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Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Conservatives say they have to 'talk in whispers' in liberal Hollywood

April 28, 2010 | 12:51 pm

Janine_turner If you are a devoted reader of Andrew Breitbart's ultra-conservative Big Hollywood website, as I am, you'd think that the world as we know it is surely coming to an end, being turned into a hideously ever-shrinking black hole by Hollywood liberals and their fellow travelers.

The site is chock-full of posts lambasting liberal film critics for not liking vigilante movies, decrying the "gutless" Comedy Central for editing out any references to the prophet Muhammad in "South Park," mocking global warming activists, getting into a tizzy for weeks on end about Tom Hanks' elitist, anti-American view of American history and, of course, celebrating Sarah Palin at every turn. My favorite recent headline  -- and I've linked to it, just in case you thought I made this up -- was "Is James Cameron a Genocidal Maniac?"  

One of Big Hollywood's pet causes is promoting the notion that if you're a conservative, working in liberal Hollywood is like trying to survive in an oppressive gulag-like Soviet state where everyone has to conform to a rigidly controlled form of liberal political thinking. The site features an interview with "Northern Exposure" actress Janine Turner, who's launching a new organization, Constituting America, where she contends that "it's hard for conservatives in Hollywood because they're afraid to step out. Because when they do, there could be repercussions where they don't have work, and that can mean -- I think there are a lot of conservatives in Hollywood ... [but] no one is really willing to take the first step. And I don't blame them. I mean, it's affected my career too. And I think it’s hard ... when you step out as a conservative, it’s just such a – the environment is very left, very, very different to our type of environment.”

Mystery novelist and screenwriter Andrew Klavan, a leading conservative activist, put it more bluntly: "There's a culture in Hollywood where if you're a left-winger, you can talk very openly.... If you go in to sell something, you can make anti-American, anti-military, anti-religious remarks, but I'm the kind of guy who's going to say, 'No, I disagree.' But that's pretty much the end of my sale. Whereas, if you're a conservative, especially if you're a religious person, people like that meet in secret, talk in whispers. It's a very disturbing kind of culture."

Being a Jew who grew up in the South, I sympathize with all oppressed minorities, but I think that conservatives need to get a grip here. Yes, Hollywood is lousy with liberals -- they're everywhere. That's a given, OK, just like where my family comes from, there's a Baptist church on every block. But where's the evidence that conservatives are denied jobs because of their political beliefs? For all the vague charges being bandied about, I've never heard any specific examples of suppression in action. If you're a conservative and can offer me chapter and verse, I will be happy to take up your cause.

And I will do the same for any liberals who can support their claim that they've been denied work in talk radio simply because it happens to be dominated by, ahem, a lot of moral absolutist conservatives. In both cases, I suspect that each field has strong political leanings because of greater cultural forces at work, not because of bias. But if you think you can prove me wrong, have at it.  

 

Photo: Janine Turner in the 1999 Lifetime drama "Barbara Taylor Bradford's A Secret Affair." Credit: Justin Canning / Lifetime

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