Hollywood isn’t keen on creating content targeting the “other” half of the country.
Consumers can easily find fare aimed directly at Progressive USA. In recent weeks alone we’ve learned about three such efforts:
- Hulu announced a “1619 Project” series based on the deeply flawed, far-left New York Times endeavor
- Showtime hired anti-Trump zealot Billy Ray to create a miniseries focused on the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
- Oprah Winfrey’s “Queen Sugar” drama slammed Trump supporters as part of a racist cult.
Few platforms court, let alone created content specifically for, Red State U.S.A. When those projects do blossom, though, they’re often stopped cold.
And, once in a while, a neutralizing force comes along to say, “not this time.”
Consider “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words.” The 2020 documentary let the reserved Supreme Court Justice tell his story, his way. We learned about his hardscrabble past, his flirtation with the radical Left and how he truly felt about Democrats rallying to block his path to the Supreme Court.
The film hit Amazon’s digital shelves late last year but, without reason, the company removed it from its VOD platform in the middle of Black History Month, of all times.
The new streaming platform doesn’t boast a massive slate of titles … yet. Still, the right-leaning service saw the Amazon/”Created Equal” issue and rushed to fill the gap. Now, anyone who wants to stream the documentary can do so at SalemNOW.
Here are three other times when a right-leaning project or performer got shut down only to get a second chance.
‘Last Man Standing’
Tim Allen proved his ABC success with “Home Improvement” was no fluke with this sitcom. He played Mike Baxter, a regular Joe who just so happened to be a conservative. The show didn’t get bogged down with Left/Right debates, but his principles helped inform the series and his character.
The show proved a ratings hit, but that didn’t stop ABC from pulling the plug after six robust seasons. The broadcast giant offered up a tepid explanation for the move, something many conservative rightly viewed with suspicion.
“I wouldn’t say that was the deciding factor,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said of the show’s cancelation.
The Fox network, not as ideologically conservative as its Fox News branch, stepped in. The network brought “Last Man Standing” back from the cancellation abyss where it ran, successfully, for three more seasons.
‘What Killed Michael Brown?’
Imagine a film questioning media-friendly narratives like Black Lives Matter, systemic racism and the guilty of a white police officer in the death of Ferguson resident Michael Brown.
You can’t … at least one created by a typical Hollywood filmmaker. That doesn’t describe Eli Steele. The director behind “How Jack Became Black,” a film questioning Identity Politics, teamed with his famous father, Shelby Steele, to probe presumed truths surrounding race in America.
The film offers the elder Steele’s rich personal journey, a provocative series of questions and slick production values. Amazon still insisted the documentary didn’t meet its “quality” standards and it wouldn’t stream the tile.
This is the same service that streams the lowest of the low budget horror films.
This time, reporters from right-leaning outlets rode to the Steele’s rescue. Media stories about Amazon’s decision, including a piece by the Wall Street Journal, apparently reached someone at Amazon HQ. The mega company backtracked on its earlier decision and allowed the movie to be seen on its high-profile platform.
The MMA star turned action heroine snagged the role of a lifetime with “The Mandalorian.” She played Cara Dune, a tough as nails figure who quickly became a fan favorite.
Carano made the all-American decision to share her cultural views on social media, something many stars do without a hint of repercussions. Carano’s musings appeared right of center and eager to question existing narratives. They weren’t hateful, bigoted or conspiratorial, even though media outlets framed them in such a fashion.
When the actress compared how everyday Germans treated Jewish people during the Nazi era to conditions on the U.S. ground today it allowed Disney to dismiss her from its wildly popular show. Never mind that other Disney employees said far worse, including Bette Midler and Carano’s “Mandalorian” co-star Pedro Pascal.
She had to go.
Not so fast, said Ben Shapiro and the team at The Daily Wire. [Editor’s Note: This reporter contributes to that web site], Shapiro’s team hired Carano to star and produce an upcoming feature film where she can ply her MMA skills and keep speaking her mind.