By Frank Vernuccio
The Hollywood award season is upon us, even as evidence mounts that the industry has endured one of its worse years in a long time. Those choosing, for reasons that remain unclear, to subject themselves to the orgies of self-congratulations and holier-than-thou speeches that denote these spectacles will wind up being lectured by the denizens of one of America’s most amoral industries on how terrible our society is.
Originally posted in the New York Analysis of Policy & Government newsletter
“Amoral” isn’t restricted to casting-couch sex scandals, although that is certainly the headline this year. Finally, those who had been subjected to the bitter choice of submitting to the sexual predations of tinsel town moguls or remaining unemployed have garnered the courage to speak out. That’s good, but even worse offenses against females remain a taboo topic, not just with those in that profession but throughout the entire women’s movement.
The movie industry overwhelmingly supported politicians such as Barack Obama, who kowtowed to, and negotiated with, Islamic groups even as they engaged in the most horrific assaults on females conceivable. He broke precedent by negotiating with the Taliban, who systematically shot and disfigured girls who merely sought to go to school, and women who merely attempted to get necessary medical assistance from male physicians. It remained supportive of him even as he clearly demonstrated reluctance to take the necessary steps to wipe out ISIS, which may have been the most misogynist entity to have ever existed on earth. It remained enthralled to Hillary Clinton, who served as an enabler to her husbands’ extensive list of sex crimes.
In its support of all things leftist, it has failed to use its bully pulpit to chastise those like the late Senator Ted Kennedy, whose callous disregard for the women he exploited even led to the death of one in the waters of Chappaquiddick. (Recently, decades after the fact, a film was finally made about that incident.)
Hollywood’s moral issues extend far beyond sex. There is astoundingly little comment about how this most quintessential American art form is falling under the sway of Beijing. Business Insider notes that:
Tilting towards dictators, whether by preference or in return for a fat paycheck, is nothing new for the movie industry. There a stunningly large list of entertainment performers and moguls who have shared their talent with horrible regimes, and others who have vocally supported repressive governments.
Chinese outbound capital has begun to have substantial influence in Hollywood. Hollywood is increasingly a destination for media investment by Chinese companies in individual projects, in U.S.-based offices, and even entire studios. Alibaba reportedly invested in the 2015 Hollywood film Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation. The China Film Group has been linked as an investor to the record-breaking Furious 7 movie. Chinese entertainment and technology firm LeTV established its U.S. offices in Los Angeles in 2015. In April 2015, Chinese film studio Huayi Bros. made an agreement with American motion picture company STX entertainment to co-produce and co-distribute 12 to 15 films. In January 2016, the Dalian Wanda Group acquired American studio Legendary Pictures, making it the first Chinese firm to own a Hollywood studio. Rather than made in China, Hollywood studio productions will also increasingly be made by China—or rather, by Chinese companies investing in Hollywood.
Hollywood may pontificate against bias, but fails to recognize it within its own ranks. After half a century, Hollywood continues to complain about the actions of another Senator, Joe McCarthy, who rather harshly went after its figures who were in any way suspected of supporting Communism. But today, movie moguls are copying McCarthy’s example by roughly discriminating against those who disagree with its hard-left bias. Jordon Kalinowski, writing in Odyssey noted that:
Being a conservative in Hollywood is kind of like being a foreign spy in America. You can probably get in if you conceal your identity, but if anyone finds out who you really are … Game over …
There are also many notable Hollywood movie stars who have felt the cold hand of abandonment after expressing conservative viewpoints. Ben Stein, writing for Fox News, notes:
Hollywood insiders routinely discriminate against conservatives, believing them to be untalented hacks and political barbarians undeserving of a paycheck. I spoke with top executives, writers, and producers in the industry who agreed that discrimination is common—and some even celebrated it.