Clint Eastwood’s Daughter Reportedly Burns $100,000 Hermès Bay . . . And Triggers Firestorm

There are two aspects of this story that I found interesting. First, is that the 18-year-old daughter of Clint Eastwood, Francesca, destroyed a $100,000 Hermès Birkin bag and, second, there is a $100,000 Hermès bag. Eastwood has triggered a firestorm of controversy over the “art” video with her boyfriend, Tyler Shields, with people noting that they destroyed a bag worth over three times the annual salary of most working Americans. Some have noted that some (budget basement) bag can go for as little as $10,000. Would that matter?

I am not sure what to be more outraged about as part of the Lumpenproletariat: owning or destroying a $100,000 bag. I think I will go with owning one.

The destruction was shown in a series of pictures on Shields’s website, They show Eastwood burning the bad with gasoline and then shredding it with a $200 chainsaw. They insist it is a genuine purse and Shields states “Destruction is a beautiful version of freedom … Would you want this bag? Are you sad to see me destroy it?” Clever and edgy. Next they might try peasant shooting:

Shield’s responded to the widespread criticism with a curious offer: “If somebody wants to buy one of the Birkin photos, I will donate $100,000 — not to a charity — but to a family. I will give one family in need $100,000 cash.”

Young Eastwood is part of a reality show “Mrs. Eastwood and Company,” featuring Eastwood’s second wife Dina and members of their blended family.

Frankly, I cannot imagine what could go into a handbag to make it worth the price of a home, but I expect it contains an overdose of sheer snobbism. Some bags reportedly go as high as $150,000. That certainly makes it a worthwhile image for artistic destruction, but a knockoff would seem a good substitute. However, artists have often chosen valuable things to destroy to make a statement. The band K Foundation once burned £1 million cash. Likewise, Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei was famous for his destroying a Han Dynasty vase as part of his artistic expression.

Moreover, the super rich often spend lavishly. While young Eastwood’s mother has said that the teen has no sense of money, many celebrities vie for buying (or destroying) with abandon. Such is the case with Steven Tyler’s purchase of the first 2012 Hennessey Venom GT for over $1 million. Would it be immoral for him to now burn the car as an artistic expression? It would be more artistically appealing than his ability to sing the national anthem. Where do you draw the line between immoral consumption and merely obscene spending?

What is clear is that it presents a slightly different image of an Eastwood after Clint Eastwood’s popular video during the Superbowl celebrating the return of the American worker:

Well, its halftime in the Eastwood house and little Francesca may need to hear from Dad:

People are out of work and they’re hurting. And they’re all wondering what they’re going to do to make a comeback. And we’re all scared, because this isn’t a game.

The people of Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together, now Motor City is fighting again.

I’ve seen a lot of tough eras, a lot of downturns in my life. And, times when we didn’t understand each other. It seems like we’ve lost our heart at times. When the fog of division, discord, and blame made it hard to see what lies ahead.

Source: Globe and Mail

60 thoughts on “Clint Eastwood’s Daughter Reportedly Burns $100,000 Hermès Bay . . . And Triggers Firestorm”

  1. @JC if it helps you make a decision on where to stand re: “making a statement about society” v. “making a statement to get a rise out of people”, Tyler Shields is a pretty renowned photographer who often makes these kinds of statements about society. Though to counter that, his latest exhibit was held in a studio set to 100 degrees or so because he likes to see how people’s emotions are affected by different circumstances. I guess that lends to both sides of your question, but I’ll ask a third: Does it matter that he might have done it to get a rise out of people as an artist and social commentator instead of as a rich youth?

    One more thing (not directed at anyone in particular), Francesca Eastwood is very smart and helps run a talent management business- I hope we can let her succeed without attributing it solely to “daddy”

  2. “If somebody wants to buy one of the Birkin photos, I will donate $100,000 — not to a charity — but to a family. I will give one family in need $100,000 cash.”
    Would a “family” of one single nearly-60 kind-hearted single lady having to live on her disability income which is going to decrease who has NO family or “cushion” and has a great need to buy her own home so she can quit being forced to move out of rentals due to neighbors’ bad habits…qualify? If so, please put her first in line. She could get into a good sound home of her own for $100-!35,000 in Wisconsin.

  3. If the only claim of your art is that you destroyed something worth $100K, then your art must not be very good. If I had an extra $100K I wouldn’t use it to buy an ugly bag nor their worthless art, I’d give parts of it to several families. I think the snobs are looking for shock value.

  4. bigfatmike…..! (hahahahaha!)

    “The most important thing about a 100K bag is making sure people know you have it, or had it.”
    I beleive that in instances of $100,000 bags, it is the bag that has you….

  5. I am going to go with conspicuous consumption on this one. We are not talking about quality here. It is a little like paying $1000 for a bottle of Crystal Champagne, but so much cooler. The most important thing about a 100K bag is making sure people know you have it, or had it.

    But I think she missed an obvious play – attribute that to her youth. She should have traded for a couple of third world orphans. Then she would have earned her Hollywood creds for being a true humanitarian.

  6. 1.) Awesome…ridiculous, overpriced, materialistic crap should be burned no matter what its price point (notice ‘price point’, not ‘value’) There are some luxuries that can provide actual value, a $100K handbag is not one of them.

    2.) I’m somewhat torn between giving Shields and Eastwood ‘props’ on this because I doubt their intention was to make a statement about materialism and how it is helping to kill our society. I think they are young and wealthy and thought of a very shallow ‘statement’ (i.e. let’s burn something expensive to get a rise out of people.)

    Though, I do really like Shield’s offer of donating $100K to a family if someone buys the photo…I hope someone takes him up on it. That being said, the family will probably pay off a little debt and then get a ridiculously big TV and a new handbag.

  7. I think you correct in considering the ownership of such a bag to be the key issue.

    Destruction of such a bag in the particular circumstances may actually be a good and worthy act – apart from any symbolism
    “If somebody wants to buy one of the Birkin photos, I will donate $100,000 — not to a charity — but to a family. I will give one family in need $100,000 cash.”

    Presumably an offer of $5 for one of the photos might not be accepted.

    Consider the making of a movie, particularly one in which all sorts of expensive things are destroyed in explosions, crashes, etc.
    The costs run into millions. Generally, the costs are incurred with a view to recovering the costs at the very least.

    There could be people who say “ZOMG! They just totalled 5 Lamborghinis!!!”, but the general reaction is probably “Great scene!”

  8. One of the purposes of art is to evoke an emotional response — win!

  9. ‘“If somebody wants to buy one of the Birkin photos, I will donate $100,000 — not to a charity — but to a family. I will give one family in need $100,000 cash.”’
    you go girl

    can we talk about Corporate malfeasance and CEO salaries now?

  10. Birken bags run from about 10k to 150k. This one was red crocodile so I am sure it went for at least 100,000k.

  11. I sincerely doubt the bag they destroyed was worth $100k. I know Birken Bags can go for hideously high prices but usually because they have associations with celebrities or are made of lizards paws.

  12. Eastwood daughter should read Eastwood’s daughter. Now, alternatively, you could have put mom and dad’s name in front of the word daughter and place the appostrophe after the s. She is a daughter of both so perhaps no appostrophe is appropriate except then you lead with just Clint’s name as the parent. The purse was a fake. It got your attention. Give some money to a charity. Dont pay money for The Scream. Tell Bunny Mellon to give money to the Democratic Party and to not buy the purse, or The Scream. Thank you.

  13. Bunch of sick puppies. But probably taken very seriously by the very serious people because, you know, like, they have money. Just shoot me.

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