Author and lawyer Ben Shapiro accuses Hollywood of rampant liberal bias in his new book Primetime Propaganda.
He says the industry’s elite uses broadcast to “shape America in their own leftist image.”
“I was shocked by the openness of the Hollywood crowd when it came to admitting anti-conservative discrimination inside the industry,” Shapiro told The U.K. Independent on Sunday. “They weren’t ashamed of it. In fact, some were actually proud of it.”
One of the 70 people he interviewed was Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman, who told Shapiro she hired a “bunch of liberals” to “put out there what we believe.”
That included casting Newt Gingrich’s lesbian sister to play a preacher at a lesbian wedding on the show.
“When we did the lesbian wedding, we knew there was going to be some flack,” says Kauffman in the book. “I have to say, when we cast Candice Gingrich as the minister of that wedding, there was a bit of a ‘f–k you’ in it to the right-wing, directly.”
Vin DiBona agrees Hollywood has a liberal bias, saying, “I’m happy about it actually.” He says MacGyver, which he produced, has an anti-gun agenda.
“That was the whole premise of the program, that MacGuyver used his brain power and skill and science, and solved all the difficulties through ingenuity. No guns, no knives,” he says.
MASH had a pacifist agenda, says co-creator and director Gene Reynolds. “We wanted to point out the wastefulness of war,” he says in the book.
Happy Days writer Bill Bickley admits the show had a “whole subtext” against the Vietnam War. “If you really look for it, you can find it,” he says.
Shapiro is the hardest on Sesame Street, accusing creators of trying to brainwash children. One of the show’s founding executives, Mike Dann, says, the longtime kids series “was not made for the sophisticated or the middle class.”
“Sesame Street tried to tackle divorce, tackled ‘peaceful conflict resolution’ in the aftermath of 9/11 and had [gay actor] Neil Patrick Harris on the show playing the subtly-named ‘fairy shoeperson’,” writes Shapiro, who also notes Grover breaking bread with a hippy and the socioeconomic and racial undertones in Oscar living in a garbage can.
Shapiro says it was easy to get people to open up to him.
“There was a certain amount of stereotyping on their part in granting the interview,” he told the Independent. “Many probably assumed that with a name like Shapiro and a Harvard Law credential, there was no need to Google me: I would have to be a leftist. In Hollywood, talking to a Jew with a Harvard Law baseball cap is like talking to someone wearing an Obama pin.”
Shaprio defends his findings as well: “It’s not paranoid to speak the truth. Hollywoodites admit openly to messaging their product, and to their scorn for conservative Americans. I’m just reporting what they told me.”