LOS ANGELES — The entertainment industry centered on Hollywood has helped reshape Americans’ views on sexuality, family and marriage.
But this change results from Hollywood’s powerful homosexual culture, whose ideological leaders tolerate no dissent — even from other homosexuals — and who have filled a vacuum in the industry left by the absence of faithful Christians.
According to a new survey by Ipsos MediaCT, nearly one in five (or 18%) of Americans credit television with shifting their opinion in favor of redefining marriage to accommodate same-sex couples. Just 10% said television moved their opinion against redefining marriage. Ipsos’ nationwide survey (of 1,096 television viewers age 13-64) found 62% favored same-sex “marriage.”
“With everything from higher profile portrayals of gay characters to celebrity support of gay marriage to last year’s groundbreaking endorsement by President Obama, we are seeing a shift in our culture that is being influenced by popular culture,” said Ben Spergel, Ipsos MediaCT’s senior vice president.
GLAAD (formerly Gays and Lesbians in Alliance Against Defamation) is one of the movers and shakers focused on using the power of Hollywood to shape public opinion in favor of normalizing homosexual behavior and redefining marriage to include same-sex couples.
More than 5,000 members of the rich and famous attended the Los Angeles GLAAD Media Awards in April, which honored President Bill Clinton with the Advocate for Change Award. Clinton has apologized for signing into federal law the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which now faces a constitutional challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court.
However, GLAAD has made known that not all homosexuals in Hollywood are welcome, especially when they step out of line with GLAAD’s agenda. Bret Easton Ellis, screenwriter and author of the book American Psycho, took to Twitter to claim that GLAAD had banned him from the awards ceremony over controversial tweets criticizing what he called the “politically correct gay agenda.”
GLAAD's vice president of communications, Rich Ferraro, told the Hollywood Reporter that GLAAD did not want Ellis and his tweets overshadowing an event “advocating for equality in the Boy Scouts, marriage and across the country.”
In one of the tweets that GLAAD found objectionable, Ellis referenced a Hollywood Reporter article about a fundraising speech given by Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal in which, the newspaper reported, “Pascal emphasized Hollywood’s influence in shaping public perception on sexual orientation, specifically in doing away with gay slurs and offensive stereotypes.
“‘Now, there is not much any of us can do about what people hear from families and friends, but there is a whole hell of a lot we can do about what people see,’ Pascal said, according to prepared remarks. Near the conclusion of the speech, she encouraged industry figures at the event to simply edit out those offensive references in screenplays.”
Tweeted Ellis, “As a gay writer who believes in free speech, I find this ridiculous.”
Tim Graham, director of media analysis at the Media Research Center, said GLAAD has been “essential” in shaping the cultural messages transmitted from Hollywood to the American viewer of TV and the silver screen.
“The idea that producers take their scripts to GLAAD for review or approval has been amazing,” Graham said. “We’ve gone from the Hays Code to the Gays Code.”
Graham said that GLAAD’s own slogan, “Leading the conversation. Shaping the media narrative. Changing the culture. That’s GLAAD” makes clear the group’s intentions go far beyond its stated mission of lobbying for accurate and inclusive representation of homosexuals in the culture and against defamation of homosexuals.
Graham pointed out that GLAAD’s treatment of Ellis and other homosexuals out of step with GLAAD’s agenda is nothing compared with the Hollywood blacklisting of those with traditional values who donated to the Proposition 8 cause. He pointed to Los Angeles Film Festival director Richard Raddon and Scott Eckern, artistic director of the California Musical Theater in Sacramento, who both lost their positions over donations they made to the Yes on 8 campaign.
“They [GLAAD] feel very strongly that opponents of homosexuality are not an ‘opposing side,’ but a bigoted remnant that should be stamped out,” Graham said.
Sexual Revolution’s Aftermath
However, Catholic screenwriter Barbara Nicolosi said the cultural messages Hollywood promotes in television programs (such as Glee and The New Normal) can’t be chalked up solely to ideological groups like GLAAD.
“Most of the people in the entertainment industry haven’t signed on an agenda that they are intent on ramming down other people’s throats,” Nicolosi said. She explained that while homosexuals make up between 3%-5% of the general population, based on her own experience, they make up 30% of Hollywood’s entertainment industry, and everyone who works in the industry “knows and works with someone who is homosexual on a daily basis.”
“Maybe 10% are ideologically driven, but the rest are just doing their job, trying to work on a project,” she said.
Nicolosi said that the writers for Hollywood television shows and films for the most part will not end up producing a show with traditional values. Unlike the previous generation of scriptwriters who came up with shows like The Waltons, Nicolosi said the current crop has grown up with the values of the sexual revolution, believe monogamy is impossible, and are “simply replicating the world as they experience it.”
“They assume that because that’s what they find in the A&E community, it must be in the broader culture as well,” she said. “They’ve never known a world without abortion or without somebody coming out.”
But Hollywood’s idealized portrayals of its sexual values, through television shows like The New Normal and Modern Family, have less pretty real-world effects upon the broader viewing culture that imitates those values, said Bill May, president of Catholics for the Common Good.
“Hollywood has a big influence on marriage by portraying families without married mothers and fathers as normal, or even ideal, role models,” he said. “In reality, there is a serious problem with the breakdown of the family and the increasing number of children without married mothers and fathers, particularly in fatherless homes.”
May pointed out that every alternative family by definition “has a child deprived of a father and a mother.” And while a screenwriter can portray casual sex with no negative consequences, May said the story is very different for Americans who buy into those values portrayed in the entertainment industry.
“If we want to deal with the severe human consequences of marriage and family, we have to teach young people the importance of marriage, the importance of marrying before having children,” he said.
Opportunity for Christians
Nicolosi said good storytelling requires a moral framework and that Christians have an opportunity to make a difference, because Hollywood “is out of good stories and knows it. There’s a reason there are so many Bible epics in the works right now.”
But Christian involvement in Hollywood means sacrifice, Nicolosi emphasized. She said Hollywood’s culture is not friendly toward people who want to marry and have families — a major reason why homosexuals have tended to thrive in Hollywood and Christians have left a vacuum.
“This business is extremely dominating. It becomes your whole life. You work ridiculous hours,” she said. “But we’re not going to get anywhere culturally unless we do for God what the pagans do for money.”
Register correspondent Peter Jesserer Smith writes from Rochester, New York.