Truth be told, though I did see it, I can barely remember Robert Downey Jr.'s lauded 1992 Chaplin, so as I dove into Showtime's The Real Charlie Chaplin, I could not for the life of me recall Chaplin's personal story—much less the controversies surrounding him, his literal exile/banishment from the United States, and then his eventual and quiet passing beneath the shadows of the Alps in Switzerland.
Goodness, he is by all accounts Earth's First Major Movie Star—an auteur, a genius, a perfectionist, and unrivaled artistically, creatively, and vocationally in countless ways—but through today's newly-refined social lens sans rose, his legacy foretells how we might remember one Woody Allen or Roman Polanski once they pass.
It's nearly impossible to fully wrap one's mind around Chaplin's utter fall from grace...so high, then so low. Until, of course, you are reminded what he orchestrated toward young women against their will, then it all comes rushing back. Fortunately, 11 children from 4 wives did survive.
I suppose if Chaplin were alive today (and I were inclined to accept Wikipedia as gospel), after #cancelculture shamed and ground him to powder, he'd then be dining out like Harvey Weinstein was for years, emceeing and joke-telling like guilt-free Alec Baldwin is today, playing golf like O.J. Simpson, massaging like Jeffrey Epstein (with assistance from British royalty, a former U.S. President, a renowned Harvard lawyer, and more than one comedian), then staging a highly-anticipated, sold out, globetrotting, multi-million-dollar comeback tour called It Ain't Over Till the Fat Ladies Swing.
Yep, that sounds about right for today's unpalatable, classless sensibilities. I mean, he was knighted, after all, and I'm told there are very fine people on both sides of the ethical dilemma known as When Bad People Create Good Art.
Sheesh. What a gray-on-gray world. Just wake me up when the clouds part.