Public Relations Through History – Old Hollywood

If I could travel back in time and be a public relation’s rep in any era, I think I would really enjoy doing PR for the old hollywood stars. Back in the ’20s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, the big names were always made out to be perfect angels, when in reality, that wasn’t always the case. For example, Joan Crawford was a huge sensation with over 100 films under her belt. The media showed a side of her that was compassionate, a philanthropist, an excellent mother, and a superb actress. While the latter is evident in her films and awards, we found out later from her daughter, Christina Crawford, that she was a terrible mother and a strong-headed woman who faked perfection for the cameras.

Joan Crawford and her four children: Christina, Christopher, Cindy and Cathy circa 1955.

I would’ve loved to be a PR rep for Joan Crawford just because I think it would be fun to be in on the secret. Here, I would be promoting this ideal woman/homemaker/mother image, when in reality she was a monster. Back in those days, it wasn’t too hard to present a person in a positive light. Tabloids and gossip mongers were not as intricate a part of a celebrity’s career as they are today.

Much like the Mommie Dearest scandal, Rock Hudson’s homosexuality was not fully discovered until well into the ’80s, when he announced that he had contracted AIDS. Again, it would be fascinating to me to be a PR rep in old hollywood, know of certain things that could cause a crisis, and make sure to cover any loose ends to make people think otherwise.

It’s probably very small-minded of me but sometimes I enjoy secrets staying hidden and making people believe false information. It brings me a little joy to know about things and to cover them up from public consumption. At the same time, however, I think the public should be aware of who they are giving their money to when the go see a show.

I think a lot of the scandals back then, were not completely dealt with, and that was just something society accepted. I would’ve liked to have been able to expand on what was going on at the time and try to reveal the truth to the public. For example, Marilyn Monroe’s death raised so many unanswered questions. So many conspiracy theories are still in question today. I definitely believe that the government was involved, especially since Marilyn’s maid was asked to leave the country shortly after her death.

Overall, I think I’d enjoy working as a public relation’s representative for an old hollywood star. I believe back then people didn’t look for the worst in people to feed off of and celebrities didn’t get their start by leaking sex tapes. They were able to show off their talent and not be hindered by what people may think was going on in their private life.