I think that now, we’re willing to pay Paris Hilton an enormous amount of money, just so long as she behaves like an idiot on film. And I think that most successful reality shows that have involved celebrities, who are no longer going on cattle-calls to be in sitcoms, are going on cattle-calls to be in reality series. And the ones that they choose to pick are the ones whose lives would be the most manifestly dysfunctional.
So I think that what you see now is an adversarial relationship between the audience and the celebrities themselves. The celebrities are rewarded out here for maintaining a certain political posture. And so, the more they talk up left-wing politics, the more they are going to warm up to the hiring infrastructure.
Hollywood is the one place where affirmative action really couldn’t work. If a casting director wanted to pick a black person who’s pregnant, who’s 32 to 33 years of age, they’re allowed to. You’re not allowed to do that kind of thing in the real world. And if you’re Woody Allen, you’re not going to get sued if you hire the same ten actors for all of your movies.
When Hollywood claims that there isn’t a blacklist, or there isn’t a chill, for people who disagree with them, well, you try being a conservative who has to appease the casting director, and appease the director and the producer, and the other actors that he or she is going to have to spend time with on a set, for three months at a time if it’s a movie, in close confines.
The disconnect is so great, that a George Clooney with his Good Night And Good Luck, is yet another Hollywood produced film that is conspicuously placed out there in the era of terror, in which the celebrities think that the Patriot Act and raw patriotism and jingoism is the worst thing that’s altering our lifestyle.
They’re trying to show that celebrities who pipe up on the War on Terror, who get hell on AM talk radio are experiencing the same type of backlash. Hollywood stars who speaking out want to present themselves as being martyrs of the “George Bush Terror Age.” But these people have to understand—or it has to be made plain to them—that they have created an environment in which it is as damaging to be a conservative in Hollywood in 2005, as it was to be a communist in Hollywood in 1955.
My father-in-law was blacklisted, and will attest to that. He’s still an actor in Hollywood, and he says that he has to be so quiet about being a conservative, that it’s more painful than it was when Ed Sullivan called him up and said that you couldn’t be on the Ed Sullivan Show.
Ed: Andrew, last question. Narnia is coming out at Christmas time. There’s talk that Bruce Willis is going to do a film that’s pro-Iraq War. Is there any hope that there will be more movies that appeal to Red State audiences, or is it just going to be pretty much more of the same going forward?
Andrew: There are some bright spots out there. I think that the brightest spot would be finding out that there are more conservatives making films that are just neutral topics, and are just making films to be just making films so that it can be completely integrated.
So that the idea of there being a niche market? OK, you’ve got your liberal Hollywood message films. Conservatives, start making yours, and let it compete out there the way that AM talk radio and Fox News and the Internet are competing with CNN. That certainly can happen, and I see a market need for something like that. But I think that ideal situation would be that there are liberals and there are conservatives in Hollywood who make films and who make sitcoms, and make product. I just don’t like this constantly stratified media, and if that happens in the film world, and you’ve got your Air America productions on the one hand, and you’ve got your Rush Limbaugh products on the other hand? We have our different media where we like to get things, but movies are one of the last places where we have a shared collective experience, and I think it would be horrible to think that there were ideological ghettos.