Recent ‘cancellations’ of talented Hollywood performers such as Clint Eastwood, The Mandalorian star Gina Carano, or famous cancellation of Sacheen Littlefeather has raised important and sad questions about the state of the once prestigious Hollywood, a jewel of the global and American economies. A recent decline in Hollywood awards celebrations viewership, as noted by Nick Adams, suggests that the American general public is also losing interest in Hollywood celebrity culture.
The banning and censoring advocated by many in Hollywood elite circles is now appearing to the general public for what it truly is, hypocrisy at the highest echelons of our society.
However, this raises the question, what is actually the political makeup of Hollywood? As we are led to believe, is Hollywood a monolithic bastion of liberal elitism? Or are their pockets of Conservative, Democratic-Republicanism in Hollywood who may not choose to raise their voices as much as liberal celebrities? The answer is the likely the latter. Why are those voices not yet heard?
As most well know, Hollywood is a small, closed network of corporate conglomerates with a very specific and focused agenda in Washington D.C. That agenda has long been affirmed by the moderate Democratic establishment, and mirrors the agenda of corporate finance, with the following planks:
- Hollywood prefers politicians that reaffirm existing distribution pathways for media and information. It is no surprise that the populist conservative message, which employed organic, social media distribution to fuel its rise and its message was an unwelcome development to the Hollywood establishment. Why? Hollywood obtains its primary power through singular control and ownership of distribution pathways. Hollywood is largely structured as only a handful of corporate conglomerates who control media distribution ranging from book publishing to film and television distribution. Control over the distribution pathways means that Hollywood elites can ‘jam’ their signal onto multiple media channels at once. When a group of individuals, especially with a corporate agenda that does not align with Hollywood liberalism utilizes alternative media distribution to compete, Hollywood elites immediately use all ammo at their disposal to delegitimize their competitors.
Make no mistake, Hollywood is not a virtuous bastion of fairness and equality as their media distribution channels would have you believe. Rather, these are simply ‘tactics’ employed by corporate conglomerates to maintain control of their political agenda, which is essential to their long-term financial success.
Most Americans, except for savvy conservatives who have long seen through Hollywood ‘tactics’ of media control, will not recognize how the same Hollywood message may come from two, three, or even more separate distribution pathways that are all owned and controlled by the same corporate interest, i.e. the same political agenda.
If you are unaware of how highly concentrated corporate media truly is in today’s economy, then you may interpret this messaging as a ‘Wizard of Oz’ scenario. In a ‘Wizard of Oz’ scenario, one individual hears the same messaging from multiple outlets and immediately assigns more credibility to that message because of its perceived reputation.
This is how modern Hollywood works. They take the same corporate messaging and apply to it films, music, promotional media, and the public relations efforts of celebrities. The unsuspecting American does not realize that all of this messaging is coming from the same corporate executives, all utilizing a different ‘mask’ for their own distribution.
For example, Jimmy Kimmel is expected to disseminate the same corporate political agenda as Rachel Maddow. As corporate America begins to expose or unmask their unbridled political agenda in D.C., the American general public will naturally begin to see through their intentions and motivations. This is clearly what is happening as Hollywood ratings plummet to depths that have never been seen before.
- What is the political agenda of Hollywood in D.C.? Hollywood has some core planks that they need politicians to support to drive their success. First, Hollywood and their tentacles of media and information distribution, must be reaffirmed constantly and at all costs. Simply put, it is where Hollywood derives their power. For example, if a politician uses a talk show to disseminate their messaging to the general public, then that pleases Hollywood. If they use the book publisher of a major media conglomerate to publish their memoirs, again they have effectively struck a multi-million-dollar business relationship with one subsidiary of the same media conglomerate. Just look at who published Obama’s memoir.
From a policymaking standpoint, Hollywood needs highly regulated information distribution markets. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission), for example, has historically overstepped their regulatory oversight authority to punish organic information dissemination channels. We all remember the fight from the corporate media establishment against ‘Napster’ and associated streaming services. Politicians who supported more organic media and information distribution were wiped from the D.C. political map by corporate media interests.
This has had a horrific effect on how quickly media can innovate in an online or digital economy. Isn’t it surprising that corporate media conglomerates never adopted streaming services until after services such as Spotify or Netflix proved the market successful, yet when the American general public was clamoring for these services? The slow adoption of innovation by these conglomerates has wreaked havoc on American media and its impact across the world.
A second key plank of the big media agenda in Washington is to continually define the standards of celebrity success. There is a reason why Hollywood always virtue-signals but has some of the most prolific cases of sexual assault or discrimination. Hollywood needs to control the American general public’s opinion about who or what is deemed ‘sexy’ or ‘marketable.’ If Hollywood tastes and preferences do not align with the general public then Hollywood must step in through high-profile virtue-signaling that aligns the American general public with Hollywood trends for music, television, and film. If it just so happens that liberalism is appealing to a certain monetizable demographic, then Hollywood will prime the pump with liberal ideology to capitalize on consumption.
Lastly, Hollywood is very threatened by social media distribution. Traditional media relies on such a tight control over the ‘airwaves,’ or any pathway of information dissemination, whereas any political movement that creates their own documentary films, for example, will be smeared by Hollywood as illegitimate simply because they are directly competing for an audience with established media.
- Hollywood relies on only a few celebrities or projects succeeding. So those who have carved out successful media platforms by building their own websites or publicizing their content on YouTube are again seen as direct competitors to Hollywood. Hollywood makes the bulk of its media success on just a handful of talented ‘acts’ for each domain of content production. The top twenty or thirty musicians throughout the year are all billion-dollar franchises with extraordinary global reach. Competitors from organic media outlets collectively are the greatest source of threat to the Hollywood ‘big media’ distribution model.
Social media channels are forced by Hollywood to ‘play-ball’ by reaffirming major Hollywood ‘acts.’ If social media channels do not, then Hollywood engineers are ‘hostile-takeover’ by leveraging their ‘acts’ against these platforms. And those ‘acts’ that dare speak up against discrimination in Hollywood, such as Cardi B, will inevitably get slapped-down by their corporate overlords.
Now that the Hollywood establishment is weakened, it is time for Conservative members of the industry to speak up and speak out against these practices. Hollywood is clearly failing and floundering in a global media environment. The incorporation of different political voices, and even a different political agenda, will only make Hollywood more successful and restore its long-lost prominence across the globe as a source of inspiration and innovation.
By: William Scholz
William E. Scholz is a conservative from Pennsylvania. His first book, published at the height of pandemic bail-outs, argues for a renovation to the world financial order, and is currently available via his publishing company Dignified Publishing. You can follow him on Twitter @wstweetsnews.