Q&A Friday #28: Why Is Hollywood So Anti-Conservative And In Love With R-Movies?

Question: “Here’s a good social conservative question:

A quick glance at boxofficemojo.com reveals that only one of this year’s Top 10 grossing movies is rated R (Wedding Crashers), while half of the 16 biggest bombs of the year are rated R.

Since it’s plainly obvious that family friendly movies make more money, why is Hollywood intentionally throwing money away producing so many R rated movies?” — Mike_M

“Do you think M. Moore is now writing for Law & Order SVU? 6 shows in a row have been based on liberal prejudices and talking points. For a show based on reality (?) the over the top themes make me wonder if these guys are really trying to make headway where MSM has failed.” — Hockey_Goon_of_RWN

“I second his question, in a more general sense. What do you have to say about all of the lefty propaganda filling the airwaves and ruining any enjoyment we might get out of TV? I’m pretty much down to about 3 shows I’m not pissed at.

As conservatives, we believe in the free market and free speach, but still, is there anything we can do to bring the debate to public attention?” — a_velasquez

“Good point. for example I used to really enjoy “The Practice” and it’s currently running spin-oof show “Boston Legal”. I found it very entertaining and the was amused by the over the top amorality of the David Spader character. However more and more these days “Boston Legal” has become little more than an excuse to showcase leftist propaganda and the way the William shatner character is a grotesque charicature of right wingers has made me tune in less and less. I still enjoy the show, but have to hold my nose while watching.” — “Trench Raider”

Answer: First of all, I discussed this topic with radio talk show host/film critic Michael Medved back in November of 2003. Here’s what Medved had to say about it:

John Hawkins: Let’s switch over to another topic. Why do you think Hollywood slants so far to the left?

Michael Medved: That’s of course one of the most perplexing questions in life. It’s like why is the sky blue? It is profoundly irrational and there’s no normal, rational way of understanding it. After all, most of the people in Hollywood, when they favor higher taxes, when they favor bigger government, when they favor a generally leftist, anti-American agenda are undermining their own interests. It’s completely absurd, it’s nuts. By the same token, part of what I’ve written about in the past and continue to write about, is how they undermine their own interests by making sleazy movies or sleazy TV shows.

John Hawkins: Because “G” & “PG” rated movies generally do better at the box office?

Michael Medved: On average, for 25 years, they’ve done better at the box office. It’s what I proved in “Hollywood Vs. America” and at the time everybody scoffed and said, “Oh no, Medved’s crazy,” and now it has been confirmed by countless studies.

I think the secret to both the Hollywood leftism and Hollywood’s obsession with what they call “cutting edge material” comes from the same tendency among decision makers in Hollywood. These are terribly insecure people. They are people who want to look like and sound like tough guys, adventurers, rebels. Now I don’t know if most people out there have a good sense of what Steven Spielberg is like, but Steven is not a macho man. If you have a good sense of what Michael Eisner or Jeffrey Katzenberg or any of these people are really like, they are not captains of the football team. These are guys who have to go some distance to show their he-man status. People in Hollywood will do that in one of two ways.

The most direct way is by using a lot of “F-words” in your conversation. One of the things that strikes me and it’s very peculiar, is in Hollywood meetings among top executives, people will talk like stevedores. I don’t think there is any other business in the country, with women present, in very public meetings, where people will be “F”ing this and “F”ing that and using the kind of language that of course that you could never ever use on the radio. So it naturally spills over into the movies and it has to do with this sort of prolonged adolescence in which guys want to show how tough they are.

The sort of rebellious leftist stand has to do with the same thing to some extent. They idea that, “Well, we may drive in limousines and have big houses in the hills, but we are really people of the street. We are in solidarity with the proletariat. We are ordinary folks”. What’s ironic is that Hollywood has gone in an Ivy League direction. Stars like Jodie Foster, Angela Bassett, Sigourney Weaver, Meryl Streep, Oliver Stone, — all of those of those people are Yalies for example. The more that Hollywood has become a province for people who were born with privelege rather than the sort of shop girls and truck drivers who once busted their way into the business, the more it has tried to pretend, absurdly, that it is not an elite and corporate industry. The more guilty they feel about their status, the more desire they have to assuage that guilt with leftist pieties.

Personally, I have a slightly different take on this than Medved. I believe the same “bubble effect” that skews the way the mainstream media reports the news, is in effect here. In other words, Hollywood is so predominantly liberal that they literally may not realize when they’re pitching a project that won’t appeal to a lot of people in mainstream America because there is no one — who understands what those people like and don’t like — sitting in the room.

In any case, there are very, very few movies and TV shows out there that view a world from a conservative perspective. The best you can hope for in most cases is that they’ll try to be apolitical or won’t go overboard on the leftist spin too often.

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