Saturday, April 30, 2011

7th Art: The Kennedys (2011) and Political Censorship in Hollywood

In this nice the Atlantic interview, Joel Surnow, producer and writer of series like "24" and "Miami Vice," talks about political censorship in left-dominated Hollywood and the cancelling of the series "The Kennedys" by the History Channel. Here's a segment:
TA: You're a super-successful writer/producer. How did these events impact you?

JS: It makes me very sad. Hollywood is extremely concerned about civil liberties. I can't tell you how many movies and projects have been produced about the McCarthy era. Where's the outrage for what happened here?

TA: Even though people in Hollywood are mostly liberal, I thought the real master of this town was the bottom line—TV ratings and box office ticket sales. With The Kennedys, you've got subject matter and stars who almost guarantee viewers. Doesn't that trump political or personal loyalties?

JS: One would think so. But do you think the news business only cares about the bottom line? If so, why isn't everyone in the news business emulating the Fox News Channel? Because most people who work in media have one worldview, and it doesn't care for a conservative outlook. Look, I'm an agnostic filmmaker. I don't put politics in my entertainment. Never have. I've been a journeyman doing this for 25 years. 24 was never considered a problematic show—until there was a New Yorker article by Jane Mayer that reported that I was a conservative.
The irony is that here in France we will enjoy this nicely done series on one of the major over-the-air broadcast channels: France 3. Another case of heavy-handed politics stomping basic freedoms in America?

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