Movies: Democrats Prefer Criminals, Don't Mind Paying Too Much If It Helps Their Self-Esteem

Interesting piece in the Hollywood Reporter on how Republicans and Democrats approach Hollywood entertainment differently. Republicans are more likely to avoid movies with outspokenly political stars, but Democrats dig crime sprees. And if it makes them feel better about themselves, they’re perfectly happy paying more to see the same movie everyone else sees. Both of those points of view carry over into politics — think “Free Mumia” and Democrats views on taxation and the effectiveness of government programs.


Democrats are bigger moviegoers This is likely fueled by Hollywood’s reputation — among both parties — for churning out movies that promote liberalism (Avatarwas named by the most moviegoers as having a liberal agenda). During the past six months, Democrats have seen on average 5.7 movies in a theater, while Republicans have seen fewer than four.

Republicans are more likely to wait for home video Democrats are likelier to see movies on opening weekend, while GOP members prefer waiting it out. Republicans assume their values will be assaulted onscreen — so why pay the big bucks? — while Democrats embrace pop culture more and want to be “in the know,” says Penn.

Republicans prefer family films; Democrats like edge From hundreds of Oscar winners and classics, Republicans were far more likely to name as favorites The Sound of Music and It’s a Wonderful Life; Democrats favored Bonnie and Clyde and The Silence of the Lambs. Among recent films, Republicans were likelier to choose Soul Surfer and Secretariat. Democrats? The Social Network, Bad Teacher and Easy A.

Bad Teacher? The trailer was barely watchable…

Republicans tsk-tsk sex, violence and cursing While majorities of both parties think movies contain too much of all those, the numbers are greater for Republicans. A majority of Democrats think Hollywood films are generally inspiring and morally uplifting; a majority of Republicans don’t.

Democrats think America is portrayed well While 62 percent of Dems say Hollywood shows America in a positive light, only 39 percent of Republicans concur. And 44 percent of Republicans think Hollywood portrays the U.S. military negatively, but only 21 percent of Democrats agree. “Typically, when you see a movie, it will reflect a Democrat’s values,” says Penn. “Republicans aren’t getting the films they want.”

Not everything about movies is partisan Dems and Republicans say comedy is their favorite genre, popcorn is their favorite theater snack, Forrest Gump is their preferred blockbuster and Indiana Jones is their favorite action hero.


At least we can all agree on Indiana Jones. But “morally uplifting.” I can think of many two-word phrases to describe today’s entertainment, but that’s not one of them.


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