It seems like every TV awards show these days – the Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys, Tonys, etc. – shows I used to enjoy and look forward to, are filled with liberals constantly spewing liberal propaganda. The political nature of these shows used to be limited to one outrageous comment or diatribe here or there, but it has steadily increased and become more visceral and brutal in recent years.
For such behavior, these celebrities are rewarded with diminishing award show ratings each and every year, like the Emmys this past weekend. Instead of moderating their political posturing during these shows to appeal to a more broad-based audience and help grow their profit margins, they instead rail against the very people who watch their TV shows and movies. In any other industry, this would be considered industrial suicide.
Hollywood scratches their collective heads and wonders why their hubris is not praised and rewarded by all. They are celebrities after all – the “right” people with the “right” views, the modern gods of our celebrity-obsessed culture we live in today. It’s clear though they just don’t care what more than half of America thinks, and are unwilling to try and understand why they couldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton, and instead voted for Donald Trump.
Let me say at the outset that I believe all Americans have the right to their opinions and should be able to express them, whether you’re a “celebrity” or not. This is one of the cherished hallmarks of our democracy. And there are many wonderful people in the entertainment industry that may pursue political activity with good intentions. Furthermore, I recognize that not everyone in the industry is liberal. Many of the tech and supporting crews may not share the same views as the actors they work with. But its undeniable that Hollywood political posturing is overwhelmingly liberal.
So how did Hollywood become so politically liberal and detached from mainstream America?
Hollywood is politically liberal due to three reasons. First, they are not political scientists and economists; they’re actors and actresses. They’re not recognized or rewarded in their industry for their knowledge of Keynes or Hayek, or of Paine or Burke. They’re talented because they have a unique gift in the theater arts and bring to life stories and characters in books or manuscripts.
Since many of them live and work in the land of “make-believe,” many find themselves yearning for more relevance or fulfillment in real life. Call it liberal guilt but many believe that because they make so much money and have so much influence, they should use their fame to give something back to the world. A noble cause – yes. But like any industry, they find themselves limited to the groupthink that dominates its industry circles.
That leads me to the second reason they are liberals – groupthink. The hierarchy of the entertainment industry is made up of powerful liberal executives that make and break careers for these people. Unlike other industries, you’re legally allowed to be refused a job based on your skin color, race, sex, political affiliation, or ethnicity, and there’s nothing they can do about it.
If you do not comply with the political zeitgeist, you will be ostracized from the industry. Just ask Stacey Dash, the famous Hollywood actress who was blacklisted because she tweeted out support for Mitt Romney in 2012. She wrote about it in her tell-all book There Goes My Social Life: From Clueless to Conservative.
Or look what happened this year when Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing TV show, which regularly praised Republicans and conservative heroes, like Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, was abruptly cancelled. It was the #2 comedy on ABC, but after Trump won the 2016 election, the show was mysteriously cancelled. When asked about the politics behind it, ABC execs gave a very cagey response to media inquiries.
The third and probably most important reason Hollywood has become more liberal is because of the transition of university film and theater studies programs emphasizing more subjective determination, rather than objective realization of art, or aesthetics. Stick with me here!
Aesthetics is the set of principles concerned with the nature and appreciation of beauty, especially in art. In the last two generations though, film schools and theater studies programs have shifted their focus from universal understandings of classical beauty, to a more post-modern subjectivity.
Instead of art revealing beauty in the classical objective sense (meaning we can ascertain shared universal forms of beauty), art has been reduced to only a subjective view or outcome (meaning that beauty can be discerned only by the individual, or that art is determined “art” by the artist alone). The latter can be gruesomely seen in Darren Aronofsky’s new movie mother!.
This is important to understand as the switch from objective to subjective determinism of art opens the door to politics or the current zeitgeist. Art merely becomes a tool to advance a political agenda or identity politics. Liberals tend to see the world through this lens and have been sacrificing the means for a desired politically motivated ends.
Don’t believe me, remember the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, the HBO Confederate show controversy, and even TV actress Issa Rae saying the night of the Emmys that she hopes only black people win? It would also allow a mediocre show like The Handmaid’s Tale (yeah, I said it) to win the Best TV Drama Series award because it was considered to be the anti-Trump show of the year. (This is Us, Better Call Saul, Westworld, and Stranger Things were all robbed, but that’s for another article!).
Not only does it just make bad art, bad movies, and bad TV shows, but it could be dangerous to a free and open society. Tucker Carlson did a great segment on the inherent dangers of this.
No doubt there are probably more intrinsic reasons why Hollywood is so liberal today, but consumers and conservatives do have a choice. Those that weave the hand of power in what we watch, hear, and read, will continue to influence our culture. If you want to begin to change this, you need to vote with your feet, wallet, and remote control.
To learn more about Hollywood’s abuses, read Ben Shapiro’s Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans.
Join CBC and get a free chapter of Ed Klein's new book, All Out War!