So, I’m sitting in a meeting at a cable network. I have been hired to write a movie about a famous conservative radio talk show host. It’s a no-brainer for the network. They see huge ratings; they see tons of publicity. I’m a safe choice as a writer because I’ve won an Emmy Award, so they have official validation that I’m reasonably talented. I’m also that Hollywood rarity: a screenwriter who meets his deadlines. I have written a twelve page outline and now, before I write my first draft, the studio wants to make sure that I hit certain hot-point issues.
The problem with this project is that the radio talk show host I’m writing about is a conservative and everyone in the room is a liberal; more accurately, radical liberals.
Everyone but me.
But I have to keep that little fact a secret. Because if they knew that I am a Republican I would not work in Hollywood. I would not get hired for anything.
I know a writer who has a nasty heroin habit, but he works pretty regularly. I know another writer who is a cross dresser. He also works regularly. They are considered a) a victim, and b) courageous. I don’t know many Republicans who are out of the closet. There are a few, but most of us are quiet about our political beliefs. In my case, it’s even more complicated because I’m a religious Jew. And let me tell you, Hollywood hates religion. Unless it’s maybe Buddhism, something totally non-threatening and non violent a religion where men get to wear saffron robes. Hollywood people, for the most part, are Wahabi secularists. If people found out that I am a Republican and Shomer Shabbos Jew, well I don’t even want to consider the consequences. Blacklisted? It’s not out of the realm.
Hollywood people like to feel that they are compassionate. But their compassion is usually only reserved for leftists, or totally self-destructive losers. When my son Ariel died, only two Hollywood people came to the shiva house: my agent, a wonderful woman who is like my big sister, and a young director who I helped get his start in the business. Someone once said to me, “You have to understand, Robert, Ariel died from cancer. It was not a fashionable death like AIDS.” You see, Ariel’s death just made my Hollywood acquaintances uncomfortable. And so, they disappeared. If Ariel had died, God forbid, from a drug overdose or from some sexually transmitted disease, well, the shiva house would have been a total Hollywood party. This is not an exaggeration.
We Republicans are considered The Other. It’s not unusual to sit in a Hollywood meeting where the first ten minutes are taken up with amazingly sophisticated chit-chat on the current world scene. The dialogue goes something like this:
“Bush is a Nazi.”
“Bush is a moron.”
“Bush is ruining our relations with France.”
“The election was stolen.”
“What about the Peace Process?”
“I can understand suicide bombers in Israel–what choice do they have?”
That my ears have not spouted blood is something of a miracle.
Consider that all these executives are graduates of Ivy League colleges. Really, I have to wonder, what did they pick up in Yale, Columbia and Princeton? Their parents paid several hundred thousand dollars in tuition fees so that their little darlings could learn to hate this country, to despise the spread of democracy and freedom, and to have contempt for hard working people who have religious faith.
Hollywood liberals claim multi-culturalism as an absolute value–but their multiculturalism only applies to color. I recently sat in a meeting with a group of executives: men and women, white, Asian, black, homosexual and lesbian; they congratulated themselves on their diversity. But there was nothing diverse about that group at all. They were carbon copies of one another: all radical liberals, all with the same political and social beliefs, all in favor of higher taxes, all in favor of big government, all in favor of a foreign policy of isolation, all in favor of banning private gun ownership, all militantly in favor of homosexual marriage. All of them express contempt for “family values.” I made the mistake of asking if there were any Republicans in the room–in the name of diversity. I mean, if you claim to be diverse, shouldn’t that extend to something as elemental as political beliefs. They looked at me blankly. “No, no republicans. We are all nice people here,” said one of the well groomed execs.”
And so there it is, the ultimate expression of liberal thought: Republicans are not nice. Talk about a Manichean view of the world.
I did not bother pointing out that their claim of diversity only extended to skin color. I did not point out that their claim of diversity was, in fact, much closer to Nazi ideology for it was based solely upon blood. It was a room filled with people steeped in a Marxist, Materialist belief in the cycles of history. The transcendent is dismissed out of hand.
I said nothing because I need to keep working. I said nothing because they would not understand what I was saying anyway. These people live in such a rarefied atmosphere that you will find more open discussion in a black hat Beis Midrash than in the average Hollywood executive suite.
It’s an odd existence. I am surrounded by some of the most intolerant, close-minded people a democracy has ever spawned. It is no wonder that most Hollywood films do not connect with the mass audience. For in truth, the people who run Hollywood have contempt for most of America. If you live in an air conditioned world, well you make air conditioned movies.
The meeting is over. One of the executives, an extremely beautiful woman, asks me if I’d like to go out for a drink. I tell her that I have to get home, that my wife is waiting for me. “Your wife, oh, do you have children?
“Yes, three, but our son died.”
The beautiful executive literally steps backwards. It’s as if she’s afraid of being contaminated.
“I’m so sorry,” she says as she adjusts to this unexpected turn of conversation.
I should have kept my mouth shut.
“I’m so sorry, really,” she says again.
I shrug. What can I say?
“Well, maybe we’ll have lunch sometime. I’ll have my secretary call.”
She forces a smile to her face. Mumbles something about time healing all wounds.
I drive home and I practically fall into Karen’s arms.