As a longtime (about 25 years) professional screenwriter, I find most writing about Hollywood and politics nonsense by outsiders -- and Carina Chocano's article is no exception. The entertainment industry is far too ruthless a business to worry about someone's political affiliation when casting or developing a film or television show. Ostracism on that level does not exist. The real reason that there are so few conservatives in Hollywood is much simpler: Most Republicans are not very creative.
-- Roger L. Simon
I always wondered why Bo Derek, who in numerous films has demonstrated no acting ability, was no longer a big star. Now I know. It isn't her breathtaking lack of acting talent but her -- before this year's Republican Convention unknown -- membership in the Republican Party.
As for Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger: The mind reels. You are suggesting that these two celebrities were damaged by publicly admitting to being Republicans? You mean they might have been big stars if it weren't for their political affiliations? How might I help out these two tragic figures? Do you have an address where I can send a donation?
Thanks for enlightening me on this burning political issue. I had no idea that movie stars lived under the burden of such appalling prejudice. Now I understand why there is almost always a critical shortage of actors.
-- Denise Tyrrell
My, how times have changed. These Hollywood movie stars hated all the McCarthy-like attitudes toward movie industry people during that Commie-hunting and -hating era of America. Now the shoe is on the other foot. Just try to be a conservative or even just leaning toward the Republican Party in Hollywood. See how far your career goes.
You have Rosie O'Donnell ambushing Tom Selleck on national TV about his NRA stance, but doesn't Rosie have bodyguards? I guess they carry water pistols. It doesn't surprise me that they all love the Clintons. They all have the same morals: Smoke your pot, snort your coke, swap your wives -- ho hum, another day in Hollywood.
The more movie stars I see line up for the liberal Democrats, the prouder I am to be a Republican.
-- Steve Montemuro
Hollywood, fearful of right-wing types forcing them into artistic shackles, throws money at Joseph Lieberman, who is grilling entertainment industry execs about the content of their films the very same day I read this article. Al Gore's wife Tipper led the charge to place the parental advisory stickers on countless CDs and tapes, all the while vilifying scores of artists as obscene or downright evil. (Try to find a copy of Frank Zappa's "Jazz From Hell," an instrumental album that got the explicit lyrics sticker initially.) Yet no one has brought this up in, oh, say, eight years.
-- John O'Brien
I was giving a phone interview for a fellowship to the American Film Institute in Hollywood when the interviewer asked, "Do you support Jim Doyle for governor of Wisconsin?" I replied that I wasn't aware that our current attorney general of Wisconsin was running. I also told her I was a supporter of our current governor, Tommy Thompson. Silence on the other end. I flew to Hollywood for an interview a few days later. Again my political views came up in the conversation. Needless to say, I was placed as an alternate for fall of 2000 admission. Not only can you not come out of the closet in Hollywood as a Republican, they will close the door before you can come in. Intolerance? You bet. It is the Democrats in Hollywood looking in the mirror.
-- Frank J. Romano