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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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It's sad the liberals have no room for anyone that does not agree with their political ideas.

Breitbart isn't ultra conservative, just a normal voice of what a most Americans think at this time. It is also that democrats are now ultra liberal, no moderates.
If you are a small minority anywhere in the world you will stand out and sometimes feel the world is against you.
Most people attracted to film drama are creative and left leaning, true..
But what I see as most conservatives see is that the intolerance for free speech, not just in 'Hollywood', comes from the left side of the needle.
Look at all the hate speech coming out of democrat politicians calling tea party people hate mongers, nazi's, etc etc.
P.S. Breitbart is offering FREE $100,000 clams to anyone with proof of hate at the tea party in DC. NOT ONE person has come up with ANY words or pictures videos of any sort that describe what the libs have said about John Lewis and others. LINK-->

Conservatives have Fox news to spread their lies and fear mongering. The liberals have MSNBC to spread their lies so why the whining by conservatives. They have the freedom to make any kind of movie they want. If the people don't their movies then make better ones Geeez we have become a nations of whiners. Boo hoo someone doesn't like my ideas so what.

If you were a conservative in pre-Reagan America, you could have made a reasonable case for your beliefs. But since Reagan began the conservative experiment, cons have been cheerleaders for financial robbery, cultural assassination and trillion-dollar war mongering. If you look at the ruin heaped upon this country by Phil Gramm, W, Rove, Atwater, and Cheney, you've got to wonder how conservatives can look at the destruction their movement has wrought and still adhere to their failed beliefs. As artists, there is a limit to what a conservative can create--an episode of CSI, yes; Twin Peaks, Six Feet Under, no. If there's an original show or move written by a strident conservative, I can't think of one--they don't have the ability to challenge the status quo, since they want to strengthen the status quo.

Thanks for the link. You just spoiled (or soiled) my day.

I live in one of the reddest parts of a very red state. Right-wingers here complain about how oppressed they are despite being a huge majority. This is what they do everywhere, I think--whine about how they don't have a big enough share of power. As long as there is one person around who doesn't passionately agree with them, they complain. Classic case of projection. They have contempt for others, and don't want anyone around who isn't a radical conservative just like them, so they expect others to feel the same about them.

Um -- the south is extremely pro-Israel, pro-Judaism and has been for a long while. Evangelical protestants are *fierce* Zionists.

I'm not saying that that's good, or that they're good, or making any normative call at all here, except to question your assertion that Jews in the south are "oppressed minorities." Sarah Palin (Alaska is just so southern, its flipped around to the other side of the map) has an Israeli flag in her office. Pat Robertson put Orthodox rabbis on TV all the time. I just don't see it. I grew up in the south, and it was harder to be Catholic than Jewish.

Patrick, you conclude by saying "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."

Well. No producer or director, even a rotten liberal lefty, would ever say "you have great acting talent and would make a good fit for our show/movie/program, but you listen to conservative talk radio and read So sorry but No Conservatives Allowed here on this set." Rather, you will hear "we are going in a different direction."

Richard at 2:06 p.m. - what state do you live in? You didn't say, or are you making things up that living where you do is intolerable because those nasty conservatives are taking away your free speech?

Yawn. More privileged, boring white people crying about being victims. Stop the Glenn Beck weeping, pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and create the conservative answer to Hollywood. Or, just like Rush and Hannity et al who are too chicken to run for public office and find out just how unpopular they really are outside of their tight-knit base, are you (conservative actors, directors, producers) too afraid to see just how few people will plunk down their hard earned cash to see the same three stories told over and over and over...?

If conservatives ran hollywood every job would outsourced for cheap labor.

The liberals in hollywood are selling an american made product and people are still buying.

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