Hollywood conservatives are increasingly coming out of the closet and defying the McCarthyite bullying by the industry’s overwhelmingly leftist power brokers.
In a very interesting story about Hollywood and politics, The Weekly Standard notes that filmmaker David Zucker (Airplane!, The Naked Gun) is one of a growing number of openly conservative people in the Hollywood film and TV industry and that his forthcoming film, An American Carol, mocks a wide variety of leftist notions:
Zucker’s latest movie, An American Carol, is unlike anything that has ever come out of Hollywood. It is a frontal attack on the excesses of the American left from several prominent members of a growing class of Hollywood conservatives. Until now, conservatives in Hollywood have always been too few and too worried about a backlash to do anything serious to challenge the left-wing status quo. . . .
But Zucker’s film, together with a spike in attendance at events put on by "The Friends of Abe" (Lincoln, not Vigoda)–a group of right-leaning Hollywood types that has been meeting regularly for the past four years–is once again reviving hope that conservatives will have a battalion in this exceedingly influential battleground of the broader culture war.
Zucker, a Wisconsinite, was raised in a leftist family and retained those political views in adulthood. In the 1980s, however, he began an evolution away from the left, which became complete in the year 2001:
Zucker was still nominally a Democrat when George W. Bush was elected in 2000. "Then 9/11 happened, and I couldn’t take it anymore," he says. "The response to 9/11–the right was saying this is pure evil we’re facing and the left was saying how are we at fault for this? I think I’d just had enough. And I said ‘I quit.’"
His new film, An American Carol, "is based loosely–very loosely–on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens," the story by Stephen Hayes notes:
The holiday in An American Carol is not Christmas and the antagonist is not Ebenezer Scrooge. Instead, the film follows the exploits of a slovenly, anti-American filmmaker named Michael Malone, who has joined with a left-wing activist group (Moovealong.org) to ban the Fourth of July. Along the way, Malone is visited by the ghosts of three American heroes–George Washington, George S. Patton, and John F. Kennedy–who try to convince him he’s got it all wrong. When terrorists from Afghanistan realize that they need to recruit more operatives to make up for the ever-diminishing supply of suicide bombers, they begin a search for just the right person to help produce a new propaganda video. "This will not be hard to find in Hollywood," says one. "They all hate America." When they settle on Malone, who is in need of work after his last film (Die You American Pigs) bombed at the box office, he unwittingly helps them with their plans to launch another attack on American soil.
Hayes notes that the lead actor in the film, Kevin Farley (younger brother of the late comedian Chris Farley), is, like Zucker, a political conservative who was afraid to let the filmmakers know his politics, lest they not want him for the job.
Also appearing in the film: Jon Voight (an acknowledged supporter of Republican John McCain for president), Dennis Hopper (a former hippie type whose work has clearly shown rightist influences over the years), James Woods (a Catholic who seems to be right of center without being pushy about it), Kelsey Grammer (openly a Republican and a political conservative), and the tough-guy character actor Robert Davi (whom the article quotes as despising Keith Olberman and articulating strong politically conservative views).
The article includes a hilarious anecdote from Grammer:
Grammer, who is friends with Ann Coulter, says he quoted her once to some of the young people who work for him.
"’Ann Coulter,’" he says, recalling their horror and assuming their voice. "’She’s the antichrist.’ And I said: ‘What the f– do you know about the antichrist? You don’t even believe in Christ.’"
Farley’s willingness to step up and admit his political conservatism is an interesting object lesson: there are probably many more conservatives in Hollywood than it seems, and many more who would be open to a right-of-center point of view if the left were not so powerful there and so willing to engage in McCarthyite bullying tactics to keep people in line politically.
In fact, the story notes, "The more Zucker is known as a conservative, the more frequently he has encounters with others who consider themselves conservative."
The left will not give in easily, however. The story includes a powerful example of the McCarthyite tactics of Hollywood’s leftist bullies and their cowardly helpers:
Lee Reynolds . . . is a conservative. . . . Reynolds was active duty military for 12 years and shortly after 9/11 worked as the chief media officer for detainee operations at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
When he returned, he took a job as a production assistant on a film–he asked me not to name it–shot in several locations across the United States. Reynolds worked hard and, he says, won the confidence of the film’s directors, who gave him more responsibility. But just as he was making a name for himself, word began to spread that he had been in the military and, far worse, that he supported the efforts of his uniformed colleagues in the war on terror.
"Once they found out I was a Republican, unfortunately for some people it was a problem," he recalls. Several people who had talked to him regularly throughout the shoot simply stopped. And a trip that he was to have taken to participate in an offsite shoot across the country was abruptly cancelled. Another person was sent in his place. Reynolds says that he had only two colleagues who treated him the same way they had before, including "an anti-Bush lesbian" who was disgusted by the dogmatism of the others on the film.
All it takes to break such domination is for a few people, equipped with the ordinary amount of courage alloted to the average human being, to stand up to the bullies. Others of less stern stuff will soon see that it’s all right to reject the regnant political culture of Hollywood and, gasp, think for themselves.
Revolutions are made of that sort of stuff.