When a liberal outlet like The Hollywood Reporter posts a piece about The New McCarthyism in Hollywood, you know something is up.
It might not be about people being called out for being “Communist.” Quite the opposite—it’s a report on the trials and tribulations of being right-wing in a predominantly and aggressively left-wing Tinseltown. But that’s not news to me or any other formerly (or still) closeted conservative in Hollywood.
It’s not news either to the ones that have been “out” awhile. Hollywood has of course long been anti-conservative and vehemently anti-Republican for quite some time. It’s simply “understood” that if you want to work in the entertainment industry, you have to keep your mouth SHUT if you go against the status quo which is unremittingly liberal and pro-Democrat.
But more recently—specifically since Donald Trump became President—this anti-Conservative, anti-Republican sentiment has reached fever pitch. For all the individual controversies revolving around the mindless celebrity comments about Trump, the mindset is shifting even further left.
The Hollywood liberal majority aren’t just against all things conservative or Trump, they are now increasingly unable to suppress violent rage over it.
Woe be to those like me who have “come out.” And closeted Conservatives? They are more tight-lipped than ever, cowering in the dark corners of their closets.
The actor Tim Allen recently told Jimmy Kimmel,“You gotta be real careful around here. You get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody else believes. This is like ’30s Germany.” Of course it’s not as bad as Nazi Germany. Conservatives aren’t being imprisoned, beaten up or having their homes torched. Not yet.
But there are other ways the wrath of Hollywood liberals is imposed upon conservative transgressors. There are stars, like Allen himself, whose jobs are pretty safe—they’re successful, established, and enjoy box office success and/or high TV ratings.
Take Vince Vaughn—a known Libertarian Republican and consistently successful actor or even Mel Gibson, who despite everything, still possess significant box office clout. Studio execs probably hold their noses and try to keep themselves from gagging when deciding whether to distribute Gibson’s next film but they do so because they stand a high chance of getting a good return on their investments.
But the rest of us Hollywood conservatives lower down the food chain don’t fare as well. Anyone with Conservative beliefs, and worst yet anyone who even lightly supports Trump, isn’t so lucky. We are outed and shamed… and increasingly blackballed.
Consider the recent pressure being brought to bear from leftist activists who have made a list of stars on the right—some of whom aren’t even that Republican, like Matthew McConaughey—that we are all now supposed to boycott. Hollywood’s love of the outsider doesn’t extend to being a Trump supporter.
On a more personal level, a conservative actress friend told me recently that her Bernie Sanders-supporting actor boyfriend said to her, “You gotta lay off supporting Trump. Don’t be so vocal about your beliefs on Facebook. I had someone ask me the other day if you voted for Trump—I lied for you. Do yourself a favor, don’t talk about it anymore. I’m under fire just knowing you. I don’t want to lose my chance of work in Hollywood either.”
Last month conservative actor Robert Davi posed an “Oscars Challenge” in an open letter to Hollywood elites. A showbiz associate of mine posted the link on Facebook and then added (and I paraphrase to protect him): “To all my friends and associates in Hollywood: Do NOT hire or work with this despicable racist Robert Davi! “
Hopefully he saw the error of his ways as he took the posting down but his intent was clear: Blackball this actor who goes against the Hollywood liberal agenda.
Then there was another friend of mine, the talented late movie director George Hickenlooper who directed Factory Girl and Casino Jack. George told me that before he “publicly” joined the Democrat party, he had one incident where he was slated to direct the movie Disturbia- which went onto star Shia La Boeuf and be directed by D.J. Caruso- until the producer found out he was a registered Republican, and he was out. After he became a Democrat? The projects came his way thick and fast. And that was before the Trump era.
An even more sinister example of the anti-conservative atmosphere was the news a closet conservative leaked in Hollywood. This unnamed A-List Hollywood star wrote an open letter saying that, “Hollywood Elite executives have ordered stars not to show any public support for President Donald Trump or they will end their careers.”
The actor claims he is “fighting from the inside” because he and “hundreds of other Trump supporters in Hollywood” cannot openly declare their support for their president because it will “breach our contracts… at the very minimum we will be forever blacklisted.“
As an actress in this business you find anti-conservative, anti-Trump commentary everywhere you turn.
From flippant comments at parties, auditions or screenings about what an a**hole Trump is and how he is destroying the country, to the “Grab her by the p*ssy/ orange cheeto is a racist/fascist” comments re-posted endlessly on social media.
It’s hard to know how many actors I meet really believe what they’re saying. A few have come clean to me, but most are happy to be in their Hollywood bubble, within the echo-chamber of fellow progressives.
They are quick to judge any dissenting viewpoint which shocks or horrifies them. A person who thinks or says otherwise, is insulted, ganged up upon, “unfriended” and sometimes even threatened. As another conservative actor put it: coming clean with one’s conservatism in Hollywood is like being “…excommunicated from the house of tolerance.”
It’s brave for any conservative in this business to openly state their beliefs since they know they are risking their entire career. Most conservatives in Hollywood are probably tempted to take the easy road and join in bashing the President with their peers.
But when your livelihood and your career is threatened versus coming clean with your core belief—a theme in so many classic movies as it happens—what do you do? Most opt to save their careers. It’s certainly an uncomfortable place to be on a daily basis.
The awkwardness is sometimes exacerbated by the fact the political probing is subtle. I met a big time manager fairly recently. The meeting was going really well, until his probing question: “Did you see the latest Michael Moore film?” followed by some disparaging comments about “the other side.”
When I didn’t excitedly join in the fun and laugh at the idiot Republicans, nor admit I had already seen it, nor wanted to…. he outed me. Yep, he knew. I was “one of them.” That was the end of the interview. Of course I never heard from him after that. Presumably he filed me away as “untouchable.”
The bias also runs deep with many writers in Hollywood. At least once a week I see a script with a character breakdown with the keywords: “White woman, conservative, racist, bigoted Christian, hates immigrants…etc.” It’s so tiresome.
The leftist media have spent years—decades even—making out that conservatives are evil. The Hollywood majority have fully bought into that line of thinking and the leftist agenda.
I’m hoping that Hollywood will do as it’s always telling others to do and belatedly embrace diversity—a diversity of opinion.
Otherwise anyone out there care to start a new Hollywood? A conservative friendly one? One that doesn’t discriminate because of political views but hires upon merit and talent?
One that caters to the other half of the country and the world outside the progressive bubble? I can but hope. In the meantime, I stand in solidarity with my fellow Hollywood Conservatives—in the closet and out.