“I don’t think [Jon Hamm was] wrong. It’s OK to look at something and say what it is. It’s OK to look at a McDonald’s hamburger and say, ‘Yeah, I like the taste of them, but they’re not good for me.’ We live in a time where everyone’s very aware that there’s people who are celebrities because of their fathers or celebrities because of this machine that’s selling something very simple and very ordinary, and people are buying it. It’s not an awful thing, but I think it’s OK to say it’s not a splendid thing, either.”
– More from Vincent Kartheiser, who plays Pete Campbell on “Mad Men,” after the jump:
“It’s OK for Jon and for myself and others to dream of a time when people expect more, and that’s all. It’s like the kid in a toy store running up and grabbing the cheapest toy and saying, “Mom, I want this” because it has great advertising and looks amazing. And the mother can look at it and know that it’s going to break in two days. But the book that’s going to teach the kid doesn’t jump out [at him]. It’s OK to look at America and say, ‘I hope for more from us,’ just like you would look at your kid and hope for more for the kid. Sometimes, you gotta buy the toy they want, but also make sure they read their books or play with Legos or another toy that’s going to stretch your imagination. That’s all entertainment is. It’s a toy, it’s an escape. None of it is so lofty or great. The greatest novel in the world is still a piece of fiction and no greater than Kim Kardashian’s show.”
This is Vincent talking, of all places, to the magazine Advertising Age about Jon Hamm’s recent comments that “stupidity is celebrated” with Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton and that “being a f**king idiot is a valuable commodity in this culture because you’re rewarded significantly.” Kim responded by calling Jon’s comments “careless,” but Jon and his co-star Vincent have been asked repeatedly about what he said while doing promotions for “Mad Men” and have defended the crux of what he said.
I’ve been absolutely relishing this cultural commentary coming from the “Mad Men” cast — not because I dislike Kim or don’t watch her shows (I sure as hell do), but because artists should be allowed to make nuanced arguments about the value of pop culture, too. Jon Hamm’s initial comments may have been rude, but he should still be allowed his critique. Now that Vincent has very succinctly and, I think, professionally put this conversation to bed, I hope we can drop this once and for all.