Anyone wanting a behind-the-scenes perspective of Hollywood’s media industry will have their chance Saturday night when actress and author Tina Marie Griffin tells all at the First Christian Church.
Griffin, who starred in syndicated shows such as “Malcomb in the Middle,” “Lizzie McGuire,” “Drake and Josh” and “Darma and Greg,” has toured the world the past nine years educating children and their parents about “the lies” Hollywood and America’s mainstream media thrust on the world’s population.
“I saw so much of contradictory lifestyles going on (in the entertainment industry),” she said, referring to the origins of her mission.
The industry, Griffin said, promotes the idea that risky behavior like premarital sex and drug use are the social norm and shouldn’t be feared. That’s not the case, she said.
“The argument for a lot of people in L.A. was ‘You’re not really living that lifestyle, you’re just acting. It’s just a role.’ But it wasn’t just acting. You have a huge responsibility if you’re a celebrity because you’re such a high (profile) role model in society.”
Many of the celebrities kids see portraying lives of sexual promiscuity while using alcohol and drugs on television everyday, such as entertainers Britney Spears, Usher and Eminem, shield their own children from such vulgarity, Griffin said.
In fact, Usher, who regularly sings songs about extra-marital sex, was quoted in YM Magazine as having said, “Virginity is something to be valued. Don’t be pressured into (losing) it because you never want to do something that you’ll live to regret.”
It’s that contrast of reality and what young people perceive that motivated Griffin to “expose Hollywood.”
“I was blown away by how many celebrities did live the clean lifestyle … but live the opposite when they’re shooting their music videos and doing their movies,” she said. “There were really cool celebs that were really careful with their kids but were the opposite in their scenes.”
WHEN TRAVIS Riley, youth pastor for the First Christian Church, took a group of youths to Branson, Mo., in early spring and saw Griffin’s presentation, he knew all of Iola needed an opportunity to hear her message.
“It’s an eye-opening message about what our youth are being influenced by,” he said. “(Griffin) has seen and met these people and she’s seen what they’re really all about.”
Riley wasn’t exaggerating.
Jordan Strickler, 16, who was in Branson with the group, said he and his peers were impressed with Griffin and the message has stuck with them.
“Celebrities are not only an influence on society but society kind of influences them too. They try to please people and sometimes they lose their values a little bit,” he said.
Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl” is a far stretch from the Christian-girl she is, Strickler added. But the blame can’t solely be placed on the industry, he said.
“Young people need to show support for celebrities with higher morals and listen to music that encourages positive values,” Strickler said.
Whether active in the church or not, people who want to live their lives in a positive way and become more aware of the fallacies of the mainstream media still will be able to gain a wealth of knowledge from Griffin’s presentation, Riley said.
“I would encourage anyone to come listen to her because its going to be stuff that (applies to everyone),” he said.
Griffin’s presentation, which starts at 7 p.m. Saturday at the church, is part FCC’s two-day event RESOLVE, a program to help youth and their parents find a righteous path through all the temptations the world offers. Other RESOLVE activities run from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday
For more information about the RESOLVE events, call 365-3436.