Lights! Camera! Double standards!
Welcome to John Tory’s Toronto. Kids can’t play hockey — not unless you can afford to pay an $880 Wuhan virus ticket. You can’t go shopping. You can’t sit down at a restaurant. You can’t get a haircut or a manicure. You can’t take part in a protest — well, certainly not a politically incorrect one, like bemoaning the economy-killing lockdowns (Black Lives Matter protests are welcomed, of course, by politicians and police alike). Heck, you can’t even take in a movie…
Oh, but if you’re MAKING a movie, well, the City of Toronto will roll out the red carpet for all the beautiful people, as if starstruck Hogtown was reimagining itself as the new Hollywood.
There are currently more than 20 film and TV productions underway in Toronto right now. We don’t begrudge this. In fact, we’re happy to see economic activity taking place. We’re thrilled to see Toronto substituting for New York or Chicago or wherever — hey, maybe one day Toronto might even play itself. And there’s no shortage of very talented, hard-working people in the Canadian film industry.
So, the question arises: why the double standard? Why can major film productions proceed whereas other gatherings — be they sporting events or protests — are strictly verboten?
Indeed, comparing apples to apples, why are small film production companies shutdown and fined (such as Chrome in St. Catharines, Ont.) but big-budget Hollywood fare is seemingly immune? In fact, Toronto police can be found on such sets providing paid-duty security for the production, not issuing tickets and hauling away the crew.
We visited one such production in Toronto recently to seek answers. And it all boiled down to that old saying: “Money talks.” Somebody on the set actually said that!
Translation: if you’re a member of the beautiful people and/or the Hollywood elite, Mayor Tory will welcome you with open arms.
But if you’re some common tax-paying schlub, hey, take a hike. But, always remember, folks: We’re all in this together!
(Insert laugh track here.)