Is Obama Reference in ‘Megamind’ a Sign of Hollywood’s New Stripes?

Anyone going to see the new DreamWorks animation film Megamind this weekend will notice something interesting midway through. There are actually people in Hollywood who will mock President Obama’s campaign, showing “No, You Can’t” signs that represent the “Yes, We Can” signs that were plastered all over college campuses and hybrid vehicles two years ago. While showing such a thing may or may not be a poke at Obama’s policies, it’s nice to see that he is not so holy that Hollywood is afraid to have any fun with him.

Hollywood has long been a place of untouchable superstars and mega-corporations. It is hard to imagine something like Disney or Warner Brothers going into the ditch. But, alas, the once monumental MGM studios has filed for bankruptcy protection. An obvious parallel to our current state of government can be drawn here. Maybe the posters in Megamind are unintentionally on to something; while the country is going down the drain even the Tinsel Town elitists have found a way to say “No, You Can’t!” without actually saying it.

While California is still a solidly blue state, others recently turned red including my home state of Wisconsin where all private businesses are releasing a collective sigh of relief. Even if Hollywood is the oasis of hard core leftism, Variety’s Ted Johnson is reporting that such a landscape may change slightly as the Right begins to gain momentum by using entertainment to their advantage. However, that is by no means to say the industry is going to turn into a safe-zone for the Republicans:

Hollywood’s investment in this year’s midterms was substantial, but rather than pull away from Democrats, Hollywood doubled down, showering the party and its candidates with even greater sums than in 2006, when the prospects were much better. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, showbiz donors gave $15.7 million to Democrats this cycle and $5.9 million to Republicans, a 72%-27% split that reflected the industry’s continued leftward tilt.

Anyone hoping to have the American film and entertainment world turn into a water carrying entity for the Right needs to dream on. However, it will be nice to see some conservative candidates utilize their contacts in Hollywood to at least balance its political exposure somewhat. For example, Sarah Palin has obviously capitalized on her fame with book deals and television shows. Maybe President Obama should takes notes from Palin and quit office before going on a constant campaign for popularity.

One major thing that Johnson expects to change in Hollywood is the money trail. The entertainment industry lost quite a few links in Washington on Tuesday, so the fund-raising game may be modified slightly.

It won’t be too long before the fund-raising fever starts all over again. Republican presidential contenders like Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) and Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Miss.) already have a handful of industry contacts to draw upon, setting up a competition for high-profile support that certainly won’t rival that of the Democrats in 2008 but will be significant nonetheless. Conservatives have shown a greater affinity to embrace pop culture — just look at “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” series bowing on TLC later this month — as a way to draw attention and, in many respects, momentum.

Johnson feels that the resurgence of the Right in Washington may be a way to change the way Tinsel Town views Republicans, or at least some of its candidates:

Among Hollywood’s individual donors, perception is everything. Depending on how President Obama responds to the expected GOP rout, the power shift could leave some major fund-raisers and donors on the sidelines for 2012.

Let’s hope that in two years that the Right doesn’t get steamrolled by a lack of celebrity-esque appeal once again. It’s time to change the game; embracing Hollywood has its advantages. It is important to note that one can deal with the entertainment industry without jumping on the progressive bandwagon. Adding a little shine to conservative candidates may be just what they need to get their own celebrity-in-cheif!

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