After the spate of left coast celebrities and pop culture entertainers who were making videos trying to overturn the Electoral College, campaigning for Hillary Clinton and boycotting the inauguration, there was at least one bright side to the aftermath of the 2016 election for conservatives. Once and for all the entire world could, at a minimum, agree on the entrenched, transparent, liberal makeup of Hollywood. I mean, at this point there’s no sane person left who could argue that point, right? Enter LA Times television critic Mary McNamara. I felt it was worth a moment during the NFL wildcard weekend to to direct your attention to one of the most oddly named (and poorly timed) opinion pieces of the current era: The notion of a liberal agenda in Hollywood is absurd
After making fun of the idea that film and television are obsessing too much about things like transgender rights and how many black actors got Oscar nominations, McNamara goes on to mockingly ask the question of how Hollywood could have failed to grasp the concerns of “real Americans.” (Those are her scare quotes, not mine.) You know… the ones who obsess over Rust Belt unemployment, guns and borders. How could they be so out of step with the rest of the country? (Emphasis added)
The answer is they weren’t and aren’t. Because there is no notion more thoroughly absurd than that of Hollywood’s liberal agenda.
Although many members of the entertainment industry espouse, often publicly, a left-leaning political slant, Hollywood is still dominated by white men who prefer to make movies and television shows that revolve around other white men — men beset by feelings of alienation, who often wield guns, who fight (or represent) corrupt government, and generally attempt to survive and/or save a world run amok.
Across galaxies, through the centuries, in every genre imaginable.
For every film that does not revolve around such a lead character, there are 78 others that do, just as for every series that features a transgender character, there are 8,000 that do not.
Mary continues from there to explain that a bunch of rich white guys makes films that don’t feature enough non-white, female, gay, transgender or otherwise “underserved” people. This, apparently, is proof that Hollywood and its general culture can’t possibly be liberal leaning. I’ll just wait here for a moment while you pick your collective jaws up off the floor.
The problem which Ms. McNamara is failing to grasp here is that the movies and television shows are being made by people pushing a liberal message but who are unrepentant hypocrites. Trust me… the two are not mutually exclusive in any way, shape or form. Yes, the producers and cash cows who control which films and television shows get made and who appears in them do indeed seem to be a bunch of racist, misogynistic, homophobic antisemites. But that doesn’t mean that the products they put out aren’t simply dripping with the “values” they pretend to espouse.
Do we really need to look any further than the metric buttload of money they sank into Miss Sloane this year? The “artsy” movies which are always shoved through just in time for awards season (otherwise known as the ones which generally nobody saw) are reliably delivered as lessons to conservatives from their betters on how a perfect world would actually operate. Even in some of the major blockbusters which actually do turn a profit, such as Avatar, the underlying messages about the evils of capitalism and the heartless nature of progress ring clear. They’ve even managed to ruin the superhero, action genre at this point, and those used to be the only ones that people would actually pay full price to go see in the theater.
So this is one of those rare cases where two seemingly incongruous facts can exist side by side. Hollywood is full of liberals who take no prisoners in their public condemnation of capitalism and all things conservative. But at the same time they exist inside an industry run by hypocrites who are focused on making as much money as possible. So how did the LA Times television critic manage to miss this?
Perhaps it’s not all that hard to understand how Ms. McNamara could swing so far astray. If I asked you to summon up some stereotypical bastion of liberalism there are three things which would likely be at the top of most of your lists: The media, The Hollywood movie or television complex and California. When you find yourself being a person in California working for the Los Angeles Times with the specific job of covering Hollywood full time, well… you may as well be Picard trapped in the Borg cube.