erik lundegaard

Saturday December 03, 2016

Creating Hate Against Hollywood

This is how you create right-wing propaganda.

Start with a comment that should be taken with a grain of salt—actor Mark Wahlberg talking to, a website dedicated to American veterans, during the publicity tour for his new movie “Patriots Day.” 

Here's the headline: “Mark Wahlberg Thinks Celebrities Need to Shut Up About Politics.” Except he doesn't quite say that. Opining about politics, he says, “A lot of celebrities did, do, and shouldn't.” Opine, that is. Then he adds:

A lot of Hollywood is living in a bubble. They're pretty out of touch with the common person, the everyday guy out there providing for their family. Me, I'm very aware of the real world. I come from the real world and I exist in the real world. And although I can navigate Hollywood and I love the business and the opportunities it's afforded me, I also understand what it's like not to have all that.“

Wahlberg has been a star for 25 years now—a quarter century—and he thinks he's aware of the real world. Why? Does he carry a wallet? Does he have to work to get a date? Is he worried about paying rent/mortgage? No? Then what is he talking about? What is ”the real world“ to him and why does he occupy it and his colleagues don't?

More, the whole thing plays into a classic conservative POV with Hollywood and other left-wing institutions: They should shut up. Charlton Heston thought this ... until he began railing against feminists and Al Gore, and became president of the NRA. At that point, apparently, it was OK to talk politics. The right-wing kind. 

Besides, Wahlberg does in fact talk politics. At the end of the piece, we get this:

Asked what he thinks of the president-elect's proposed ban on Muslims entering the country, given that the [Boston marathon bombing] Tsarnaev brothers were both naturalized citizens, Wahlberg decided to talk a little politics after all. ”I have a lot of Muslim friends who are really amazing people,“ he said. ”So anything like that is just completely absurd and unacceptable to me. I'm a devout Catholic. I have a lot of Jewish friends. I've got a lot of friends from all over the world. And I think a lot of good people have been mistreated for a long time and we need to fix that.“

Popping a few Cellfood dietary capsules (”It's enzymes, amino acids...“), he added that we need to do a better job of educating people about the real threats out there. ”There's a big difference between a Muslim and a terrorist. Big, big difference.“

I love Wahlberg for this last bit but he does keep contradicting himself. Other celebrities are out of touch but he isn't; other celebrites shouldn't talk politics but he can. It's the contradictions that make the piece (and the man) interesting, but it's what gets lost in translation to right-wing websites. I won't link to them but these are their heds:

  • Mark Wahlberg: ”Hollywood is Living in a Bubble... Out of Touch with Reality“
  • Mark Wahlberg Tells 'Out of Touch' Celebs to Shut Up About Politics

And it spreads. I just did a Google search on ”Mark Wahlberg“ and this was at the top:

Mark Wahlberg: Celebrities should shut up about politics 

I was on Twitter yesterday and someone with four followers (either friendless or a right-wing troll) quoted Wahlberg in telling actor Jeffrey Wright to shut up about the Confederate flag; he told him he was out of touch; he said he wasn't in ”the real world."

Wahlberg let himself be played here. He should know that telling a group of people not to talk politics is itself a political act. One of the worst ones.

Posted at 09:15 AM on Saturday December 03, 2016 in category What Liberal Hollywood?  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard