A solution to the increase of imported TV stars is a talent tariff

By Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith

HollywoodNews.com: What do Hollywood casting directors have against American actors? Oh, sure, we’ve been seeing this explosion of Brits, Aussies, Kiwis, Irish folk and other English-speaking foreigners on U.S. primetime for several years now, but there hasn’t been any complaining out of fear the U.K would want to take back Hugh Laurie, and goodness knows nobody wanted that.

However, things have gone too far. Now we have an Australian (Alex O’Loughlin) playing Steve McGarrett on CBS’s new “Hawaii Five-O,” for crying out loud. Plus, there’s this 13 trillion-dollar national debt thing that makes even ludicrous revenue-generating ideas sound good. So the time has come for Uncle Sam to make some money off this imported TV star phenomenon. The time has come for a Talent tariff.

Think of the increasingly annoying Piers Morgan, for instance. The arrogant Fleet Street tabloid editor — whose claims to fame include being fired in the wake of the revelation that Daily Mirror photos purportedly showing British troops mistreating Iraqi prisoners were faked. Brighton-born Simon Cowell ordained Guildford-born Piers as his substitute (a.k.a. “the mean one”), when Simon himself was contractually prevented (“American Idol”) from being an “America’s Got Talent” judge — and America went along. This proves America’s weakness toward believing anyone with a British accent is qualified for their job. Now Morgan is the man who would be King, as in Larry King, as in being named as the new host of King’s 25-year-old CNN show.

This is not right. If we have to take Piers Morgan, we should be making money on it — or at least, the British should have to take Perez Hilton in exchange.

Speaking of “America’s Got Talent,” there’s oh-so-much more to love about Piers’ London-born cohort Sharon Osbourne than him. And yet, Ozzy’s purple-red-haired frau is nearing massive over-exposure with yet another gig, CBS’s yet-untitled daytime show for fall. But let us not be irritated. Let us be enriched. Talent tariff, people!

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