Monday, December 30, 2019


North Korea threatens bombs for the holidays but Hollywood really delivers.

Hollywood progressives are not going to allow a small and backward Asian country to get all the attention with holiday bomb threats. While certainly the Trump/Kim Jong-un summits should create a buzz with Oscar-worthy performances, Hollywood continues to do more real damage by boring millions of Americans to death with yet another left-wing, political, “statement” movie, “Bombshell.”

Thus far the box office calculus is that “Bombshell” equals bomb. The movie can be tossed onto the scrap heap with many other shock-and-yawn efforts like “Vice” or the (please, not a second season) TV miniseries “The Loudest Voice,” as cartoon-like caricatures attempting to spotlight the bad behavior of American political conservatives. The productions barely recoup production costs, if at all, not to mention marketing and distribution. In short, losers. In the axiomatic Hollywood formula that money follows talent and genre, the culprit is almost certainly the awkward, ham-fisted and snarky progressive political genre.

It certainly isn’t talent. Each of these and similar productions has used A-list ensemble casts of excellent actors and actresses. How can you go wrong with Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Russell Crowe, Sienna Miller and Seth MacFarlane? Although the concept may have resonated in a Hollywood-sort-of-way at the onset, these productions rate among the least successful works of these “stars.”

And it certainly isn’t makeup. One of the reasons “Star Wars” may be getting mixed reviews is that the makeup artists, skillful at creating alien-looking creatures, have been moonlighting working overtime to create grotesque caricatures of conservative political figures.

No, it’s the progressive, witless genre that doesn’t resonate as particularly true or entertaining to much of the country.

Robert De Niro is a typical spokesperson for this mob. Mr. De Niro speaks to sycophantic Hollywood or New York audiences and believes that America actually applauds his sick humor and absurd crassness. A man who has made his living realistically portraying (some would say glorifying, or at least serving as an apologist for) low-lifes and some of the worst elements of America’s recent history is so remarkably out of touch, and yet he would seek to represent national political thinking.

Most of the country is gaining a growing understanding that this double game is embedded in the Hollywood culture. Pedophilia and sexual predation have been the calling cards of the Hollywood and New York entertainment crowd for decades. The same group that lectures America on social justice.

Private jets and massive homes and yachts emphatically underline the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do hypocrisy of inflated egos lecturing the world on global warming.

Their elected local political leaders have driven Los Angeles into the dark ages of violence and disease (yes, after many centuries, filth has brought “The Plague” back and it’s now playing in LA).

What Hollywood doesn’t get is that it’s systematically being exposed for the hypocritical, predatory culture that it is. What it also doesn’t get is how out of touch with America it is.

While “the business” (you can’t make it up that’s actually what they call themselves) hosts endless, self-congratulatory awards events, they assume the snarky jokes they make about President Trump, the “great sadness” in the country, and the desperate need for “social justice” in the midst of record low unemployment resonates outside their velveteen banquet halls and theaters.

Unfortunately, they assume that the rest of the country wants in on their anti-American snarkfest, and so they convert their tired and weak jokes about the conservative side of the country into screenplays and get an equally clueless studio executive to green-light $40 million to $50 million to put it into theaters and homes across America, only to face the reality of the market and democracy no one comes, no one really cares what Hollywood thinks, no one thinks the joke is funny.

The flickens come home to roost in the real currency of the realm, the box office. Although Hollywood has no real respect for democracy and the American voter, they’ve lost track of the really sad reality that they need to produce shows that Americans actually want to see.

Aside from the awful financial, artistic and business judgment, and the pointless quest to be politically relevant, they have no clue to the politics of America. America has consistently shown a centrist tendency. It generally resists the extremes of either end. America has been the most generous social justice nation in the world, investing more than a trillion dollars in hundreds of programs that have pulled tens of millions out of poverty.

America has agonized and worked harder, successfully, to redress a history of racism and welcome diverse cultures than any other nation on Earth. America has recognized the environmental crisis and has developed programs that have led to significant, demonstrable improvement, while not cratering an economy that has been the flywheel for the world economic development and progress that has improved the lot of billions.

In short, America is “The Business” while the entertainment industry comes across as a bunch of drunk high schoolers, smoking and telling dirty jokes behind the gym.

Grady Means is a writer (GradyMeans.com) and former corporate strategy consultant. He served in the White House as a policy assistant to Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. Follow him on Twitter @GradyMeans.

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