The Right Wing’s Love-Hate Relationship With Hollywood

It’s Friday, which means that, if recent events are any indication, we could be minutes away from major political news. In the meantime, I thought it might be fun to end the week on a lighter note about the right-wing’s love-hate relationship with Hollywood.

We’ve all grown used to conservative attempts to blame the entertainment industry for a lot of the issues that plague Trump’s nostalgia voters. That kind of thing has become so commonplace that the term “Hollywood elite” is one of their favorite pejoratives. Even so, they elected a president whose only truly successful business venture (that wasn’t subsidized by the Russians) was to star in a reality television show. And their last favorite president was a B-list Hollywood actor. So what’s up with all that?

As Stuart Heritage points out, conservative firebrand Sen. Ted Cruz talked about the TV show The Simpsons yesterday at CPAC.

In what may well be the least accurate analogy of all time, Cruz said: “I think the Democrats are the party of Lisa Simpson and the Republicans are, happily, the party of Homer and Bart and Maggie and Marge.”

Apparently Cruz is pretty obsessed with the show.

He tweets clips of The Simpsons when he wants to make political points. One of the many highlights of his aborted presidential campaign was a BuzzFeed video where he attempted to impersonate as many Simpsons characters as possible. He has discussed his favourite Simpsons episodes at length in public…Honestly, the man loves The Simpsons almost as much as he loves repeatedly getting accused of being the Zodiac killer.

Al Jean, the Simpson showrunner, spent some time on Twitter last night mocking Cruz and suggesting that he doesn’t seem to understand the show.

Sen. Cruz isn’t the only conservative pining after Hollywood. NRA spokesmodel Dana Loesch was busy yesterday stirring up the crowd at CPAC, which prompted screenwriter Paul Guyot told us an interesting story about her.

Much hilarity ensued in the Twitter responses to that one. But this one from comedian Patton Oswalt summed up what is at play here.

I doubt the craving for Hollywood fame is unique to right wingers. Up until last year, we saw how both journalists and politicians played the game of sucking up to the entertainment industry every year at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. However, it is only conservatives who turn the whole entertainment industry into a convenient foil. No matter how much they pretend to hate people like George Clooney and Meryl Streep, we all know that in their heart of hearts, right wingers crave the actor’s fame and fortune. It is very likely that, apart from the politics, their hate is more indicative of resentment than antipathy.

I can hear all of the arguments against that idea already. But that’s my story and I’m sticking to it for the entertainment value it provides this Friday afternoon.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.