erik lundegaard

Why Breitbart’s Big Hollywood is Wrong About Almost Everything

Every other post on Breitbart’s “Big Hollywood” site is based upon the following assumptions:

  • Hollywood is full of liberals.
  • They try to inject their liberal ideals into movies.
  • These movies fail at the box office, because ...
  • ... you and I don’t like that shit.

Let’s look at these one by one.

  • Hollywood is full of liberals.

Sure, why not. Most cities are of the left, most artists are of the left, and Hollywood is a city full of artists. Plus businessmen. But we’ll let that go for now. Onward and downward.

  • They try to inject their liberal ideals into movies.

Sure, why not. Every once in a while anyway. I think of the framed portrait of Ronald Reagan that showed up whenever we dropped a defcon in 1983’s “War Games.”

But Breitbart’s second assumption comes dangerously close to the whole McCarthyite, HUAC-led and FBI-supported blacklist of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Back then, right-wing reactionaries searched for anything that might indicate leftist, un-American politics, and, in its fever dream, wound up condemning “The Best Years of Our Lives,” “Gentleman’s Agreement” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Among others.

This second assumption also ignores how conservative most Hollywood movies truly are. They are wish-fulfillment fantasies about men with guns who blow away objectively evil bad guys and save the day. They’re blueprints for any speech at any GOP or NRA convention.

We’ll take the last two assumptions together:

  • These movies fail at the box office, because ...
  • ... you and I don’t like that shit.

This is where Breitbart really performs a faceplant. I don’t even need a sentence to refute these two assumptions. I just need one word:


In the 21st century, there’s been no movie, particularly a big-budget movie, that contained more squishy leftist ideals (trees, etc.), and a greater attack on the right (war, etc.), than “Avatar.” It’s basically an attack on Bush, Cheney, the Iraq War, and the military industrial complex. As I stated in my review back in 2009:

Hell, it’s not even subversive. It states its apostasy out loud. “We will show the sky people they cannot take whatever they want!” Jake, the avatar, shouts before the final battle. “This is our land!”

Psst: We’re the sky people.

James Cameron’s “Avatar” is the classic Breitbart culprit: a Hollywood movie that sneaks its liberal, leftist agenda into a mainstream movie to poison us all.

And how did it do at the box office? You might have heard a little something-something about it. I think the first something was 2.7 and the second was billion. That’s what it grossed worldwide: $2.7 billion. No. 2 all-time also belongs to Cameron: “Titanic” at $2.1 billion. Third is “Marvel’s The Avengers” at $1.5 billion. Fourth, the last “Harry Potter,” is at $1.3 billion.

In other words, only two other movies are within half of what “Avatar,” with its awful, anti-GOP message, grossed.

I’m not saying “Avatar” did this well because it liked trees and disliked war, or because its heroic native peoples attacked a military-corporate complex hell-bent on exploiting natural resources for its own financial gain. I’m saying that whenever Breitbart’s Big Hollywood makes its four big assumptions at the top of this post, they need to solve a problem like “Avatar.” Or at least address it. And they never do. 


Sooner or later, you always have to wake up.

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Posted at 06:17 AM on Fri. Apr 11, 2014 in category What Liberal Hollywood?  


Daniel wrote:

What bothers me the most about the Breitbart site is the assumption that there is a narrow political agenda in most movie-making. I doubt that is the case. Yes, it happens (as with “Avatar”, but even a movie like “12 Years a Slave,” which is intentionally politically resonant, is not strictly speaking liberal or conservative - and it certainly isn't Democratic or Republican. The same can generally be said of the “one man with a gun” movies that you've mentioned. In “Die Hard,” the government is consistently portrayed as incompetent, but is this meant to be a conservative message? I doubt it. Scoring political points is not the rubric of movie-making as a general rule. As I write this, I seem to recall that you made a similar point at one time, but, nevertheless, if Breitbart gets something wrong, it is not only that movies with a liberal theme can find, and frequently have found, a sizable audience, but also that movies can rarely be aptly described in terms such as liberal or conservative.

Comment posted on Fri. Apr 11, 2014 at 06:46 PM

Erik wrote:


Very nice points. Very, very true.

We could even go further. Scoring political points is not the rubric of most things as a general rule. It's not of the mainstream media, for example. It is of Fox News, though.

The earlier point I made about this might have been here:

Or it might have been earlier. But I often lose track of it when I follow people like the Breitbart folks down the rabbit hole of their logic. Thanks for letting me come up for air.

Comment posted on Sat. Apr 12, 2014 at 07:28 AM
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