July 26, 2005

Hollywood's Problem

Michael Medved writes in USA Today about the "Hollywood Disconnect". According to Medved, the decline in box office sales is largely the result of Hollywood not understanding the "values" of most of America including religion. I don't think that the problem is a lack of more films like "Passion of the Christ". Americans may be largely religious, but historically, Hollywood has done just fine by offering escapism - not religious indoctrination.

I do, however, agree with Medved that the partisanship of Hollywood has caused Hollywood big problems:

Revealingly, none of the studio honchos talked about reconnecting with the public by adjusting the values conveyed by feature films, and replacing the industry's shrill liberal posturing with a more balanced ideological perspective. Something clearly changed between 2004 and 2005 to cause an abrupt drop-off at the box office, and the most obvious alteration involved Hollywood's role in the bitterly fought presidential election. The entertainment establishment embraced John Kerry with near unanimity — and bashed George W. Bush with unprecedented ferocity. Michael Moore became an industry hero and the most visible symbol of the Hollywood left. Innumerable callers to my radio show expressed resentment at the strident partisanship of top stars; no one ever complained about the lack of 3-D digital projection or alcoholic beverages at concession stands. Despite efforts by entertainer activists, a majority of voters cast their ballots for Bush. If even a minority of those 62 million GOP voters — say, 20% — reacted to Hollywood's electioneering by shunning the multiplex, it could easily account for the sharp decline in ticket sales after Bush's re-election.

Americans may be "celebrity-obsessed", but most Americans - Democrats and Republicans - resent being told how to think or vote (especially by "artists" that more often than not dropped out of high school or college).

It would be one thing if it were only campaigning for one candidate over the other. The more that actors such as Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins or Sean Penn slandered George Bush, the more that many staunch Republicans came to resent them...

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