Since the election of Donald Trump, it seems like Hollywood, America’s stalwart of liberal politics and creative idealism as long as you’re pretty, white, and a man if you want to be paid, has been more vocal about diversity and inclusion than ever before. Not only did the industry recognize more talent of color this year (not that that signals a long-lasting and meaningful change), but awards ceremonies were chock full of hits at Donald Trump and demands for more inclusivity and recognition for marginalized talent.
But some people are very concerned about all of this: Hollywood conservatives.
Yes, every now and then we hear about the mythical conservatives of Hollywood. Sometimes it’s because of a shoutout to Friends of Abe, Hollywood’s resident Republican organization that conceals the identities of its members (and ran into some trouble last year). Sometimes it’s because of an event like the stunt pulled by that world-famous ventriloquist chair from the 2012 RNC and its puppet, Clint Eastwood.
Now, thanks to a recent article in the LA Times, Hollywood right-winers are once more telling their side of the story, sadly bemoaning how voting for Donald Trump has made them fear for their careers, and why voting for Moonlight for Best Picture at the Oscars totally absolves them of racism. No, really, someone said that:
In casting his vote for Trump, screenwriter Roger L. Simon said it was because he believes Trump can enact change in the country. But the Oscar nominee said he isn’t a social conservative. (He said he voted for “Moonlight” for best picture.)
Simon added that most people voted for Trump because of his ideas on foreign policy and the economy.
Moonlight winning Best Picture at the Oscar was a very important moment. But voting for Moonlight for Best Picture does not necessarily mean you’re not racist, and to cite it as such is probably evidence that you’re at least a little bit racist. A better read:
Another producer admitted that his political views affected his professional life. And a conservative—but not Trump-supporting!—“prominent TV and movie actor who requested his name not be used for fear of professional repercussions” railed against the supposed leftist McCarthyism affecting the industry:
“In 30 years of show business, I’ve never seen it like this,” said the actor. “If you are even lukewarm to Republicans, you are excommunicated from the church of tolerance.”
Hollywood constantly flexing its self-perceived consciousness and activism can be tiresome and sometimes feel empty, it’s true. But come on now. It is a little hard not to see some irony in the world’s most privileged group of people claiming horrifying persecution—and all because they had the nerve to be sympathetic to policies and rhetoric which have aimed hatred towards so many groups of far less privileged people.