Stars, screenplays and social media messages paint conservatives as different, and inferior, to your average progressive.
One of the Left’s favorite phrases jumps to mind regarding Hollywood’s take on conservatives.
The term “othering” means treating people as somehow different, and inferior, to you or the group you belong to. Here’s a quick example: When then-candidate Donald Trump used the word “the” before Latinos and African-Americans during the 2016 campaign the Left claimed he was “othering” them for political gain.
Here’s a liberal Guardian columnist explaining the tactic:
Othering is not about liking or disliking someone. It is based on the conscious or unconscious assumption that a certain identified group poses a threat to the favoured group. It is largely driven by politicians and the media, as opposed to personal contact. Overwhelmingly, people don’t “know” those that they are Othering.
Now, two-plus years into the Age of Trump, it’s clear Hollywood is attempting to “other” anyone tied to Trump. That means Fox News, conservative voters, members of his administration and those cutting checks for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign.
How else can you describe what the stars of “Will & Grace” attempted over the holiday weekend? Both Eric McCormack and Debra Messing said anyone attending Trump’s Beverly Hills fundraiser needs to be outed.
Why? McCormack made his reasoning clear. He wouldn’t work with those supporting President Trump. Messing wasn’t as focused, but her intentions didn’t require a safe cracker to unlock.
The public must know the names of those who financially support Trump’s GOP, she Tweeted. She even offered her massive Twitter flock an online tool to help them figure it all out.
It’s classic othering – dubbing a segment of the population as both different and inferior, in this case to Democrats. And, let’s not forget, potentially dangerous in the eyes of the Left.
When called on it, Messing played dumb.
I am proud to be a donor when I contribute to a campaign. I am happy to be listed when I attend a fundraiser. I am assuming anyone who donates to Trump’s fundraiser would feel the same. Why wouldn’t they?
— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) September 1, 2019
Twitter quickly explained reality to her.
The info can be used as a McCarthy-like tool to blackball Conservatives from working in Hollywood
Anti-First Amd Terrorists like Antifa may engage in acts of intimidation/violence against the donors
My view: You already know all this, + that’s what you’re HOPING for
— John Betts (@JohnFromCranber) September 2, 2019
It’s hardly the only othering example in modern Hollywood. The HBO series “Succession,” which tracks a wealthy conservative family in the Rupert Murdoch mold, just depicted one of the network’s anchors as a full-blown racist.
Episode Spoilers Ahead:
Newsbusters says the Sept. 1 episode’s arc reveals the popular anchor got married at Adolf Hitler’s Bavarian retreat. The anchor in question also conveniently forgets that Nazi Germany exterminated 6 million Jews.
The upshot? The show’s Fox News-like network stands behind its embattled anchor as does his rabid, conservative fan base. He’s a huge ratings draw, which means the network will look past that Hitler baggage.
That’s tame compared to the rhetoric Hollywood embraces following most mass shootings. Stars rush to Twitter to slam Trump, NRA members, conservative politicians and Red State supporters as monsters with blood on their hands.
“Saturday Night Live” routinely tags anyone who supports President Trump as a racist, more textbook othering. This skit may be the baldest example of the show’s rhetoric.
Earlier this year, Vanity Fair published a brutal expose of scripts circulating around Tinsel Town. Several focused on Internet pioneers Matt Drudge and the late Andrew Breitbart, both right-of-center voices.
The screenwriters grappled with the subjects in play, though, in ways that are straight from the “othering” textbook. One anonymous, but well-known, scribe explains the predicament in bringing conservative characters to the big screen.
“It’s like you’re overlooking the fact that these people are monsters because it doesn’t make for good film or television,” he said to me. “It defeats the entire purpose of making these things in the first place; these are not moral people we’re talking about, they are not just, they are not good, they are evil and deserve to be painted as such, or not painted at all.”
Othering, plain and simple. The same holds true as to why we still don’t have a single late-night show catering to Red State USA. Comic Michael Loftus recently shared how he tried to pitch a more neutral comedy show to several media platforms. This wasn’t Late Night with Fox News, just a show that treated politics in a more even-handed fashion. He repeatedly got turned down.
Loftus says they told him they couldn’t appear “friendly to the Right,” he recalled.
Fortunately, some stars remain dedicated to treating both Red and Blue state audiences fairly. Take Chris Pratt, Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot, three A-list actors who openly respect their audiences and avoid vicious partisanship.
Other stars keep their heads down, work hard, and hope they’ll land the next gig. Hollywood remains a brutally competitive business.
It’s shame, then, that some of the industry’s loudest voices want to treat half the country as different, even inferior, for their political choices.
Photo Credit: Peter Kramer/HBO