Hollywood Conservatives Emerging from the Shadows

Conservatives in Hollywood emergeHollywood conservative? As oxymoronic as that may sound, there are a few out there, the one endangered species that the left is not interested in protecting.

In an excellent article for the Weekly Standard, Stephen Hayes takes a look at a small band of conservatives and libertarians in Tinseltown. No longer content to stay quiet, they've created an underground group called "Friends of Abe," a reference to "Friend of Dorothy," a codeword formerly used when homosexuality was taboo in Hollywood with the intent to parallel the intolerance that is currently exacted on Republicans in the entertainment industy.

I've had the pleasure of attending a few such gatherings thanks to "NewsBusted" creator Bruce Roundtower and can verify that some of Hollywood's biggest names are involved.

Besides meeting together, the Hollywood right is now teaming up to create an upcoming movie called "An American Carol" which pokes fun at anti-Americanism among liberals and how their disdainful attitudes sometimes end up helping Ameria's enemies. All of this is detailed in Hayes's article. This is a movie every conservative needs to see.

Kudos to director David Zucker for coming up with the concept and for being willing to come all the way out of the conservative closet.

An excerpt from the Hayes article:

David Zucker believes we are in a "new McCarthy era." Time magazine film writer Richard Corliss recently joked that conservative films are "almost illegal in Hollywood." Tom O'Malley, president of Vivendi Entertainment, though, dismisses claims that Hollywood is hostile to conservative ideas and suggests that conservatives simply haven't been as interested in making movies. "How come there aren't more socialists on Wall Street?"

But Zucker's film, together with a spike in attendance at events put on by "The Friends of Abe" (Lincoln, not Vigoda)--a group of right-leaning Hollywood types that has been meeting regularly for the past four years--is once again reviving hope that conservatives will have a battalion in this exceedingly influential battleground of the broader culture war. [...]

On one of the days I was on set, McEveety had invited Vivendi Entertainment president Tom O'Malley to meet Zucker. Vivendi had just agreed to distribute the film and had promised wide release--news that had the cast and crew of An American Carol in particularly good spirits.

O'Malley and Zucker chatted about the fact that O'Malley is the nephew of Candid Camera's Tom O'Malley and that they are both from the Midwest, among other things. Zucker thanked him for picking up the movie, which will be one of the first for Vivendi's new distribution arm. O'Malley told Zucker that he was particularly interested in this film in part because he, too, leans right.

Such revelations are common occurrences at the periodic meetings of the secret society of Hollywood conservatives known as the "Friends of Abe." The group, with no official membership list and no formal mission, has been meeting under the leadership of Gary Sinise (CSI New York, Forrest Gump) for four years. Zucker had spent a year working on a film with Christopher McDonald without learning anything about his politics. Shortly after the film wrapped, he ran into McDonald, best known as Shooter McGavin from Adam Sandler's Happy Gilmore, at one of these informal meetings.

"It's almost like people who are gay, show up at the baths and say, 'Oh, I didn't know you were gay!' " Zucker says.

From the beginning, Zucker knew what the political message of An American Carol would be. His problem was how to make it funny. [...]

"We really didn't have to do a lot of stretching," says Zucker.

When he heard Rosie O'Donnell claim that "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have a separation of church and state," he knew he had several minutes of material.

In the film, a rotund comedian named Rosie O'Connell makes an appearance on The O'Reilly Factor to promote her documentary, The Truth About Radical Christians. O'Reilly shows a clip, which opens with a pair of priests walking through an airport--as seen from pre-hijacking surveillance video--before boarding the airplane. Once onboard, they storm the cockpit using crucifixes as their weapon of choice. Next the documentary looks at the growing phenomenon of nuns as suicide bombers, seeking 72 virgins in heaven. A dramatization shows two nuns, strapped with explosives, board a bus to the cries of the other passengers. "Oh, no! Not the Christians!" O'Connell's work ends with a warning about new threats and the particular menace of the "Episcopal suppository bomber."

Update 2008-08-05. The original version of this article incorrectly stated that FOA is involved in the production of "American Carol." That is not true, it is a project of some individual members. I regret the error.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013