Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly recently used the term “reverse McCarthyism” to describe how the atmosphere in Hollywood is affecting celebrities who had or were presently considering performing at President-elect Donald Trump’s upcoming inauguration.
“The harsh truth is that there is reverse McCarthyism going on in the entertainment industry,” O’Reilly said, alluding to the McCarthy era of the 20th Century.
“If you are a Trump supporter, you are a bad person, and a number of entertainers believe their careers will be harmed, should they associate with the new Trump administration,” O’Reilly said.
“The View”’s Whoopi Goldberg quickly dismissed out of hand the whole idea of new blacklist.
“If you don’t vote for people who don’t support you probably won’t get turned down as much,” Whoopi said.
When “View” cohost Jedediah Bila pointed out that a secret support group for conservatives in Hollywood had to be created because of the very real threat of career consequences, Whoopi replied, “This is B.S.!”
She added, “When you’re talking about people coming to do the inauguration, which is what he’s [O’Reilly] talking about and when you say it’s like McCarthyism, I have to yell B.S. It’s not!”
The term “McCarthyism” has routinely been used in a generic sense to refer to the practice of making public accusations of subversion without evidence to substantiate the allegations; this is particularly true in the present day when the term is used to refer to the stifling of contrary political viewpoints and marginalizing of an individual or group from society.
The Hollywood blacklist, which is often associated with McCarthyism, embodied a policy of denying employment to entertainment professionals because of their alleged sympathies with, or membership in, the Communist Party.
It turns out that not only is O’Reilly’s use of the term “reverse McCarthyism” accurate, numerous prospective performers for the Trump inauguration recently experienced first-hand the repercussions of this new version of the blacklist.
Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli was denied the opportunity to perform at Trump’s inauguration due not only to the countless social media insults and threatened boycotts but to something far more ominous.
When the singer first announced that he would not be appearing at the Trump event, initial reports indicated that the performer’s cancellation was the result of a social media hashtag campaign, which called for a boycott of his concerts and records.
However, more recent reports indicate that Bocelli was determined to ignore the boycott threats and participate in the inaugural festivities anyway, despite the malicious effort to force him to change his mind. Then things apparently escalated and the UK Daily Mail reported that the singer “had pulled out on the advice of his security team after receiving threats to his life.”
Another performer, Broadway singer Jennifer Holliday, suddenly withdrew from her scheduled inauguration performance. The Tony-award winner had originally told The New York Times about her desire to sing for all Americans.
“I’m singing on the mall for the people,” Holliday said. “I don’t have a dog in this fight — I’m just a singer, and it’s a welcome concert for the people on the mall.”
She went on to say that she would perform, despite having voted for Trump’s opponent.
“I voted for Mrs. Clinton, and they knew that. But if someone wants me to sing a national anthem or something, we think about America, and we go,” Holliday said.
She correctly referred to the negative pressure that she was receiving from the anti-Trump crowd as an attack on free expression.
“It brought a lot of threats from people already saying I’ll never work again,” Holliday said. “If that’s what America has come to, where we all hate and bully people, there’s no more freedom of speech.”
Twenty-four hours later Holliday cancelled her appearance and issued an apology for having ever agreed to participate in the first place.
“I sincerely apologize for my lapse of judgment, for being uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak for my fans,” she wrote in a letter provided to the Hollywood trade publication, The Wrap.
The new McCarthyism uses social media tools to intimidate into silence those with views that lack the seal of approval of the controlling powers.
Despite the potential consequences, country star Toby Keith, rock band 3 Doors Down, and country singer Lee Greenwood will headline a concert for the president-elect’s inauguration at the Lincoln Memorial.
In addition to actor Jon Voight appearing at the concert, Jackie Evancho from “America’s Got Talent,” the New York City Rockettes, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will also participate in various inaugural events.
The mainstream media are attempting to manipulate public perception by contrasting celebrity participation for Trump with that of President Obama’s 2009 inauguration festivities, which featured Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Mary J. Blige, Garth Brooks, U2, Usher, and Stevie Wonder, along with actors Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks.
The fact that there are countless left-wing celebrities who are so freely able to make themselves available for Democratic Party events merely serves to underscore the current state of Hollywood demographics.
Likewise, the hesitation on the part of those with center or right-of-center beliefs to make themselves available for Republican Party events speaks volumes, as does the dread on the part of those who may merely be patriots at heart for having ever contemplated such involvement.