updated 03/31/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/31/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

Star bucks
No doubt you have already been inundated with mail from outraged readers expressing how fed up they are with the salaries of overpaid entertainers and athletes (PEOPLE, March 10). Has it ever occurred to anyone that we, the public, are to blame for this travesty? Perhaps we should examine what it is in our own lives that makes them so empty we need to pay big money to see Rambo act out our fantasies for us. The money being paid to performers today borders on the obscene. What we seem to forget is that without us there is no market for them. Maybe if we concentrated on improving and enriching our own lives, we wouldn't need our paper heroes so much. Subsequently, they wouldn't make so damn much and we wouldn't have to create a new American pastime of resenting them so much.
Larry Jefferson
Hayward, Calif.

Thanks for the nice words in your "Who Makes What" cover story. However, I'm 52 years old, not 57. At the rate I'm going, making 57 in five years will be a triumph of will over body.
Larry King
Arlington, Va.

We regret the error.—ED.

Shaun Considine claims that one Christmas Barbra Streisand recycled cards with the original senders' names crossed out and replaced with her own. This was in fact a promotion to publicize her record at the time, Second Hand Rose. The story paints an unflattering portrait of the actress as a very wealthy person who is still frugal. Why didn't you include the true stories of her many philanthropic gestures, which have been documented and reported in the press? To quote Ms. Streisand, "I can't control what anyone says, writes or invents about me. I can only control my own work, which will speak for itself."
Lee Solters
Press Representative of Ms. Streisand for 25 years
New York City

While farmers in America are struggling to keep themselves afloat and millions of Americans are looking for jobs, you have the gall to flaunt the incomes of today's biggest money-makers. Many of today's "role models" are so bored trying to figure out how to spend it all, they turn to drugs and alcohol. Do us working class people a favor and keep us in the dark where money is concerned.
Connie M. Green
Huron, S.Dak.

Only in America can a profession that was once considered second only to prostitution reap such large sums of money. Too bad health care workers, law enforcers, educators and others whose services are more valuable aren't making comparable salaries. America, where are your priorities?
Deborah Plank
West Salem, Ohio

Fair is fair. What's Senior Writer Mary Vespa's annual salary?
Jan Dilbeck

"Not enough!" says Vespa.—ED.

The Color Purple
The Color Purple did not intend to be a comprehensive depiction of an entire race of black men and women. Its only purpose was to tell the story of one woman's struggle to discover her own self-worth and gain independence from the horrible obstacles that governed her upbringing. To dismiss The Color Purple as being a racist movie that trivializes the essence of all black men is both narrow-minded and unjustly malicious. The movie is not only a very universal story of one woman's self-discovery, but it is the single best film of 1985.
Jonathan Quincy Case
De Soto, Texas

So, because of the portrayal of one character, Mister, in The Color Purple, all black men will be seen as "brutal and savage." Why? It seems Legrand Clegg and other critics have lumped the entire black male population in one character. Now who's stereotyping?
Lisa Cowgill
Forney, Texas

The problem is not in the role of Mister, but in the lack of good solid film roles for black men that highlight the positive human spirit. If there were more, the role of Mister would have had the effect of a ripple on a pond rather than of a tidal wave in drawing fire from critics and audiences.
Julie Johnson
New York City

I am both angry and surprised over the negative response Steven Spielberg has received from various black organizations. As a young black woman, I was very touched by the movie, more so than by the book. I admit the movie is very emotional and not for everyone, but I really resent that Spielberg is taking all the heat for directing a movie taken right from the chapters of a much-praised novel. Where were all the critics and wounded black men when the novel was released? If Sidney Poitier directed the same movie the same way, would there be this much criticism?
Stephanie A. Hall
South San Francisco

Yeh Jong Son
I was appalled disco door people actually judge people as grade A, B or C. The day I subject myself to being judged by anyone is the day the men in the white coats come and take me off. As far as I am concerned, I don't need the "in" crowd's approval or company.
Cathey Jo Tennison
Webster, Texas

What gives people the right to tell Diana Ross how to spend her money? Because she has millions of dollars, does that mean she should give all of it to charity? She has certainly done her share of charitable work, and I'm sure the amounts of money she has donated would be inconceivable to the "working people." Diana Ross deserves happiness as much as anyone, and if she has had the good fortune to be able to afford a $1 million wedding and that is what she wants, I say, why not!
Sharon Kresch
Southfield, Mich.

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