20170410

Is Hollywood too politicized? Should awards telecasts air actors' or singers' political speeches?

Marlon Brando boycotted the 1973 Oscars to draw attention to Hollywood's depiction of American Indians and Wounded Knee. In 1978, Vanessa Redgrave danced with a PLO Kalashnikov rifle in her anti-Israel documentary, "The Palestinian." In her acceptance speech for her Oscar for "Julia," she made a political statement, calling opponents of her award "Zionist hoodlums" which drew audible disapproval from the audience. 

Meryl Streep exploited her microphone at this year's Golden Globe Awards telecast to condemn conservatism, Pres. Trump's vetting of immigrants from troublesome Islamist countries, and to praise multiculturalism.

Should opinion-leader actors and singers exploit the live award-shows' telecast spotlight to preach their politics to a global audience? Is Hollywood's esteemed diversity extended to political views? Would liberals tolerate it from conservatives? Does it needlessly risk alienating half of an artists' fans? Or does virtue-signaling grow an artist's popularity enough to compensate for it?



We took our camera to the red-carpet at Norby Walters' "Night of 100 Stars" $1000-per-plate, Oscar viewing-party at the Beverly Hilton to investigate the celebrities' perspectives. How has Hollywood become too political? Do Liberals discriminate professionally against those of alternate views? How much politics (if at all) is it appropriate to foist on an entertainment awards-ceremony TV audience?

We spoke to actors and singers of varying ages and genres: Jon Voight, Richard Lewis,  Ed Asner, Lou Gossett Jr., Richard Grieco, Frankie Valli, Charles Martin-Smith, Tanya Tucker, Trace Adkins, Courtney Stodden, (non-entertainer and anti-Trump operative) Gloria Allred, Wink and Sandy Martindale, Shadoe Stevens, Yakov Smirnfoff,  Tia Carrere, (HBO's Mike Tyson star) Michael Jai White and wife Gillian, Hollywood stylist Daniel DeCriscio. 

In most cases, those who endorsed political speeches were liberals and those opposed it were conservatives. Former Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich tied it all together. "(I think) it's not healthy... We want to have everybody enjoy the arts, because the arts are for everyone, regardless of race, color, creed, or political persuasion. ... I'd like to see that restored, once again, as it had been in the past." 

Antonovich agreed there has been some discrimination against non-liberals in Hollywood. "If we're going to support diversity, we need to respect different points of view- and still respect one another and work with one another. ... Respect is what's important."

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