Liberal media elites are threatened by influential celebrities who dare deviate from the cookie cutter political stereotype which compels them to regurgitate “progressive” viewpoints.
That was very much in evidence during an interview with film star Robert Downey Jr. conducted by UK Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy.
Guru-Murthy began by talking about the new Avengers movie and Downey Jr.’s role as Iron Man, but the conversation subsequently veered off into what was clearly an attempt to shame Downey Jr. into admitting – God forbid – that he was not a “liberal”.
Guru-Murthy quoted the following statement that Downey Jr. made to the New York Times in 2009: “I have a really interesting political point of view, and it’s not always something I say too loud at dinner tables here, but you can’t go from a $2,000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it and come out a liberal. You can’t. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone else, but it was very, very, very educational for me and has informed my proclivities and politics ever since.”
Not wanting to be drawn into a political debate when he was there to promote a movie, Downey Jr. refuses to take the bait, commenting, “I couldn’t even really tell you what a liberal is.”
“Does that mean you’re not a liberal?,” Guru-Murthy demands to know, to which Downey Jr. responds, “are we promoting a movie?” before asserting that he is not a Republican or a Democrat.
Guru-Murthy then gets personal by quizzing the actor on his former drug use and his relationship with his father. Downey Jr. soon walks out.
Downey Jr. has refused to inject politics into his career, but it is generally known that the Iron Man star leans conservative/libertarian. Guru-Murthy, a vehement liberal, obviously considers that to be worthy of a grilling in and of itself.
P.J. Gladnick notes the accusatory tone adopted by Guru-Murthy, as if Downey Jr. deserved to be rhetorically put on trial for his refusal to identify as a liberal.
“This is impermissible. Robert Downey Jr. might, just might be a conservative due to an interpretation of a quote made years ago. His political leanings are vague but there is that possibility that you, Robert Downey Jr., are guilty of a thought crime. How do you plead?”
The fact is that refusing to identify as a liberal in Hollywood can be a career killer. In 2013, conservative actor James Woods said he never expected to work again as a result of his vocal criticism of Barack Obama.
In 2012, Victoria Jackson, a former Saturday Night Live cast member, revealed that there was an “underground” network of Hollywood conservatives who are forced to keep their political views quiet so as not to be discriminated against.
“In LA, there is a secret, underground group of showbiz conservatives. It started with two people in 2000. I was at the fifth or tenth meeting, and now there are over 2,000 people,” Jackson told the Huffington Post. “The only ones out of the closet are Jon Voight and Pat Boone. There are famous people in there, but they don’t want to lose their career — and conservatives are blacklisted.”
Jackson went on to state that being a Scientologist was more acceptable than being a conservative in Hollywood and that there is a “new antagonism to conservatives”.
As Stephen Crowder points out, maintaining control over the political narrative is key for Hollywood because of the vast influence the movie industry has over the minds of millions of Americans.
“With one single tweet, Robert Downey Jr. could have more influence than all Republican primary contenders combined,” writes Crowder. “Culture is upstream from politics, and liberals know it. They have to protect and maintain their territory in Hollywood. People with dissenting viewpoints must be snuffed out.”