The Clintons Partner Up with Hollywood

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Where do you go after you suffer two losses in a back-to-back bid to secure a coveted Oval Office seat? If you are a tried-and-true Democrat with a tried and true far-left following, you’re going to Hollywood!

Magically floating into your hands is that golden ticket to the place where wads of cash, advertisement endorsements, and tons of adulation await you from your like-minded friends who populate the hillside mansions of Tinseltown.

Secure enough in their apparent belief that Hollywood studios are going to roll out the red carpet, Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea have put together a production company, the purpose of which is to create film and television projects.

True to what the Clintons are famous for, particularly when it comes to their Hollywood connections, Hillary and Chelsea are reportedly on a quest for money for their entertainment vehicle. Seemingly not content with having been first lady of Arkansas, New York senator, first lady of the nation, secretary of state, presidential candidate two-times-over, and best-selling author, Hillary, along with her daughter in tag, wants to “influence culture and society” via entertainment; this according to Bloomberg.

“Hillary is still very popular out here and there’s been conversations with several studios and streamers about working on projects together,” a top-tier executive told Deadline.

Reports indicate that the Clintons will focus on, not surprisingly, women. The projects will purportedly be made by women and for women, and additionally will be about women, according to Bloomberg.

Studio executives have already been contacted about financing content for the Clinton upstart company, and there’s one thing that the Clintons and Hollywood certainly have in common. That would be something affectionately known as creative accounting.

Now you may be asking yourself, What qualifications and expertise do Hillary and her daughter actually bring to the film and television production table?

Well, in 2011 Chelsea was able to obtain a position as a special correspondent for the NBC News show “Making A Difference,” which earned her an annual salary of $600,000, despite the fact that she didn’t have any credible prior reporting experience. During her three-year stint at NBC, though, she was able to provide some no doubt riveting reporting about The Clinton Foundation, and a hard-hitting interview with the Geico Gecko.

And in 2018 Hillary herself was hired to be the executive producer of Steven Spielberg’s “The Women’s Hour,” which is a TV drama that deals with women securing the right to vote. Adapted from the book titled “The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote,” the plot deals with the women’s suffrage movement and the battle over the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Would Hollywood let political cronyism affect its choice of business partner? Perish the thought.

It could be that Hillary was haunted by that green-eyed monster when former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle created a production company called “Higher Ground Productions,” which reportedly made a lucrative deal with Netflix. From the Clintons’ perspective, if their Hollywood friends are handing creative power and cash over to the Obamas, there must be some that could be slipped their way.

The type of content that the Clintons will supposedly be creating may be similar to the content the Obamas have in their initial slate of Netflix projects that are currently in production, which include the following:

-a children’s show for preschoolers called “Listen to Your Vegetables & Eat Your Parents”;

-a narrative film adaptation of the biography of Frederick Douglass;

-a series from the creator of “Nashville,” which is set in New York and depicts barriers faced by women and individuals of color;

-a New York Times series “Overlooked,” which focuses on obituaries of notable figures from history who were previously ignored by the press, i.e., women and minorities.

One more project the Obamas have in the making, which is so unsurprising it’s flat-out boring, is an adaptation of an anti-Trump book by Michael Lewis, titled “The Fifth Risk.” The former president and first lady’s company will additionally partner with another tech-entertainment company, Spotify, to develop podcasts presumably with more “woke” themes.

Meanwhile Hillary may have finally found the hobby that she had been looking for: Shaking down Hollywood execs in order to finance female-centric projects. Because Hollywood decision makers abandoned business principles a long time ago, she is likely to be able to obtain financing for some agenda-laden products that few, if any, will want to see.

As an added benefit from all of this, we are able to get a sneak preview of what Joe Biden will be able to do with himself after he loses.

Kanye West Stands Up for Trump’s Supporters

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When it comes to Kanye West, Democrats have a lot to fear.

Bucking the trend in the entertainment industry, Kanye has shown support for President Donald Trump on a number of occasions, including one in which he made a visit to Trump Tower shortly after President Trump’s 2016 election victory.

The popular rapper, who also happens to be the husband of Kim Kardashian, appeared last year on “Saturday Night Live” and gave a speech to the audience immediately after the broadcast. Donning a trademark “Make America Great Again” red hat, he expressed his fondness for President Trump.

“They’re laughing at me. You heard them? They screamed at me. They bully me. They bullied me backstage. They said ‘Don’t go out there with that hat on,’” Kanye told the SNL audience immediately after the broadcast.

He additionally joined former NFL star Jim Brown on a visit to the Oval Office. Surrounded by the press, Kanye once again wore a red MAGA hat, and much to the chagrin of the media and the Democratic Party he gave the president a hug, which at supersonic speed trended around the globe.

When Kanye speaks, the ears of the Democratic Party perk up. African-American voters make up approximately 20 percent of the Party’s electorate, according to the 2016 primary exit polls and Pew Research Center data from 2018. Consequently, any possibility that there could be the slightest reduction in African-American support causes Dems to grow weak in the knees.

Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media breathed a collective sigh of relief, when Kanye made a late autumn announcement via Twitter back in 2018 that he was “distancing” himself from politics. However, at the start of 2019, he was back on the Trump train again. He tweeted, “Trump all day” and conveyed this message to his followers: “Just so in 2019 you know where I stand.”

Kanye also posted language that directly undermines the African-American voter turnout, which Democrat candidates need to secure their wins.

“They will not program me. Blacks are 90% Democrats. That sounds like control to me,” Kanye wrote, adding, “One of my favorite of many things about what the Trump hat represents to me is that people can’t tell me what to do because I’m black.”

Most recently, the pop icon made an appearance on David Letterman’s Netflix streamer, titled “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” as the first interview of the show’s second season (yet to be streamed).

According to the Daily Beast, Letterman seemed genuinely nervous about his interview with Kanye. After all, Letterman has been a constant critic of President Trump. But the rapper proceeded to shock the left-wing former late-night host by unequivocally confirming his support for President Trump, while defending the president’s supporters.

During a portion of the interview that focused on the #MeToo movement, Kanye dove right in and brought up the president’s name.

“This is like my thing with Trump,” Kanye said. “We don’t have to feel the same way, but we have the right to feel what we feel.”

When Letterman suggested that support for President Trump is potentially “hurting people who are already being hurt,” Kanye used the moment to point out that those who support and vote for Trump are “treated like enemies of America…”

Kanye asked the following question of Letterman: “Have you ever been beat up in your high school for wearing the wrong hat?”

The fact of the matter is YouTube is filled with examples of people being violently assaulted simply for wearing a MAGA hat.

When the former late-night host brought up the subject of “bullying in America,” Kanye responded, “Liberals bully people who are Trump supporters!”

Letterman asked Kanye whether he voted for Trump and with refreshing honesty he answered, “I’ve never voted in my life.”

Letterman snidely cracked, “Then you don’t have a say in this,” which elicited predictable cheering from the far left-wing audience members.

On a previous occasion, Kanye publicly acknowledged that he did not vote in 2016.

To the dismay of many Democrats there are numerous examples of individuals who did not vote for the president the first time around but are now ardent Trump supporters.

The Daily Beast calls the hour-long one-on-one with Kanye “one of the best interviews Letterman has ever conducted” and “one of the most coherent and engaging interviews Kanye has ever given.”

Kanye’s wife Kim is among the audience members of the show and is shown smiling and nodding in support of her 5-year spouse.

The new season of Letterman’s show featuring Kanye begins streaming on Netflix on May 31.

Democratic Presidential Candidates Compete for Hollywood Cash

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When it comes to campaign financing of Democrat presidential hopefuls, Hollywood’s ATM is open for business.

One after another, Dem candidates have been heading west to make their withdrawals. While there, they typically try to grab a bit of stardust wherever it can be found.

Former veep Joe Biden, mayor of South Bend, Indiana Pete Buttigieg, senator from California Kamala Harris, and senator from New Jersey Cory Booker have either already held Left Coast fundraisers or are in the process of scheduling them.

Harris has shaken the Tinseltown money tree a couple of times so far. She will be returning to the Golden State on May 19 for a campaign event in LA’s Hancock Park, hosted by Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein.

In the first quarter of the year, Harris was able to garner a greater amount of cash from individuals and entities in the entertainment biz than her fellow contenders. But that was before Biden entered the race. She now plans to hold a number of events in late May, including one co-hosted by media investor and producer Peter Chernin.

Booker has plans for a two-day LA tour starting on May 29, complete with several events hosted by prominent entertainment industry figures.

Hollywood has always been a tried-and-true money source for Democrat Party politicians. The Party and its candidates are well aware that when then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sought cash for her campaign during the previous election cycle, contributors such as Haim Saban, Steven Spielberg, and Jeffrey Katzenberg donated mega-bucks to Priorities USA Action, a pro-Clinton super-PAC that was allowed to collect unlimited contributions.

Entertainment sources contributed $22 million to Hillary, and to the super-PACs aligned with her, through mid-October 2016, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. By comparison, the same group of Hollywood donors gave less than $290,000 to then-candidate Donald Trump.

Biden and Buttigieg were the most recent candidates to seek financing from entertainment industry sources for their respective campaigns.

Back in 2007 Biden had a difficult time, though, competing with the then-presumed frontrunner Hillary and new face in town at the time Barack Obama. Currently, however, Biden’s chief advantage is the name recognition he has acquired, having been around in politics for the past fifty years.

As writer-director Adam McKay recently tweeted, “Free slogan for Joe Biden’s campaign: ‘You’ve heard my name before.’”

During his first Tinseltown trip of the 2020 campaign cycle, Biden’s notoriety paid off in a big way. Hollywood gave him a massive take in the form of a fundraiser at the home of ex-HBO executive and former ambassador to Spain James Costos along with his partner and ex-White House interior designer Michael Smith. The event brought in more than $700,000. The host committee included Katzenberg, Chernin, actor Rob Reiner, and CBS Films President Terry Press.

The former veep appears to be staying away from specific issues and is instead focusing on a liberal pie-in-the-sky cliché that he will somehow bring unity to the nation should he be elected.

“I promise you if we elect a Democrat this time — I predict to you whether it’s me or someone else, but I guarantee you if it’s me — what’s gonna happen is, we’re going to see this country come together like it hasn’t in a long time,” Biden said.

While on the Left Coast, he attended a lunchtime campaign meeting as well as a late afternoon public event with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Although Buttigieg is not as well known as Biden, Hollywood, the home of professional story tellers, is enamored with the saga of Mayor Pete’s unlikely contender status. Biden’s entourage may be concerned that Buttigieg could run the table like Obama did in 2007.

Even the most imaginative screenwriters have been intrigued with the idea of a military veteran who describes himself as a Christian, is openly gay, a Rhodes scholar, and mayor of a small city in Indiana, who has unexpectedly become a top-tier candidate, according to the polls in early primary states.

The Hollywood elites have already opened their establishments and homes to hold events to introduce Buttigieg to the entertainment community and to additionally raise campaign dollars. Buttigieg has notched television appearances on the shows of Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Maher.

At the same time Biden was in town, the South Bend mayor chalked up a slew of Hollywood events, including a breakfast organized by producer Jordan Horowitz, a public event with Garcetti at SEIU Local 99 to support a ballot measure to raise the parcel tax, a gathering with Gina Gershon, Christopher Guest, and Laurie David, a lunch in Brentwood, an event at The Abbey in West Hollywood, and a cash-seeking get-together at Gwyneth Paltrow’s home, where he answered questions from more than 100 attendees, including actors Bradley Whitford, Amy Landecker, and Martin Sheen, former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, director Rob Reiner, Costos, and Smith.

Buttigieg is planning a momentum-seeking return trip to the Left Coast in June to raise money and connect with Hollywood power players, including a fundraiser at the home of producer Ryan Murphy and husband David Miller.

Expect the mayor to leave with piles of cold campaign cash with a lot more to follow.

‘Unplanned’ Is a Must-See for a Nation in Denial

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Hollywood loves to rally around a cause, but only as long as the cause is solidly in line with its accepted left-wing ideology. One cause that definitely isn’t, is the advocating of the right of an unborn baby to live.

“Unplanned,” a daring new movie that pays no attention to Hollywood’s roster of no-go subjects, has been fighting a constant uphill battle as it forges its way toward release day. Along the treacherous road it has had to traverse, it has been blocked from using certain music in its soundtrack, banned by a Christian radio network, and unfairly rated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

The movie boldly tells the true story of Abby Johnson, one of the youngest individuals in the country to ever have served as a Planned Parenthood clinic director.

After working at an abortion clinic for eight years and winning an “Employee of the Year” award, Abby had the enormously disturbing yet incredibly enlightening experience of having to assist with an ultrasound-guided abortion. What she witnessed was absolutely horrendous: a tiny baby inside the womb, who was in the struggle of his or her life, having to suffer through the gruesomeness of dismemberment.

Following the experience, Abby summoned up the courage necessary to leave her financially lucrative position and extensive employment stint. She walked away from the nation’s largest abortion provider and set out to launch a ministry that would help other former Planned Parenthood employees to transition out of abortion related work.

The writing and directing team of Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon, who also wrote the screenplay for the film “God’s Not Dead,” understood the challenge that the latest movie project faced.

The hostility issue was driven home through the difficulties experienced in a previous pro-life film, “Roe v. Wade,” including an incident in which a significant part of the cast and crew abruptly left the project after learning of the script’s content.

While the casting of “Unplanned” was taking place, potential cast members were alerted by the directors that involvement with the film might mean that future work in the entertainment industry may be in jeopardy as a result of the movie’s content.

The film was shot in secret in Stillwater, Oklahoma. While on the set, the cast and crew used the code name “Redeemed” in order to keep the project under wraps and hold close to the vest the fact that they were making a film with the same title as Johnson’s memoir.

All of those working on the project were instructed not to reveal the movie’s content to the press or in any other manner disclose it on the Internet or on social media.

As the producers sought licensing rights for songs that they felt might assist the mood of certain scenes in the movie, they received the cold shoulder from the music industry. The required licensing was denied for a number of tunes, including Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party,” One Direction’s “Story of My Life,” The Fray’s “How to Save a Life,” and Trevor Rabin’s “The Guardian Suite.”

Additionally, the movie received some unexpected flack from a giant of the Christian world. K-Love is a Christian music radio network, which broadcasts on hundreds of stations in at least 47 states with markets that include New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. K-Love is also the sixth most online streamed station in the world. Essentially, the Christian music giant banned from its airwaves any promotion for “Unplanned.”

Abby was not at all happy with the network, expressing her displeasure in the following tweet: “Ever heard of the Christian radio station K-LOVE? Of course you have. They are huge, in just about every market. And, they are funded by their listeners. Well, here’s some news for you. K-LOVE has decided that they will not run any promos for my movie, Unplanned. So, a Christian radio network won’t advertise for a prolife movie. They have stated that they don’t want to promote anything ‘political.’”

In a wholly unfair and blatantly biased move, the MPAA informed the filmmakers that the organization planned to give the movie the “R” rating rather than a “PG-13” one, unless the visual depictions of abortion were edited out of the film.

It surely is not lost by anyone who pays attention to the movie ratings system that a “PG-13” rating, as opposed to “R” rating, is routinely handed out to films that include in their content profanity, gratuitous violence, and/or sexually explicit material.

Abby wrote an open letter to parents across America to make sure that they understood “Unplanned” is free from profanity or sexual content. In the letter, she describes a scene, which depicts what she saw on the ultrasound screen – images that transformed her life and redirected her path.

“You will see what I saw: a baby on an ultrasound screen in black and white 2D. You will see the abortion instrument, which looks like a big straw in real life and like a dark line on the ultrasound, introduced onto the screen. You will see the baby struggle against it. You will see the baby first slowly, then quickly disappear into the instrument as it does what it is designed to do,” Abby wrote.

A second scene that Abby cited as a reason for the “R” rating is one that she indicated was a re-creation of her experience with the abortion pill.

“I won’t lie to you; that scene shows some blood. In real life I hemorrhaged so badly I thought I was going to die. The movie captures that without being gratuitous or gory,” Abby wrote.

The MPAA has denied that it assigned the rating due to political bias. However, the group’s decision has resulted in a scenario in which a teenage girl can obtain an actual abortion without her parent’s permission, but the same teenage girl is not allowed admission into a theater, minus the supervision of an adult, to view a film that includes a scene that merely depicts the real life procedure.

The March 29 premiere of “Unplanned” is right around the corner.

In honor of all the babies who have had to endure the procedure that Abby witnessed and worse, let’s all go see “Unplanned,” and perhaps we can escort some teens and other youth who are secondary victims in this whole abortion tragedy.

John Wayne Becomes Social Media’s Latest Target

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Social media trolls recently honed in on a new target of attack. The same agitators that consistently seek to tear down statues, ban books, and silence dissidents have now dug up an interview with legendary actor John Wayne, which appeared in a May 1971 issue of Playboy Magazine.

What are Wayne’s detractors aiming for?

Well for starters, they want to change the name of the airport that is located in Orange County, California and bears Wayne’s name. Presumably the 9-foot bronze statue of the famed figure that stands at the entrance would be knocked down as well.

Even though Wayne is no longer with us and thus unable to defend himself, the transforming America crowd who are attempting to destroy Wayne’s reputation will not be satisfied until the movie icon’s legacy has been completely redacted from Hollywood history.

Screenwriter Matt Williams used his Twitter account to publish portions of the 1971 interview of Wayne, and re-tweeters managed to push the post into the viral zone.

Although some of the quotes in the interview appear to be inappropriate when examined within the context of today’s more enlightened cultural prism, at the time of the interview Wayne, along with many of his contemporaries, spoke in a blunt and occasionally harsh style both on and off screen, which was part of a projected character image.

Williams attacked the movie icon personally in a profanity laced social media post.

“Jesus f—, John Wayne was a straight up piece of s—,” Williams tweeted.

Comments to various re-tweets seemed to be at odds, with some agreeing with Williams and others urging a consideration of conversational context as well as the era in which Wayne lived.

Wayne was a man who before becoming a film icon was known as Marion Morrison, a football star at Glendale High and later at USC. He called the Golden State his home from the age of ten on and in later years was intimately involved with the once-sleepy county just south of Los Angeles, which grew in size and stature and came to affectionately be known simply by its initials, the OC.

Wayne’s fame transcended the norm of the conventional movie star and rose to a level that few ever achieve – that of enduring icon. However, Duke had something all his own. His movie star identity was wrapped up in the symbolism, beliefs, and ideals of the country he adored.

In a tell of a great artist, Wayne was able to capture the emotions that people felt about their country and place them on the big screen in all their Americana glory. His stories were their stories, perfected in a way that only Hollywood at the time could.

Interestingly, Wayne was an outspoken conservative and anti-communist. During the Playboy interview, he queried aloud, “What kind of a nation is it that fails to understand that freedom of speech and assembly are one thing, and anarchy and treason are quite another, that allows known Communists to serve as teachers to pervert the natural loyalties and ideals of our kids, filling them with fear and doubt and hate and downgrading patriotism and all our heroes of the past?”

Wayne’s popularity and influence on the American mindset disturbed Russian dictator Joseph Stalin to the point that the Soviet despot ordered an attempted assassination of the actor that auspiciously never materialized.

According to Michael Munn, film historian and author of “John Wayne – The Man Behind the Myth,” back in the early 1950s Stalin ordered the KGB to assassinate Wayne because he considered his anti-communist rhetoric a threat to the Soviet Union.

In 1959, when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev came to the United States, the autocrat had two requests he wished fulfilled: to visit Disneyland and to meet Wayne.

When Japanese Emperor Hirohito visited the United States in 1975, he also asked to meet Wayne, who was viewed as the personification of the American spirit.

Wayne’s iconic American status was recognized by the U.S. government, granting him the two highest civilian decorations in existence. In 1979 Wayne was given the Congressional Gold Medal, and in 1980 he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President Jimmy Carter.

The legendary film star was nominated for three Academy Awards and was a one-time winner in 1969, taking the Best Actor in a Leading Role trophy for “True Grit.”

Despite attempts on the part of the left to characterize him as a bigot, the truth is Wayne was married three times and the three women he married were Latinas: Josephine Alicia Saenz, Esperanza Baur, and Pilar Pallete. In the wake of the coverage of the Playboy interview, Wayne’s family released a statement to the press.

“We hope America remembers John Wayne as we do: a devoted family man, great friend and cherished actor on the big screen, as well as for his continuing work to find a cure for cancer through the John Wayne Cancer Foundation and the John Wayne Cancer Institute,” the statement read.

“It’s unfair to judge someone on something that was written that he said nearly 50 years ago when the person is no longer here to respond,” the statement continued. “Regardless of color, ethnicity or sexual preference, [our] father taught us to treat all people the same, with respect.”

The outrage industry is on an endless quest to secure the next individual to impugn. As a result of the social media’s stoking of the fire, a virtue-signaling editorial was recently published by the Los Angeles Times, advocating that Orange County’s John Wayne Airport be renamed.

A formidable task awaits those who wish to erase Wayne from the public square, though. In addition to the airport in Orange County, opponents will also have to contend with a 21-foot bronze statue in Beverly Hills, which displays Wayne on horseback.

There is also a John Wayne Marina near Sequim, Washington, a 100-plus-mile trail named the “John Wayne Pioneer Trail” in the Iron Horse State Park, which is also in Washington, the John Wayne Elementary School in Brooklyn, New York, which features a 38-foot mosaic mural depicting “John Wayne and the American Frontier,” and the John Wayne Parkway, which runs through Maricopa, Arizona.

Oscars Ratings Woes Continue

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This year’s Oscars should have been a win for Hollywood, but trouble still follows Hollywood’s once prestigious annual event.

According to preliminary figures, ratings for the 91st Academy Awards were up slightly. Unfortunately, it is not enough to assuage anxiety over the awards show’s downward trend.

The second host-less Academy Awards ended up having the second-smallest audience in Oscar history. Audience size for this year was 28 million, according to the calculations of The Hollywood Reporter. This figure is up about 6 percent over the disastrous Kimmel-hosted show’s preliminary ratings of the previous year. Viewer-ship size was based on a 20.1 rating/33 share in metered-market households.

In 2018 box-office revenues seemed to have ticked up, and a lot of folks who were watching this year’s show had actually seen three of the Best Picture nominees: “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “A Star is Born.” “Panther” took in a haul of more than $700 million in domestic gross, and “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “A Star is Born” each earned over $200 million. The success of the cinematic trio should have been enough to garner a larger audience than had been seen in the past few years.

It has been downright gloomy for those following the trend in ratings for the Academy Awards show. The overall concern over whether the Oscars were losing their allure was palpable. Last year’s show, which was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, fell double digits from the previous year, sinking to the lowest ratings level for the show ever.

Although the ratings of all awards shows have been on the decline, Disney-owned ABC had to have been alarmed when it learned that viewer-ship for the 2018 Oscar show had dropped 25 percent in the key 18 to 49 demographic.

This year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tried a number of different things to give the sagging ratings a jumpstart. It released a series of proposals, all of which received significant backlash with the end result being the same – a cave by the Academy at the first sign of pushback.

In late 2018, the Academy came up with an idea for a new category that would grant awards to “popular” films. The thinking was to try and include nominees and winners that movie fans simply adored, thereby creating more buzz and bringing in more viewers. The blowback by film artists of all types was fierce, and the Academy relented.

The Academy tried picking a popular host that might prove to be a ratings magnet. It reached out to the highest paid actor currently in the industry, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. However, The Rock’s shooting schedule got in the way so the pick was a no-go.

Oscar leadership then turned to another popular Hollywood figure, Kevin Hart. The attempt to secure the mega-successful comedic actor turned into a PR debacle for the Academy. Hart had a decade-old tweet history that came back to haunt him. Once again the leadership couldn’t handle the flack that it received. CEO Dawn Hudson reportedly telephoned Hart to ask him to apologize for his past Twitter posts. This infuriated Hart, and he ended up withdrawing from the hosting gig, leading to the decision to broadcast a host-less telecast for the first time since 1989.

Then there was the time issue. For years, ABC-Disney had been pleading with the Academy to shorten the length of the Oscar telecast. The Academy leadership came up with an arrangement to abbreviate the normally long-winded telecast by awarding four of the ceremony’s prizes during the commercial breaks and then craftily editing the award winners into a later show slot.

Although the Academy believed that consensus for the plan could be developed by showing representatives from various branches a video demonstration of the newly conceived format, a high profile rebellion caused the Academy to reverse itself. Major creative players in movies, which included Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, and Quentin Tarantino, signed an open letter condemning the idea. A few short days later the Academy melted.

Producers of this year’s show were able to cut 35 minutes from the overall length, when compared to the previous year. This was done by eliminating montages and mid-telecast comedy. However, the telecast still ended up being about 3 hours and 20 minutes long.

A December 2018 Morning Consult/The Hollywood Reporter survey found that ABC and the Academy were correct in their attempt to shorten the Oscar telecast. Forty-eight percent of adults said the Oscars telecast was too long.

A close second in annoyance terms to the overly long airtime of the Oscar show is the political content that is being pushed by Hollywood celebrities. The poll indicates that 39 percent of adults are less likely to watch awards shows when celebrities express their political views, and the number rises to 59 percent when viewers self-identify as Republicans.

Reportedly, in addition to the perpetually failing effort to shorten the duration of acceptance speeches at the Oscars, the Academy and producers of the telecast were apparently working hard behind the scenes to convince presenters and recipients of the awards to leave their politics at home.

Well, it didn’t work. Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph, the first group of presenters at the awards show, joked about the proposed “popular” film category, and apparently Rudolph could not restrain herself from tossing a political barb into her intro punch line.

“We are not your hosts,” Fey was quick to explain. Rudolph interrupted saying, “So just a quick update in case you’re confused. There is no host tonight, there will be no popular movie category and Mexico is not paying for the wall.”

Other presenters were quick to follow suit. While introducing the Best Foreign Language Film winner, actor Javier Bardem, who delivered his remarks in Spanish, took a veiled swipe at President Trump’s border security measures.

ABC translated Bardem’s speech in the following way: “There are no borders or walls that can restrain ingenuity or talent. In any region of any continent, there are always great stories that move us. And tonight, we celebrate the excellence and importance of the cultures and languages of different countries.”

Following Bardem’s comments, comedian Keegan Michael Key placed an open umbrella on the ground, imitating the president’s actions in 2018 prior to boarding Air Force One.

During his acceptance speech for Best Adapted Screenplay, director Spike Lee jumped into campaign mode in making a pitch for the 2020 presidential election, saying, “Let’s make the right choice, let’s be on the right side of history.”

“The 2020 election is right around the corner,” Lee said.

Adam McKay’s Oscar-seeking ‘Vice’

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Filmmaker Adam McKay has unleashed a cinematic hit piece just in time for Christmas.

McKay is first and foremost a comedian, whose stand-up helped him lock in a gig as head writer for “Saturday Night Live” for two seasons. He additionally formed a creative alliance with actor Will Ferrell, which opened the pathway for his directing of zany comedic romps including “Anchorman,” “Talladega Nights,” and “Step Brothers.”

One of the biggest turning points for McKay, though, came in 2015. He experienced critical acclaim and a whole lot of ataboys from his peers for his Oscar-winning movie “The Big Short.” The political dramedy about the 2008 financial crash was the winner of Best Adapted Screenplay and received four other nominations from the Academy.

Like so many modern-day stars, who have parlayed their success into full-fledged liberal activism in exchange for the secret promise of more accolades and awards, McKay’s latest outing, titled “Vice,” is a biopic of the hateful and distorted kind.

In the film, he re-writes the historical annals of Dick Cheney, who served as Secretary of Defense (1989 to 1993) during the presidency of the late President George H.W. Bush, and who went on to serve as Vice President of the United States (2001 to 2009) in the administration of former President George W. Bush.

As a self-identified Democratic socialist and an endorser of Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election, McKay detests most Republicans, but he appears to have a special animus for one of Hollywood’s primary targets of vilification; that is, Cheney.

The filmmaker was seemingly intent on presenting Cheney’s rise to power from a left-wing perspective and was likely simultaneously motivated to win the affection of fellow GOP-haters within the film critic community and award granting organizations. He assembled actors from his prior successful ventures and enlisted others as well to create a project that is intended to please both film critics and Oscar voters.

To realistically portray Cheney, actor Christian Bale had to undergo a physical transformation through the use of facial prosthetics and weight gain.

Nominated five times without a win and viewed by Academy members as overdue for an award, actress Amy Adams plays Cheney’s wife Lynne. Adams’s role requires her to mature in age as she transitions from a college-years wife to a vice president’s spouse.

McKay’s strategy has already yielded awards season results. With six nominations, the liberal fictional treatment of Cheney’s life in “Vice” has resulted in the highest number of nominations in the upcoming Golden Globe awards. The movie has also garnered nine Critics’ Choice Award nominations and two Screen Actors Guild Award noms, as Oscar talk ensues.

An intriguing thing has coincided with the release of the film, though. Despite praise given for the performances of Christian Bale and Amy Adams, many establishment movie critics are expressing disappointment with the biopic and even some hostility. The critic community apparently loathes Cheney more than McKay does, and some have panned the movie for being too soft on the former vice president.

A Daily Beast review calls the film a “baffling tonal hodgepodge” that “at best marginally humanizes Dick Cheney and at worst lionizes him…” And a review in the San Francisco Chronicle states that “the failure of “Vice” is a failure on its own terms. If Cheney is really as bad as McKay believes — an empty shell of ambition, a destructive and malign force in American life — he warrants serious moral horror, not a smirky treatment that assumes, going in, that we all agree.”

Despite the fact that McKay channeled plenty of hate into “Vice,” his final cut appeared to move in two different directions. Apparently McKay’s humor background and sensibilities compelled the filmmaker to insert a sufficient amount of comedic material, but it may have served to undercut the perception by some that it met the appropriate attack mark.

McKay’s end product seems to be a conflicted work that is caught between comedy and drama, and the movie characters are thereby left without discernible motivations, floating about in a farcical superficial storyline.

Also, by presenting an all-powerful Cheney and an empty-suited Bush, the film unwittingly takes the 43rd president off the hook for the list of wrongs of which the left maintains the Bush administration is guilty.

Audiences get their first glimpse of the former vice president as a heavy drinker and brawler, who is expelled from Yale. He is being cajoled by his wife Lynn into changing his life.

Soon a revved up ambitious Cheney works for a future Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who is portrayed in an overly cavalier manner by Steve Carell. Cheney learns the political ropes from Rumsfeld and ends up conning the clueless caricature of G.W., played with zero depth by Sam Rockwell.

The “Vice” version of Cheney easily persuades the supposedly simpleton GOP nominee Bush into an arrangement that hands excessive power over to Cheney, allowing him to be the de-facto leader of the free world. Soon enough Cheney and his cadre of neo-cons slowly take over the reins of the presidency.

Although the movie starts out by informing the audience via an onscreen message that “Vice” is a “true story,” people in the know, including former Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and former Undersecretary of Homeland Security Michael Brown, have pointed out that the film’s central theme of Cheney being the so-called man behind the curtain that called the shots for a feckless president is plain old fiction.