Christian Movie Interviews, News and Reviews

Hollywood Celebrates Alternate Reality

  • Dr. Tony Beam Weblogs
  • 2006 7 Mar
Hollywood Celebrates Alternate Reality

What if Hollywood decided to throw a party and nobody came?  Or perhaps the proper question should be, "What if Hollywood made a bunch of left wing movies and nobody went to the theater?  What would their response be? 

The answer to that question was answered on Oscar night 2006.  In front of the second lowest T.V. audience in their history (down approximately 10 percent from last year) Hollywood congratulated itself on being ahead of the curve in American society.  It turns out they were so far ahead of the curve most of mainstream America couldn't find them.

For two consecutive years, Hollywood has been falling behind at the box office.  The combined box office receipts for the five nominees for Best Picture did not even approch the box office revenue generated by "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe."  One analyist suggested the total future revenue including DVD sales of the top five might top 250 million while "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" could, including DVD sales, come close to 800 million.

You would think there would be trouble in Tinsel Town.  You would think those who depend on mega hits and Hollywood hype would be screaming bloody murder until movie producers and studio executives address the hemorrage of movie goers.  But instead, Hollywood decided to use the Oscar event as an opportunity to lecture the rest of us about how thankful we should be to be socially enlightened by this year's movies. 

What Hollywood doesn't seem to understand is what they call enlightenment most of the rest of America calls left-wing lunacy.  Why would I want to go to the movies to see two cowboys who don't know they aren't supposed to be sharing the same trail blanket?  Or why would I want to spend hard earned money to take my family to see a movie that celebrates and exploits racial tension?

George Clooney bragged at the Oscars that Hollywood has always been on the cutting edge of the culture, leading the way by giving an Oscar for best supporting actress to Hattie McDaniel for "Gone With the Wind" at a time when blacks were forced to sit at the back of the theater.  I wonder if George Clooney really wants to make a big deal out of the fact Hollywood honored a black woman for playing a stereotypical role ... one that would be considered racist by many in today's culture.

Rather than being on the cutting edge of societal evolution it seems to me Hollywood has carved out an alternative reality for itself and has decided to celebrate the fact that most of the rest of America just doesn't care anymore.  The reality of Hollywood is gay cowboys and transgender chaos.  The reality of Hollywood is a song celebrating pimps and prostitutes that wins an Oscar but is so laced with vulgarity and profanity it has to be censored to be performed at the event where it is honored.

I find it ironic and maybe a little bit sly on the part of Fox News that they chose Oscar night to air "Oliver North's War Stories" which chronicled the key role Hollywood played in supporting America during World War II.  "War Stories" reminded us of the contribution of men like Jimmy Stewart who distinguished himself as a bomber pilot.  It reminded us of Audie Murphy who was one of the most decorated heroes of World War II.  It reminded us of the contribution made by Henry Fonda who served in the United States Navy.  It was a very different Hollywood that helped raise millions of dollars for the war effort and traveled around the world to entertain and encourage the troops.
Yes, there was a day when Hollywood reflected the values of the American dream.  But that was a very long time ago in galaxy far, far away.  Today we are left with a Hollywood where no one would think of putting their career on hold to serve their country.  A Hollywood that is so narcissistic it can pat itself on the back for making movies most of America will never see.  Perhaps this alternative reality Hollywood has created for itself will keep them entertained as their revenues and interest in their product continues to slide.  For the rest of us, maybe we can just read a good book.

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Dr. Tony Beam, the Director of the Christian Worldview Center at North Greenville College in Tigerville, South Carolina, received his Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, and his Doctor of Ministry from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Beam also serves as Interim Pastor at Whitefield Baptist Church in Anderson, S.C. and as host of "Christian Worldview Today" heard Monday through Friday mornings from 7:00am to 8:00am on Christian Talk 660. He also writes a weekly column for The Times Examiner and a monthly column for The Baptist Courier.