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Hollywood Walk of Fame (or Shame)?

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You may or may not recall back in August when LAist brought the skewed politics of the Hollywood Walk of Fame to your attention. Back then, it seemed as if the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce was (gasp!) just giving out stars on the Walk of Fame to stars who had (double-gasp!) studio pictures coming out soon, studio publicists willing to pony up the $10,000 to secure said spot on the Walk of Fame, and shame.

Yesterday, the trend continued as Billy Bob Thornton received (triple gasp!) his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: exactly one day before the opening of his new feature-film Friday Night Lights.

Could it be a coincidence? A very strange accident? How is it that every film star ends up getting their star within a week of a new project reaching your local theaters? It is, yet again, the Hollywood money making machine at work for, well, someone other than you.

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LAist remembers when walking down the Walk of Fame was something to "ooh" and "aah" about. It was literally a walk through the pages of Hollywood history, and was a way to honor those who contributed to the industry through film, TV and music. But today, the Walk of Fame has become a bastardized version of PR, giving out stars to those who have good publicists, a movie coming out, and some money to give the city.

If only the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce went back to the drawing board on this Walk of Fame concept and started giving stars out to people who deserved it. People who, when held up against the new and improved guidelines as set forth by the HCoC, were deemed worthy. Maybe then we'd be less ornery about the process and how it relates to commerce. Maybe then, we'd be happy.

Nah, probably not.

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