Recent comments from a liberal reader gave me much to ponder about my recent post about Hollywood conservatives.
Her central point was that while Republicans have sent victorious candidates to both the California governor's office and the White House, while Hollywood liberals are virtually non-existent as significant office-holders in state or national politics.
While my liberal friend is certainly correct about the movie-star governor and the movie-star president, I believe that speaks more about those individuals (and their name-recognition on the ballot) than it does about Hollywood politics. Also, even though there have been Republican governors in California, those governors aren't necessarily what you would call "conservative" (take the current governor as an example). In fact, Hollywood Republicans who have held significant offices generally tended to be less conservative politically than their counterparts in the rest of the nation (the obvious exception being Ronald Reagan).
To the issue of conservatism in Hollywood, a reader identified only as a "conservative insider" had this to say about my recent post on Hollywood's dirty little secret:
Anyone who works here in H'wood knows that being "outed" as a conservative means being blacklisted from jobs. I have personally been called many laughably-ignorant names to my face by some self-righteous liberals, all because of the bigoted assumptions they make about "all" conservatives ... What's sad is that these judgmental people cause great damage labeling conservatives as being, for example, racists when those of my ilk are only interested in the cessation of wasteful government spending and the compounding of the problem via exorbitant taxes.A quick note is needed here to emphasize that not all liberals are "self-righteous" just as all conservatives are not "racists." There are extremists on either side of the fence, and this is unfortunate. Nevertheless, the substance of this comment is entirely valid. "Blacklisted" is the word I was groping for when I developed Monday's list of Hollywood conservatives.
Recently, Hollywood conservative Charlton Heston passed away, to the sorrow of many celebrities of every political stripe. Heston was borne out of a different Hollywood. In "the olden days" Hollywood celebrities DID tend to be more conservative, simply because of the mind-set of the time (family values being the biggest issue politically due to the influx of the flower-power generation, which has since spawned many of the modern-day liberal ideals). Heston, Reagan and a score of other Hollywood conservatives weren't blacklisted as many are today, but they were privately mocked by tinsel-town's executives and celebrities in recent years. Today, it's virtually unthinkable for a working writer, actor or director to identify himself or herself as a conservative, unless he or she plans on leaving the industry altogether. There ARE exceptions, of course, but usually they only serve to prove the larger rule.
Although I have researched the topic, I also have a friend in TV post-production, and I was a consultant for a motion picture company. It's no secret that the general attitude toward conservatives in tinsel-town isn't pretty, but if more folks -- like the ones I listed Monday -- are willing to stand firm, perhaps the playing field will level for everyone.
Bottom Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images