Movie Stars on the Juice


Dave Cullen, who watched Christian Bale make some fairly ludicrous claims on the Charlie Rose show about his weight gain for his role as Batman, raises a point that tends to get overlooked in the midst of our national hysteria over steroids:

We hear these virtual admissions of steroid use from actors prepping for roles all the time. How come no one ever calls them on the obvious? Or even raises the question?

(Link via Andrew Sullivan). The answer, I think, is that most of the outrage and/or posturing over steroid use in sports has to do with nostalgia for a purity that never was, and there's no comparable reserve of sentiment to generate an anti-steroid campaign directed at actors.

Still, many if not all of the arguments for prohibiting steroid use by athletes apply to actors as well. "It's not fair to competitors who don't use the stuff"—And how are non-using actors supposed to compete for action roles with their beefier enhanced colleagues? "Think of the children"—Well, if a kid who aspires to be a movie star thinks having a certain kind of physique will open up roles to him, doesn't he then have an incentive to use? "Athletes are supposed to be role models"—Movie stars aren't?