Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Does Hollywood propagate a Liberal agenda? Culture Clash tonight at 8.30 on 18 Doughty Street

With the Oscars coming up, and Al Gore hotly tipped to walk away with a statuette for his documentary An Inconvenient Truth, tonight we’ll be looking at the broader picture and asking whether Hollywood and the film industry in general promotes a liberal, anti-republican, anti-conservative message.

This is not a new topic of course; more than a decade ago, the critic Michael Medved got many liberals hot under the collar with his book Hollywood vs America. In that he accused tinsletown of being anti-religion, anti-family and anti-patriotism – a case rigorously opposed by those who see cinema as the most right-wing of the arts. But are those who see Hollywood as being one of the main components in US cultural imperialism confusing the fact that Hollywood is the most commercial art form with the kind of messages it carries?

We’ve got used to the fact that whenever a President is portrayed in a movie, and he’s a sympathetic character, it’s invariably implied that he’s a Democrat. Corporations are usually villains too – in the recent remake of The Manchurian Candidate for example, communist brainwashers were replaced by the titans of big business. But what are we to make of the subtler social messages and political subtexts carried by Hollywood movies?

With me to discuss this are the producer and writer Carol Gould, Dr Steven King of Policy Exchange, Susan Shaw, producer of the South Bank Show, and 18 Doughty Street’s own Tim Montgomerie.

Watch it here

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