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

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

Comments () | Archives (58)

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In Hollywood, a big chunk of how you get jobs, how you hear about jobs, how you get in to the pitch/reading for jobs, is word of mouth and who likes who. And the way you LOSE a job is never likely to be "get that Conservative/black/Jew/woman/etc. out of here!" , it is going to be "I like the other guy/girl better". It is a judgment call, and in my judgment, "their" kind don't need to work here.

I can absolutely believe that is at work in Hollywood, because it is at work everywhere else too. There are many minorities facing the same situation all over. Just ask a male nurse what an interview in a new place is like. The problem is, while we know it happens, we also know there is little evidence for it, and always plenty of evidence for a plausible alternate explanation. Which just makes the victim look paranoid. So deniers can always say, "It is all in your head. All in your little closed-minded Conservative out-in-the-cold we-will-never-hire-you head."

I work in the animation business, and for an industry where most went to art school, there are a LOT of Palin lovin', Limbaugh listenin', hard right wingers. I think it has something to do with talk radio keeping them company while they draw. And as far as I know, nobody is screening their politics, and if they are, it's certainly not keeping them from getting work.

Conservative art? Get real. They *should* make a list of conservative actresses and actors, so I can not watch their movies. Anyone still a big party conservative (after what we all went through with W) should be drug out into the street and..
AUUUghhhhOW!! Get on th' good foot!Bobby!? Maceo?? I said...Ma-CEO!!!! Ugh! YeAAAAHAHhhhahahahhHAHH! (does the splits and exits with a purple cape hastily thrown over his shoulders)

Oh, please.....If Janine Turner doesn't get work in Hollywood, it's not because of her political beliefs, it's because she can't act her way out of a paper bag.

Hollywood is pathetic! Movies cost way to much for the average family to see and most (99%) of actors today are spoiled, talentless liberals who use their fame / money for political reasons, which is very unfare because most fools believe everything they hear or read in the media and are influenced by them! Hollywood has created primadonas who are totally un-American and talentless. Most movies are bombs, not worth seeing or paying good money for. Hollywood elite choose to adopt orphans from other countries when there is an ample amount of needy children here in the US. Liberalism and political correctness will be the downfall of our once beautiful country but the rich Hollywood elite care less because they will always have their bank accounts, tax shelters and endless liberal causes! Stop telling the majority of America how to live and what to do. Go to hell you phoney miserable liars. Lets see if this rag, (LA Times) will even post my comments, I will be suprised if they do.

Move to the Inland Empire. It's not as snazzy but you'll find lots of your kind there.

Ya, so, you don't feel free to speak up as a conservative. As others have said, we who live in red states don't feel free to speak up as liberals. Jeez, I don't even feel free to speak up as a moderate. Welcome to life. Get over yourselves.

I'll go you one further.

In a debate on facebook I was invited to a set for work by somebody not participating.

Turns out, he invited me just so he could kick me off the set and humiliate me.

Given all the immorality and drug use in this industry combined with the fact that most of us are successful not based on hard work and sacrifice but by a combination of luck and good looks and a dependence upon such people for gainful employment, is there any wonder so many of us don't have a clue as to the mechanisms that really governs cause and effect.

First off, there are a lot more conservatives in Hollywood you think. Second, there are a lot less liberals who care whether their colleagues are conservative or liberal than you think.

As a struggling writer, I think young artists looking for a break aren't going to say things that rock the boat at meetings, parties where someone can help you network . It certainly sucks not being able to have a mature discussion on abortion, gay marriage, without being vilified or demonized for your views. So you kind'a keep quiet around here. But i remember joining some friends for dinner in the valley. Across the table a notable writer. After a few drinks i blurted out something flawed about equating gay rights with civil rights, followed by silence. At end of night, upon leaving, notable writer said his goodbyes, dropped a tip, shook my hand and leaned in to tell me to keep those things on the down low. After which he said, "And i agree with you."

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