelessness. I certainly don’t blame him for getting angry.

  2. Hi David,
    I think with the invention of video camera one’s private moment is not private any more, it’s always displayed for public judgment.
    I am not very fond of foul mouthing either, but the attempt of degrading a talented performer by exhibiting his very private moments is not right; more so, it’s none of our business.

  3. Excellent point, Katha. We truly live in a Panopticonic society now where every scratch and nibble are fodder for the public unmasking. I feel for Christian, though. He was working, became upset, and then a year later someone is pressing his behavior through the mirror to hurt him for some reason.