Divine Advice For Tom Hanks

Dear Jesus and Satan,

Looking back at my career, I’m a little bit panicked about how some of my previous roles might be interpreted nowadays. Especially with all of these scandals coming out of the woodwork.

My first big break, I played a guy who pretended to be a transvestite (Can you pretend to be a transvestite? Doesn’t pretending to be one make you one?) so he could get cheap rent in a women’s dormitory and stalk Donna Dixon. Technically, I was pretending to be a woman, but still. It isn’t exactly a role that would make transvestites proud. But I’m not too worried about it because the show was never that big.

What I am worried about is Forrest Gump. If I had known then what I know now, I would have insisted that a differently abled actor got the role. Pretending to be differently abled might be just as bad as blackface. Actually, it’s probably even worse, because the differently abled are too differently abled to even realize they’re being exploited and marginalized. And even if they did, they’re too differently abled to say or do anything about it. It would be like angry seals barking at you. You would never know what they were barking about or how to teach them to use the toilet.

The 25th anniversary of Forrest Gump is coming up in 2019. Despite my protests, the DVD set will include two cut scenes. One makes it clear that Jenny has AIDS. She tries to warn Forrest, but he likes sex so much and is so differently abled, he doesn’t care. So of course he ends up with AIDS and so does his son.

In the other cut scene, Bubba lives through the Vietnam War and starts the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company with Forrest. It’s basically a long montage of them trying to do simple repairs and failing miserably. In this version, Bubba dies trying to change a lightbulb. It’s like a play on the old “How many _____’s does it take to change a lightbulb?” gag. Christ.

This stuff was borderline in 1994. Nowadays, it would ruin me. Please help me to stop this or at least control some of the damage.

Too Beloved to Fail (I hope), Tom Hanks

Dear Tom Hanks,

Unfortunately, you’re going to have to take your medicine this time. You’ve managed to go your whole career fooling the public, projecting your image as the nicest guy in Hollywood with no skeletons in the closet. Well, we both know the truth, don’t we? The dead Vegas hookers stuffed into trunks of stolen limos? The forest fires you started in California just to cause a diversion so you could break into OJ’s house and steal his drugs and football memorabilia? All those creepy things you did to women in Gap fitting rooms while disguised as Jake Busey? And that’s all just last week.

As far as I’m concerned all of your indiscretions are forgivable, but the only way to make it right is to let the truth come out. Those deleted scenes you described could be important, actually. They show realistic consequences to bad decisions that the characters seemed to escape in the original release. Sure, we were all pretty sure Jenny died of AIDS, but the full impact of that was glossed over. The world needs to see Forrest’s innocent son die a long excruciating death, too.

Full discloser—the real reason I want this Anniversary Edition to be released is that I want to see the Bubba lightbulb changing scene. That’s going to be hilarious. But yeah, do the right thing here. Come clean. Take responsibility. Get in front of this before it destroys you. Unlike Tom Cruise and other smug Hollywood divas, people want to like you. Let them see you fuck up so they can forgive you. It makes those losers feel like they have some sort of power over their heroes. It makes them feel like they matter.

—Jesus the Fan

Dear Tom Hanks,

Forrest Gump is the least of your worries. Of your two Oscar-winning movies about AIDS, I’d say Philadelphia is much more problematic for your legacy. If you want to talk about dated social politics, how about the fact that it’s a movie about a gay lawyer being gay, and yet there isn’t a single gay kiss in it. I’m sure the excuse at the time was that the mainstream public couldn’t handle the sight of two A-list men swapping saliva, but that’s bullshit and you know it. The fact is, you actors were just big pussies unwilling to take chances for your art. The good news is it’s not too late to make it right. Director Jonathan Demme may have passed away, but I’m sure his co-producer Edward Saxon would be up for an anniversary release. Tell him you have an idea for a “deleted scene” that will get everybody talking. Then get together Benicio del Toro and shoot a hardcore porno complete with anal and oral creampies and maybe a golden shower and some scat. Add a drunken commentary track, and it’ll be epic. You’ll solidify your title as King of Hollywood once and for all.

Shit, wait—Benicio del Toro isn’t in Philadelphia, it’s Antonio Banderas. Still, I think you should use del Toro for the deleted scene. He’s better-looking.

—Satan the Producer

Have an uncomfortable question? Need some advice about your deviant behavior? If so, then it’s time to pray. Email your question to ryan@skullislandtimes.com, and it shall be answered in a Divine Advice column by Jesus and Satan.

H. Seitz
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