Can Hollywood create fair and balanced films about conservative figures? Sadly, history says no.
If the entertainment industry is known for anything, it will be for its championing and promoting of left leaning ideals. This is not a bad thing, and has seen many a righteous cause given power and acceptance among the community.
Yet where there is praise there must also be damnation, and in the vast vestiges of Hollywood villains, the Right have been beaten black and blue many a time.
Prime target for such a beating is former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. Here is a woman who embodies everything that Hollywood despises: Republican, evangelical Christian, anti-Gay rights, pro hunting, anti-abortion. Comedienne Tina Fey successfully lampooned her in a series of skits of Saturday Night Live. Matt Damon publicly ridiculed her religious beliefs as unfit for the White House. Sandra Bernhard openly wished that Palin be raped in retaliation for her views on abortion.
Now, HBO (that venue of classy entertainment) will make a movie about Palin, with Oscar nominated actress Julianne Moore set to portray the popular conservative figure. It is curious casting, given that Moore is openly vocal in her support for marriage and abortion.
Said Palin of the film: "Well, I am all about job creation, and I guess I could provide some of these gals who pretend like they're me some job security. I would ask, though, that -- if they're of the mind of spreading the wealth around -- that perhaps they want to spring for one of my kid's braces or something as they capitalize on pretending to be me."
Should we expect the worst type of portrayal, given the subject, the actress, and the industry? If history is any indication, than the answer would be “yes”.
Ever since the late 1960s where change was found within the film industry and society as a whole, conservatives have been ridiculed at an increasing rate. Republicans especially have been tagged as public enemy no.1, no doubt due to the dubious nature of the Richard Nixon administration and others that followed.
Democrats, however, are praised to the point of worship. John F. Kennedy has especially been portrayed as a slain king void of fault and pure of heart, despite his less than stellar track record which has seen his legacy embroiled in adultery and poor foreign policy, such as the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Vietnam war (yes, it was a Democrat administration that first pledged military support to that war).
Even today criticism of Kennedy and his clan is met with aggression, with The History Channel dumping a TV mini-series starring Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes, due to so called “historical inaccuracies”. Had the series been about the Reagan or Bush families, there is no doubt that any faults would stay under the cannon of “dramatic license”.
Harvey Milk, another popular liberal figure, also had a biopic made about him named Milk. Yet it side stepped the openly gay politicians known alliance with Jim Jones, the cult leader who would go on to lead his followers in a mass suicide. Yet such is the entertainment industry and the media’s willingness to look blindly at the flaws of their champions.
Fictional characters are just as bad, with special mention to political movies The American President and The Contender. Both films were made by openly democratic figures, and of course featured Democrat presidents contending with dastardly Republicans, with Richard Dreyfuss (a lifelong democrat) relishing playing such a caricature in The American President, which was written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Rob Reiner.
Gary Oldman, however, publicly lambasted how his film The Contender turned into a Democrat propaganda piece. Not surprisingly, the film was released under the Dreamworks banner which is owned by Democrat devotes Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen.
And so on and on it goes. Whether fiction or biopic, conservatives are lambasted while the left are lauded. Even films outside the political realm aren’t unscathed. Just look at the films of Woody Allen where conservatives are often the butt of jokes.
Granted, not a frame of the HBO produced Palin biopic has been shot. Yet considering the political stance of the figure, the actress playing her, the nature of HBO, and the history of conservative caricature in the entertainment industry, then a slanderous film is sure to await us.