An Open Letter to the Makers of The Wolf of Wall Street

Wow….this is worth a read.

So here’s the deal. You people are dangerous. Your film is a reckless attempt at continuing to pretend that these sorts of schemes are entertaining, even as the country is reeling from yet another round of Wall Street scandals. We want to get lost in what? These phony financiers’ fun sexcapades and coke binges? Come on, we know the truth. This kind of behavior brought America to its knees.

And yet you’re glorifying it — you who call yourselves liberals. You were honored for career excellence and for your cultural influence by the Kennedy Center, Marty. You drive a Honda hybrid, Leo. Did you think about the cultural message you’d be sending when you decided to make this film? You have successfully aligned yourself with an accomplished criminal, a guy who still hasn’t made full restitution to his victims, exacerbating our national obsession with wealth and status and glorifying greed and psychopathic behavior. And don’t even get me started on the incomprehensible way in which your film degrades women, the misogynistic, ass-backwards message you endorse to younger generations of men.

But hey, listen boys, I get it. I was conned, too. By. My. Own. Dad! I drove a white Range Rover in high school, snorted half of Colombia, and got any guy I ever wanted because my father would take them flying in his King Air.

And then I unraveled the truth. The truth about my father and his behavior: that behind all of it was really just insidious soul-sucking shame masked by addiction, which we love to call ambition, which is really just greed. Greed and the desire for fame (exactly what you’ve successfully given self-appointed motivational speaker/financial guru Jordan Belfort, whose business opportunities will surely multiply thanks to this film).

For me, it’s become goddamn unbearable.

But I refuse to give up.

Belfort’s victims, my father’s victims, don’t have a chance at keeping up with the Joneses. They’re left destitute, having lost their life savings at the age of 80. They can’t pay their medical bills or help send their children off to college because of characters like the ones glorified in Terry Winters’ screenplay.

Let me ask you guys something. What makes you think this man deserves to be the protagonist in this story? Do you think his victims are going to want to watch it? Did we forget about the damage that accompanied all those rollicking good times? Or are we sweeping it under the carpet for the sale of a movie ticket? And not just on any day, but on Christmas morning??

So here’s what I’m going to do first. I’m going to hand you my shame. Right now, in this very moment. The shame that I’ve been carrying for far too long as a result of being collateral damage. Because each of you should feel ashamed. And then I’m going to go pre-order my tickets to August: Osage County in support of Julia and Meryl — because, at least, as screwed up as that family is, they talk about the truth.

I urge each and every human being in America NOT to support this film, because if you do, you’re simply continuing to feed the Wolves of Wall Street.


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1 thought on “An Open Letter to the Makers of The Wolf of Wall Street

  1. Thanks for posting this open letter. I heard Leonardo DiCaprio talking this morning on NPR about focusing on the perpetrators and how watching them loose all ethical context was supposed to teach us something about…? The moral hazards of getting so filthy rich that you can do anything you want and no one can stop you? That lesson should fly well with the twentysomethings who think life is about making that one big score. Overall DiCaprio’s reasoning sounded pretty asinine — fine if he had just been an actor talking about his role but amazingly dense for a producer, whom you would hope was able to see the bigger picture. It’s like they decided to remake *Wall Street*, but only the fun parts, the fairy tale about being seduced by success, without the annoying reminders (i.e., victims) that reckless greed always costs someone in the end. Never mind that its’ clever and seamless integration of story and context is what makes *Wall Street* a classic; it sounds like the makers of *Wolf of Wall Street* couldn’t be bothered with such troublesome, trivial details.

    Glad to find out that someone else shares my impression. I’m thinking I won’t be wasting my money on this film. Or my time, should it ever show up for free on campus, unless I’m in a mood for some brainless, witless what-passes-these-days-as-comedy…

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