What Liberal Hollywood? postsSaturday March 11, 2017
What Liberal Hollywood? Part 95
“Where is this liberal Hollywood agenda? The agenda seems to be whatever will entertain mass audiences. ... How could an industry have been successful this long if it was alienating half the country?” -- screenwriter Craig Mazin (“The Specials,” “Supehero Movie,” various “Scary Movie” and “Hangover” sequels).
“Film buyers are greedy. They want a good performing film. ... They will change religions for it.” — Ron Rodgers, the retired co-founder of Rocky Mountain Pictures, an independent distributor of conservative and Christian-themed movies.
Both quotes come from the L.A. Times article with the misleading headline, “In liberal Hollywood, a conservative minority faces backlash in the age of Trump.” It's misleading because it also owns up to the rightward leanings of corporate Hollywood—the people who actually make the decisions. And the one concrete example of “backlash”? There was an argument on a TV set, and afterwards the Trump-supporting producer was “shunned.” That's it. That's what's being compared to McCarthyism. My god. Those who don't know history are doomed to be assholes.
What Liberal Hollywood? Part 9
“If you don't understand money in the movie business, it's like an artist who doesn't understand paint.”
-- Jack Nicholson, “Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel” (2011)
What Liberal Hollywood? Part 94
“Although many members of the entertainment industry espouse, often publicly, a left-leaning political slant, Hollywood is still dominated by white men who prefer to make movies and television shows that revolve around other white men — men beset by feelings of alienation, who often wield guns, who fight (or represent) corrupt government, and generally attempt to survive and/or save a world run amok.
”Across galaxies, through the centuries, in every genre imaginable.“
-- Mary McNamara, ”The notion of a liberal agenda in Hollywood is absurd," in the LA Times, as part of a series on Hollywood values/elites in the Trump era.
Of course, I've been saying this for years, but it's nice that this notion is getting a wider audience.
What Liberal Hollywood? Part 91
“If you're telling certain stories, you'll need to have guns. But I don't see smoking [cigarettes in movies] anymore. Look, everyone talks about 'liberal Hollywood,' but I don't know that that's the case, particularly with guns. This is an industry where, if the tax credits were right, we'd probably be shooting movies in Syria right now.”
-- Tom Arnold, in an excellent piece in The Hollywood Reporter, “Locked and Loaded: The Gun Industry's Lucrative Relationship with Hollywood,” by Gary Baum and Scott Johnson. Excellent with a proviso.
THR's Great Guns Piece Gone Wrong
A few weeks back, The Hollywood Reporter published an excellent piece called “Locked and Loaded: The Gun Industry's Lucrative Relationship with Hollywood,” by Gary Baum and Scott Johnson. It gives us a fascinating look into the industries that provide the movies with firearms, as well as the experts who make sure everything is both safe and realistic during filming.
All that's good. The article runs into problems when it tries to parse the contradictions between a so-called liberal Hollywood that glamorizes guns, and a gun-control industry that condemns Hollywood as liberal even as it benefits from 100 years of cinematic heroes with guns. Generally, the article puts the burden of hypocrisy squarely on Hollywood's shoulders, then bends over backwards to underline its point.
For example, the writers say they contacted “more than 50 actors, producers, writers, directors and showrunners who have been outspoken gun-control proponents while also utilizing firearms in their storytelling.” The implication is that these people are hypocrites for doing both. But notice the verb: not “glamorizing” firearms in storytelling, but “utilizing” them.
Four men of the 50 responded:
- Actor Tom Arnold (“True Lies”)
- Actor Clark Gregg (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”)
- Producer Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”)
- Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (“Milk”)
Again: These are gun-control proponents that also “utilized” firearms in their storytelling. So I get the first two. Kinda sorta. But Levitan? “Modern Family”? Really? He also produced the '90s sitcoms “Frasier,” “The Larry Sanders Show,” and “Just Shoot Me.” Maybe THR was confused about “Just Shoot Me.”
But THR really pissed me off with the way they introduced Black:
Dustin Lance Black, whose screenplays for Milk and J. Edgar incorporated guns ...
Seriously, THR? You're implying that it's a contradiction for Black to be a gun-control advocate while also writing an Oscar-winning screenplay about a beloved politician who was assassinated?
The rest of the article is worth reading anyway.
To The Hollywood Reporter, more hypocrisy from Hollywood's gun-control advocates.