Living amid Hollywood hypocrisy By: Janine Turner | 09/30/11 8:05 PM
I had to listen to it for years on sets, at dinners, in rehearsals, in the make-up chair, and at award ceremonies. The judgmental, hot, mostly uninformed rants of Hollywood liberals breathed down my neck and sucked all the air from the room. Usually, the rants were so hostile that I was afraid to speak up, or so ridiculous that I thought it futile to reply.
The liberal Hollywood elite, who stand firmly on their right to be heard, their right to express, their right to persuade through art, arrogantly deny that same freedom to anyone who may disagree with them. And like most liberals, they have a blind spot for their own intolerance.
I remember one Emmy ceremony in particular for its incessant anti-conservative, anti-Republican diatribes, one after another. I remember sitting, slumped in my chair, just counting the moments until I could be released from the lions' den. There I was -- a captive, a hostage to their narrow-minded and condescending point of view, expressed in a vacuum.
I couldn't wait to leave Hollywood. I always felt like I was in a bubble when I lived there -- in a stifling tropical snow globe. It was like that fabulous scene in "The Truman Show" where Jim Carrey leaps from his boat and beats his head against the sky on the set of the world, wanting to get out.
In Hollywood, they think America is inherently bad, a world embarrassment, even as they gorge themselves on the American dream.
Hollywood is a surreal and pretend world whose way of life is actually ruthless free enterprise -- it is called show business, after all. Hollywood is where stars, movie producers, writers and agents actively seek glamour, money, power and fame; where they covet fast cars and face-lifts and fly in private jets. They drink fine wines and insist on free spirits. They are the ultimate connoisseurs who insist on living liberty at large.
Yet somehow, the inhabitants gag at the very thought of capitalism going on elsewhere.
In Hollywood, they deplore censorship. Yet they embrace tyrants such as Hugo Chavez who use their power to censor opposition voices. They sneer at Wall Street even as they fall all over themselves running to see how many millions their movies have grossed. They think Obamacare works nicely for poor people in the "flyover states," yet they would never accept anything but the top doctors for themselves.
They think socialism is a novelty -- a nicety whose time has come. Yet how odd to imagine their lot under a Chavez or a Castro or a Stalin. Just picture the collapse of Hollywood's playground -- the redistribution of their wealth, the despotic squelching of their free speech, the strangling of their rights and riches.
They would howl like lone wolves do in Westerns. They would beg like Scarlett O'Hara. They would scream like the Wicked Witch of the West. But instead of screaming, "I'm melting! I'm melting!", they would scream, "Not me! Not me!"
Janine Turner, a longtime television and movie actress, is a radio host on KLIF Radio in Dallas.
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