Saturday, 8 October 2011

Proof that being a Hollywood lefty can harm your career

Earlier this year I wrote a post about film critic Michael Medved’s 1992 book, Hollywood vs. America, in which he pointed out Hollywood’s illogical penchant for churning out anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-authority, feel-bad, liberal-left movies when box offices figures suggested that a sizable portion of the audience would flock to pro-America, feel-good, conservative-minded movies in which Christian values were respected.

Now there’s proof that many American conservatives and right-wingers boycott films because of the political views of the actors who appear in them. 

Oxford historian, Dr Tim Stanley, writing in the Telegraph today, points toa new piece of research from the Hollywood Reporter which suggests that movie actors who espouse liberal causes are harming box office receipts. Many Republican voters simply refuse to go and see films starring certain mouthy lefties. Top of the Unpops is a non-actor - well, his forte is fiction, but he’s not an actor.Step forward, Michael Moore! Sixty percent of Republicans say “thanks, fatso, but no thanks”. (Mind you, a whopping 21% of Democrats can’t stand the creep either.) With his winning personality, good looks and reputation for journalistic probity, perhaps it’s not surprising that Moore’s last fib-fest earned 85% less than his biggest hit, the disgusting Farenheit 9/11. Next, in order of rebarbativeness, come Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg and Sean Penn (hurrah!), who are all in the 40% plus box office poison bracket.

Name me one of them who has had a genuine hit film – as opposed to toadying reviews from left-liberal critics – for years. Okay, Hanoi Jane’s getting a bit long in the tooth, but Sean Penn should be in his thespianic prime. They can shower him with awards and critical acclaim – but they can’t actually force us to go and see his films (mind you, if the Democrats get in again, they’ll probably legislate on the issue).

Democrats have their pet hates too, but liberals are far more liberal about who they’re willing to pay to see. Mel Gibson tops their list – but scores 4% less than any of the above-mentioned bleeding hearts. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger, a former Republican governor, can only manage a 30% stay-away rating. Tom Cruise is on 27%, but the next two raving Rightists – Kelsey Grammer and Jon Voight - can’t struggle out of the teens.

Forrest Gump is both sets of supporters’ favourite kick-back movie, and Indiana Jones tops both action hero lists. An anomaly is that the Bournespy movies are twice as popular with Republicans (which might change their mind now that Matt Damon has revealed himself to be yet another dreary off-the-shelf libtard - and Morgan Freeman better watch, having just accused the Tea Party of hating Obama because, of course, they;re all racists). 

Almost two-thirds of Republicans feel America is portrayed negatively by Hollywood (the 39% who disagree must suffer from learning difficulties). 62% of Democrats believe movies treat America positively – but, when nearly every film is a Party Political Broadcast for their side, I’m surprised the figure’s that low.

Finally, here’s an interesting fact – Republicans visit the cinema far less often than Democrats. That’s because they assume that most films will attack their values, and they prefer DVDs (presumably so they can fast-forward through the anti-American diatribes).  

Hollywood’s in deep financial trouble right now (aren’t we all, dear!). Maybe it’s time for executives – and actors – to start asking themselves how they’re going to set about inveigling the 52% of Republican voters who say they avoid films because of one of its stars’ political views back to the cinema. Funny that two of the actors mentioned as paying supportive visits to the Wall Street protests – Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins – are both in dire need of a hit movie. Maybe their careers wouldn’t have nosedived if they hadn’t both spent so much time making it clear that they consider a sizable portion of their potential audience to be evil, stupid and uncompassionate.

Studio executives, please take note.

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