Scoop: Don't Trivialize Celeb Burglaries

By Courtney Hazlett
|  Thursday, Oct 29, 2009  |  Updated 8:15 PM CDT
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"Burglar Bunch" Name Doesn't Fit Seriousness of the Crime

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If your home was robbed, what words would you use to describe the people who invaded your space? Would you call them criminals? Thieves? Maybe use a term that shouldn’t be said in churches or in front of small children?

Or would you dub your robbers something cutesy, like the “Burglar Bunch”? That's the moniker given to a gang of young adults accused of robbing the homes of celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Audrina Partridge and Orlando Bloom.

With the help of shows and magazine spreads that included exterior images of stars' homes, the group allegedly targeted celebs while they left their homes to attend events and to shoot on location.

“Burglar Bunch” rolls off the tongue, and sure, their crimes could be the stuff of a screenplay. But calling these thieves something that sounds so made-for-TV represents what happens too often in Hollywood. Because the setting is Tinseltown, the real issue becomes trivialized.

For example: Actors are losing jobs and not getting paid when their work is available online for free? Aw, come on, actors are paid too much anyway.

Michael Jackson reportedly went doctor shopping and standard prescription practices were violated? Well, he was weird and that’s what just happens when you have too much money.

Paris Hilton’s house is broken into and more than $2 million in jewelry is stolen? She should have locked her doggy doors and known she was a target.

It shouldn’t matter that maybe Lohan has more clothes than she needs, or that between star maps, TMZ and Twitter, it’s pretty easy to know what stars own and when they're out of town. This is serious.

Sure, there are plenty of instances to laugh at Hollywood, like when a celebrity consistently wears sunglasses indoors, refuses to be in the vicinity of brown M&Ms, or uses his or her stature as an excuse to behave like a child.

But this doesn’t fall under that category. Let’s drop the “Burglar Bunch” term and call this what it is: These aren’t some kids pulling a prank, they’re young adults accused of committing crimes.

 

‘It’ should soar at box office
The only film opening wide this weekend is Michael Jackson's “This Is It,” which will go from late Tuesday’s limited release to a weekend run in more than 3,000 theaters.

The real question will be just how much money Jackson can bring in over the five-day release. Early estimates had it raking in more than $100 million (some even predicted a $200 million global take) but this seems high.

It’s doubtful that many will leave the theater feeling disappointed, but it’s likely a significant number of people might just eschew the crowds that will come with a limited two-week run, and await the DVD. 

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter @courtneyatmsnbc

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