Big Trouble in Little Hollywood

Over the past year, the gap between Hollywood and its customers has widened to a degree that should send shivers down the spines of every entertainment exec.

The industry has routinely used a fairly reliable gauge to measure the size of this gap. It’s called profit.

Sadly, 2022 was a disaster for the once-golden city. Media companies saw the loss of half a trillion dollars in equity.

A town that for a century had been recognized as the entertainment capital of the world has seemingly been reduced to a shadow of its former self.

How could this have happened?

In my opinion, somewhere along the road a decision was made to have entertainment take a bow so that a one-sided agenda could take center stage.

“Especially this past year, ideology has become more important than art,” Quentin Tarantino recently told the host of HBO’s “Reel Time with Bill Maher.” “It’s like ideology trumps art. Ideology trumps individual effort. Ideology trumps good.”

From the youngest of age, our primal need makes itself known with the simplest of words: Tell me a story.

It’s universal. Human beings crave stories, ones with characters, plots, and themes that reflect life’s truths. This is how Hollywood initially came to be. And how it grew to be an industry like no other, all entwined within our minds, hearts and imaginations.

We were happy when Hollywood profited. It meant more entertainment fare would be forthcoming, maybe even greater than that already experienced.

It’s hard to believe the once-great ocean of entertainment that existed steadily devolved into a digital stream of woke stories.

Evidently, the public doesn’t have the appetite for what the industry has been serving up of late. There are definite consequences when audiences’ wishes are ignored.

Movie theater attendees are now a fraction of what they used to be. Despite the solid successes of Tom Cruise’s “Top Gun: Maverick” and James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water,” the 2022 multiplexes saw their audiences essentially cut in half, when compared to four years ago.

Of course, movie theater companies experienced record losses in their share prices. AMC’s value dropped almost 80 percent, and Cineworld, owner of Regal, headed for bankruptcy court.

Likely hampered by projects that were saturated with woke ideology, Disney experienced its worst yearly stock-drop since 1974. Disney is the largest, most influential and sole media company that is listed in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and it saw its shares drop a whopping 44 percent? Unbelievable.

The board of directors suddenly terminated CEO Bob Chapek and brought back former CEO Bob Iger, ostensibly to rescue the Mouse House.

Warner Bros., Discovery and Lionsgate also saw their stock prices take a plunge of over 60 percent.

With regard to television, traditional broadcast and cable TV (aka linear television) saw a significant ratings dip. Similar to what happened earlier to the music business, Hollywood executives discovered that streaming media does not yet provide sufficient revenue to offset the losses incurred in linear television and theatrical film releases.

However, a bright spot appeared on an otherwise dismal media landscape. “Yellowstone,” which is a modern perspective on the classic Western, garnered a huge audience hungry for retro-drama. Consequently, the series is continuing to enjoy stellar ratings.

Another media company that actually saw its investment value rise is the sports entertainment powerhouse WWE, which ended 2022 with a gain of 38 percent. It could be that this increase has to do with the moral sensibilities of a huge segment of viewers that find the clear distinctions between heroes and villains quite appealing.

The studios spent money galore on streaming content in 2022, and the cash layout just never panned out. Executive chairman James Dolan of AMC Networks explained Hollywood’s quandary in a memo that he recently wrote.

“It was our belief that cord-cutting losses would be offset by gains in streaming. This has not been the case. We are primarily a content company and the mechanisms for the monetization of content are in disarray,” he stated.

The AMC executive pointed out a reality that most of Hollywood is facing in 2023 and warned of “a large-scale layoff as well as cuts to every operating area.”

Netflix was first out of the gate to layoff employees, following a substantial loss of subscribers. Other major entertainment companies have also announced or have already started their layoffs, hiring freezes, and/or cost-cutting measures, including Disney, Warner Brothers, Paramount and CBS.

Warner chief David Zaslav actually stunned the entertainment world last summer, when he decided to shelve and write off the costs of “Batgirl,” a funded and completed film that was in post-production and had been approved by previous leadership at the company.

At an investor conference in November of 2022, he noted that in the past few months, things had gotten “a lot worse.”

The road that Hollywood will take going forward is yet to be mapped.

With a hope and a prayer, it will be one where entertainment takes center stage once again.

Funny Guy David Zucker’s Serious Warning

Humor is David Zucker’s specialty.

Not the lazy blue variety that passes for comedy these days, but the laugh out loud kind that makes your sides hurt, your eyes water and the world disappear.

The mega-successful film director, producer and screenwriter is best known for the legendary spoof flick “Airplane!” and the side-splitting “Naked Gun” and “Scary Movie” franchises.

He happens to be one of our culture’s current reigning experts on all things funny, and he’s sounding an alarm bell for all to hear.

Lucky for us he has joined the ranks of other comedy greats who have issued similar warnings: Dennis Miller, Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Gilbert Gottfried, Mel Brooks, Adam Carolla, Steve Harvey and John Cleese.

The giants of humor are all saying pretty much the same thing; that Tinseltown’s head honchos and their like-minded fellow residents of the New Woke Hollywood are virtually strangling comedians, comedy writers and comedy itself.

Zucker was recently featured in a video posted by PragerU, where he shared some reflections on his trademark comedy.

He doesn’t think the jokes that propelled his films to the top could be delivered today. Too many folks now fail to understand the nature of comedy.

Unlike most audiences of the past, many of today’s joke consumers are so easily offended that it has risen to the level of ridiculous.

If everything is offensive, then nothing is funny.

New Woke Hollywood is decimating the comedic arts, along with the writers and performers that bring laughter to our lives.

As Zucker stated, “They’re destroying comedy because of nine percent of the people who don’t have a sense of humor.”

He used a real-life Hollywood example to illustrate the point. In a pitching session that he and his writing partner did for a James Bond/Mission: Impossible-style parody, he was stunned by the reaction of an executive just to some of the project’s dialogue.

“One female executive said, ‘This joke is getting pretty risqué here.’ It was a mild joke about the lead female character. Because she had come up through the police department and through the FBI…she needed a breast reduction to fit into the kevlar vest,” Zucker said.

“It was pure oatmeal, so mild,” he said. “Not one of our funniest things, but this was too much. I thought, ‘If this was the criteria for it, we’re in big trouble.’”

In speaking of the past, he said, “We went where the laughs were…We never worried about any of this stuff with the Naked Gun or Scary Movie films.”

Zucker honed his comedic skills in the 1980s and 90s with movies like “The Kentucky Fried Movie” (1977), “Airplane!” (1980), “Top Secret” (1984), “Ruthless People” (1986), “The Naked Gun” (1988), “The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear” (1991) and BASEketball” (1998).

He added his 21st Century contributions “Scary Movie 3” in 2003 and its sequel “Scary Movie 4” in 2006.

Many of the films that he was involved with are now classics and continue to attract appreciative audiences and younger movie fans.

He is often asked whether his most iconic film could be made today.

“When we do screenings of ‘Airplane!’ we get the question if we could do ‘Airplane!’ today,” he said. “The first thing I could think of was, ‘Sure, just without the jokes.’”

According to Zucker, although in the current comedy climate freedom may be taking a hit, the future actually looks bright.

“Comedy is in trouble, of course, but I think it’s going to come back,” he said. “There’s a pendulum, and the pendulum will swing back. I’d like to see comedy filmmakers do comedies without fear.”

Zucker has gone against the grain in liberal Hollywood. He has even worked on political ads for the GOP and directed a political parody film at the expense of Michael Moore, titled “An American Carol” (2008).

Charmingly, he is a huge fan of Davy Crockett. He once made a cameo appearance dressed as Crockett in “The Naked Gun 2½.” As a matter of fact, one of his dream projects is a Crockett biopic. He also hosted a “Davy Crockett Rifle Frolic” at his ranch back in the 1990s. And he decided to write some additional verses to the celebrated song “The Ballad of Davy Crockett.”

Regarding his faith, he was asked by the BBC some years ago whether he believes in God.

His answer was exquisite.

“Oh yeah, I believe in God,” he replied. “I think there’s much more evidence that there is a God than that there isn’t. I don’t believe that Mother Teresa and Hitler go to the same place. I believe in justice, maybe not in this life, but there has to be justice.”

In addition to justice, no doubt there’s laughter too.

As C.S. Lewis put it, “Joy is the serious business of Heaven.”

Woke Hollywood Passes on Pro-life Film despite Top Name Involvement

Kendrick brothers Alex, Stephen, and Shannon have been the creative forces behind many a faith-based box-office hit, including the successful “Facing the Giants,” “Fireproof,” “Courageous,” “Overcomer,” and “War Room.”

“War Room” was actually the No. 1 movie in the country on the second weekend of its release. It was also one of highest-grossing Christian films ever made.

The Kendrick brothers recently teamed up with actor Kirk Cameron to produce “Lifemark,” a movie that deals with some of the most central and poignant themes of our times – relationships, forgiveness, and the film’s primary focus, adoption.

Inspired by a true story, a movie such as this would typically have had Hollywood studio executives competing for the project.

It goes a long way to prove that these are anything but normal times.

Alex is one of the executive producers, as are Stephen and Shannon. But Alex has also co-written the film, and he has an acting part in it as well.

The adoption storyline is particularly meaningful for the Kendricks and Cameron.

Stephen Kendrick and his wife welcomed a daughter from China via adoption.

Cameron’s wife Chelsea was adopted by her parents, and four of Kirk and Chelsea’s six children were also adopted.

For those who haven’t yet noticed, contemporary Hollywood has given itself an extreme makeover in both form and substance.

All of this seems to have happened fairly quickly and also quite craftily. It went from “The Entertainment Capital of the World” to “The Woke Capital of the World,” with the end result being that the largest and most powerful entertainment companies are now haplessly out of touch with the beliefs, attitudes, and values of a large portion of their customer base.

Consequently, despite the viable track records of “Lifemark”’s filmmakers, both its star and its executive producer revealed that Hollywood studios, even those that had worked with the Kendrick brothers in the past, rejected the distribution of the film and did so because of the movie’s pro-life message.

Lead actor Cameron called the rebuff by Hollywood studios “good old-fashion cowardice.”

“Even the so-called faith divisions of studios would rather pass from tens of millions of dollars and support horror, violence, and drag queen movies than risk doing anything that celebrates life,”

Cameron said.

According to Alex, the studios stated that they were not releasing the film because they were “scared of the response,’”

Alex additionally revealed the following: “Several of the studios that have courted us in the past, and wanted us to go with them as distributors, they all turned down this film.”

The studios apparently wanted something else, anything else but this film.

Alex added, “We said, ‘Well, we cannot be ashamed or afraid to share the truth regarding this subject, to share a true story.’ It’s hard to argue with a true story.”

Still, the lack of independent thought displayed by a sizable number of Hollywood executives makes it seem as though they are impervious to the truth.

Fortunately, Fathom Events, a distribution company, was able to make a rational business decision and is going to arrange to have the film displayed in more than 1,400 theaters.

Alex acknowledges that the subject matter of “Lifemark” is a sensitive one.

“It’s become a political battleground in our country,” he remarked, adding, “We are acknowledging both sides, we’re acknowledging the difficult decision to choose to place your baby for adoption, but it is the better decision.”

“This whole path is not always easy. It is often difficult, but it is beautiful. And so this true story was a perfect example of showing how it could go…,” he said.

The movie project began with a telephone call.

While still in the process of wrapping up a previous film, the Kendricks received an unexpected call from Cameron, who had just watched what he described as “one of the most powerful and moving documentaries I’ve ever seen.”

The documentary was titled “I Lived on Parker Avenue,” and it dealt with the story upon which the “Lifemark” film is based.

The plotline centers around a teenage boy who is contacted by his birth mother, a woman who eighteen years prior had chosen adoption over abortion for her then-tiny son.

Alex believes that the movie can play a role in informing and educating people.

“We’re hopeful that churches, crisis pregnancy centers, ministries, all jump on this as a real-life tool to reach people… who are trying to determine ‘is this baby worth saving?’” Alex explained.

His objective in making and promoting this movie project is “to change the heart of the nation.”

To this end, the desire on the part of the filmmakers is for life itself to be ultimately viewed as “precious, beautiful, and worth protecting.”

“Lifemark” is set to make its mark in theaters nationwide on Sept. 9.

Hollywood in Major Uproar over Roe v. Wade Reversal

Following the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022, to return to the states the power to determine the legality of abortion, Americans now find themselves in a post-Roe v. Wade world.

What’s it like? In a word, awesome. But not for everyone.

Folks are still in disagreement with one another, perhaps more intensely than ever before.

We can’t even seem to come to terms with the premise that – there is no constitutional right to abortion but there is a fundamental right to life. So demonstrably obvious and yet so seemingly elusive.

Alongside the tragedy of abortion itself is the fact that we have fallen woefully short in bridging this divide.

Hollywood isn’t helping.

Celebrities of the pro-choice persuasion are using over-the-top language while simultaneously attempting to virtue-signal to the max. It’s occurring largely through social media.

Here’s a small sampling.

– Barbara Streisand tossed a mean tweet at the Supreme Court, re-labeling the revered judicial institution as the “American Taliban.”

– Aisha Tyler called the Roe v. Wade ruling a “terrible tragedy” and seemingly took a page from fellow past-and-present leftists in designating it as “a dark day in American history.”

– Halle Berry let it be known in writing that she was “outraged” and used the vulgar version of animal excrement to express her opinion on the Supreme Court decision.

– Alyssa Milano posted that the ruling would have “deadly consequences” and would be “hardest on people of color.”

– Patricia Arquette called the High Court decision an “absolute disaster.”

– Elizabeth Banks characterized the ruling as “devastating news.”

– Taylor Swift shared that she is “absolutely terrified.”

The melodrama wasn’t confined to Hollywood stars. Entertainment industry labor and trade organizations raged against the ruling as well.

– SAG-AFTRA, the union that represents actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, and other media professionals, called the Roe v. Wade reversal “archaic and dangerous.” Issuing a statement, the union suggested that the Supreme Court’s ruling allows states to enact “draconian restrictions” on health care and that it will “destroy lives.”

Like other Hollywood organizations and companies, the union is providing money for employees to travel to the nearest location where they can obtain termination of pregnancy services, if they reside in states that have restrictions.

– The Directors Guild of America (DGA) “strongly condemned” the High Court’s ruling, calling it a “travesty.” In a statement, the DGA president opined that the ruling is putting “women’s lives at risk.”

The DGA also approved a new policy that provides financial assistance to DGA members who need to travel out of state in order to obtain abortion-related procedures.

– The Producers Guild of America, a nonprofit trade organization, issued a statement that characterized the Supreme Court decision as “deeply dangerous” and suggested that it would cause “untold harm.”

– Actors’ Equity Association, which represents actors and stage managers in live theater, called the ruling “a catastrophic step backwards for human rights.”

– The Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) West and the Council of the WGA East said in a joint statement that the decision will lead to “injury, death and the denial of basic human rights.”

– The American Guild of Musical Artists, which represents singers, dancers and staging staff in opera, ballet and concert dance, released a statement indicating that the “system is broken” and went so far as to urge that “the legitimacy of the Supreme Court must be reevaluated.”

– IATSE, the union that represents behind-the-scenes film and television workers, called the Supreme Court’s ruling “one of the worst contractions of freedoms in modern U.S. history.”

The fact of the matter is six jurists, who comprised the majority in the ruling, courageously upheld the law, despite the intimidation tactics of the left in protesting in front of justices’ homes and even the apparent assassination attempt against Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The coercive efforts began with the strategic leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in May 2022. The stalwart six stood firm, and the Supreme Court as an institution gained strength.

On a positive note, there are still a sizable number of prominent and influential Hollywood stars, who have fought the good fight in defense of our babies and their right to live.

Included in this brave bunch are Patricia Heaton, Kelsey Grammer, Mel Gibson, James Caviezel, Chuck Norris, Celine Dion, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Kirk Cameron, Candace Cameron Bure, Kanye West, and Justin Bieber.

In the initial Roe v. Wade ruling, Justice Byron White wrote in his dissent that the decision was an “exercise of raw judicial power.”

It was.

The majority in that fateful case actually created out of whole cloth a constitutional right to abortion that didn’t exist in American common law and wasn’t present anywhere in the text of the Constitution.

When the raging of the left is long forgotten, the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which has now thankfully resulted in the reversal of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, will be recognized as the High Court ruling that rectified one of the most egregious injustices in our nation’s history.

There is a time for every purpose under heaven.

Now, after almost fifty years have passed, a time for healing has begun.

Candace Cameron Bure: A Mom with a Message

Candace Cameron Bure is a highly successful actress, producer, author, and talk show panelist.

Her acting career began at the age of 5 when she appeared in national ads. She soon moved on to television where she had guest spots on major dramas and sitcoms, including “St. Elsewhere,” “Alice,” and “Who’s the Boss?”

She was also a cast member in the film “Some Kind of Wonderful.”

At the age of 11, Candace landed the role that would skyrocket her career. She became one of the co-stars of the 1980s mega-hit television series “Full House.”

Her TV persona D.J. Tanner was the oldest of three sisters in a family in which the mother had tragically passed away and the father was left with the daunting task of raising his children solo. It wouldn’t be long, though, before Dad would have help from two buddies that would step up and assist him in escorting the young ones through life’s travails.

“Full House” would in no way be the end of the Hollywood road for Candace. She would go on to have multiple starring roles on the Hallmark Channel, especially during the Christmas season, as well as playing the main character in the network’s film adaptation of the Aurora Teagarden books.

She had a stint as co-host of the daytime television talk show “The View,” was a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars” where she secured a third-place win, and had a starring role in a comedy-drama TV series called “Make It or Break It.”

In 2016, she played a grown-up version of her D.J. Tanner character in a reboot of the original “Full House,” titled “Fuller House,” which aired on Netflix for five seasons.

Candace is the daughter of a talent manager mother and a gym teacher father. Her brother is former TV sitcom actor and Christian film pioneer Kirk Cameron, who also gained fame with the 1980s TV sitcom “Growing Pains” as well as the end times “Left Behind” film series.

As destiny would have it, her “Full House” co-star Dave Coulier enjoyed playing ice hockey in his spare time. One day he invited Candace to a charity hockey game in which he was participating. He introduced her to a professional NHL player named Valeri Bure, and a romance ensued. The two dated, quickly realized that they were meant to be together, and married shortly thereafter.

After the nuptials, Valeri sent Coulier a hockey stick that was inscribed with the following words: “Dear Dave, thank you for Candace.”

The Bures’s marriage is one of those precious rarities within the celebrity world. Candace credits her Christian faith for their marital bliss. They have been blessed with a daughter and two sons.

Never hesitant in being forthcoming about her fundamental beliefs, Candace recently shared her feelings about the attitudes that she so often encounters within the entertainment industry as a result of her faith-centered worldview. A TikTok video was her chosen mode of expression.

The video is captioned, “When you’re conservative in Hollywood.”

Lip-syncing to a music video, she mouths, “Is it me? Am I the drama? I don’t think I’m the drama. Maybe I am. Am I the villain? I don’t think I’m the villain.”

On another occasion, she used social media to convey her opinion about the mandates that have been imposed on people to make them take coronavirus injections.

“This is not about what I am against. This is what I am FOR,” she wrote on Instagram. The post was accompanied by a graphic that contained the following message: “I’m not anti-V, I’m just pro-medical freedom.”

Candace encouraged viewers to “Read and understand the distinction.” She then posted a timely line that may serve as an inspiration and may potentially give voice to other moms.

“This mama is holding the line and standing up for freedom,” she wrote, adding, “This should not separate us. We can have different opinions and still respect and love one another. Be bigger than that!”

In the Instagram post, she also shared a series of pictures that were captioned with the words “pro-informed consent,” “pro-immune system,” “pro-early intervention,” and “pro-sunlight, exercise, real food and vitamins.”

Candace has received support in the form of “likes” from several celebrities, including her “Full House” dad Bob Saget as well as “The Wonder Years” actress Danica McKellar.

In 2019, Candace talked with “The Pure Flix Podcast” about the origins of her faith.

She began attending church at the age of 12. Going to a house of worship helped her parents reconcile during a rough patch. Simultaneously, it would introduce a young Candace to the Lord. She would ultimately mature into the fullness of her relationship with God.

“I became a Christian by asking God to be my Lord and Savior at 12 years old … but it didn’t become my own until I was in my early 20s,” Candace said.

After she had children of her own, her priorities changed. She started to read the Bible and attend church frequently.

“It was then that I saw myself as a sinner in need of … Jesus’ saving grace,” she explained. “And I never got that before … because I thought I was such a good person.”

She found herself saying a prayer that still directs her faith walk.

“I prayed that day when literally the light bulb went off in my head,” she said. “I prayed, ‘God, please do not let this fire ever go out from under me.’”

Her prayer was no doubt answered and burns ever brightly for all to see.

Denzel Washington’s Amazing Grace Journey

Denzel Washington is an actor, director, producer, and bonafide movie star.

He is well known for infusing his cinematic character portrayals with dignity and grace.

It turns out that these qualities actually emanate from a faith that dwells deep inside the man.

The double Academy Award winner has been forthright about his devotion to the Christian tenets.

His father, Denzel H. Washington Sr., was an ordained Pentecostal minister, who additionally worked at the New York City Water Department as well as at a department store. His mother operated a beauty parlor.

Denzel and his siblings were not allowed to go to movie theaters. Instead their film experience growing up was biblically based and included movie fare such as “The Ten Commandments” and “King of Kings.”

A daily Bible reader, he considered becoming a preacher himself.

“A part of me still says, ‘Maybe, Denzel, you’re supposed to preach. Maybe you’re still compromising.’ I’ve had an opportunity to play great men and, through their words, to preach,” he said back in 1999.

“I take what talent I’ve been given seriously, and I want to use it for good,” he added

In addition to the two Oscars that he was awarded, Denzel has three Golden Globes, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Tony in his trophy case.

He is starring in a new adaptation of the Shakespeare classic “Macbeth,” which is set to be released Christmas 2021. The upcoming film is titled “The Tragedy of Macbeth.”

For years he has been candid about his faith.

A rousing commencement address that was delivered a few years ago at Dillard University in New Orleans is titled “Put God First.” The speech has over 28 million views on YouTube.

In the address, Denzel notes that everything he has accomplished in this life has been the result of God’s grace. He encourages the graduates to put God first in everything that they do.

One notable quote from the speech made its way around the world.

“I have not always stuck with God, but he has always stuck with me,” Denzel says.

He is one of a handful of Hollywood actors that routinely go against the grain.

One sterling example is his 40 year marriage to wife Pauletta. The couple has four grown children.

Earlier this year he proudly displayed his support for those who risk life and limb to come to the aid of others in need. He openly praised our nation’s law enforcement and military.

“I have the utmost respect for what they do, for what our soldiers do, [people] that sacrifice their lives,” he said.

“I just don’t care for people who put those kind of people down. If it weren’t for them, we would not have the freedom to complain about what they do,” he added.

Denzel was a recent featured speaker at “The Better Man Event,” which was hosted by the First Baptist Church of Orlando. He was able to share the story of how God has led him by the hand along life’s path.

“At 66, getting ready to be 67, having just buried my mother, I made a promise to her and to God, not just to do good the right way, but to honor my mother and my father by the way I live my life, the rest of my days on this Earth. I’m here to serve, to help, to provide,” Denzel said.

He told his spiritual mentor, Pastor A.R. Bernard, senior pastor of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, New York, what God has been telling him when he prays: “In every prayer, all I hear is: ‘Feed my sheep.’ That’s what God wants me to do.”

Often his response is, “What’s that mean?”

But, as Denzel explained, “What I found out in the last couple of years is there are all kinds of sheep. So that’s why I talk to experienced shepherds to help guide me.”

Reaching out to men, Denzel explained that “the world has changed,” and asked, “What is our role as a man?”

According to Denzel, the answer to the question emanates from the qualities of “…strength, leadership, power, authority, guidance, patience…,” and he noted that these “are God’s gift to us as men. We have to cherish that, not abuse it.”

He confided that during “the whole 40-year process” of his career, an inner struggle was taking place “for my own soul.”

He spoke of the dangers of narcissism that are plaguing our society during these current unprecedented times.

“It [the Bible] says in the last days we’ll become lovers of ourselves,” he said.

Then he delved into the self-focus that is a peculiar hallmark of the social media phenomena.

“The number one photograph now is a selfie. So we all want to lead. We’re willing to do anything — ladies and young men — to be influential,” he said.

On the subject of celebrity, he explained, “… Fame is a monster and we all have these ladders and battles, roads we have to walk in our given lives. Be you famous or whoever’s out there listening, we all have our individual challenges. It’s cliché [but] money, don’t make it better. It doesn’t. Fame just magnifies the problems and the opportunities.”

According to Denzel, the formula for a successful life is to “stay on your knees.”

Quoting Psalm 19, he said, “I hope that the words in my mouth and the meditation of my heart are pleasing in God’s sight.”

“I’m just like you. What I have will not keep me on this Earth for one more day. Share what you know, inspire who you can, seek advice. If you want to talk to someone, talk to the One that can do something about it,” he advised.

Wise words from a preacher’s son.

Patricia Heaton’s Soul Survivor Tips

Patricia Heaton is best known for her iconic character Debra Barone in “Everybody Loves Raymond,” the enormously popular TV sitcom that ran for nine seasons and, via its widespread syndication, has become one of the most watched television series in the world.

Unlike so many other celebrities who make it big on the little screen, Heaton managed to strike ratings gold for a second time with the hit television series “The Middle,” in which she plays the lovably quirky wife and mother Frances “Frankie” Heck.

She currently has three shiny Emmy Awards on her trophy shelf, one of which is a surprising daytime Emmy for hosting a cooking series on the Food Network, aptly titled “Patricia Heaton Parties.”

Branching out from television, Heaton has taken on big screen projects as well, which include roles in “Memoirs of an Invisible Man,” “Beethoven,” “The New Age,” and “Space Jam.”

Additionally, she is a World Vision ambassador and was also one of the producers of the film, “Amazing Grace,” a 2006 drama about William Wilberforce, who dedicated his life to the abolition of slavery in 18th-century Britain.

While Heaton has experienced continued success within the entertainment business, she has nevertheless not shied away from expressing her viewpoints. She has even been willing to go against the grain on multiple occasions.

In the wokest of woke worlds, this makes her truly unique. It is especially true when it comes to her willingness to share her deeply held religious beliefs.

Heaton recently used her Instagram account to relay a touching story via video. The caption attached to the footage reads: “[There is] A lot to celebrate this month,” and she included the hashtag reference “#3years.”

While finishing a 3.5 mile hike in the hills surrounding Lake Hollywood, she tells (in a video “selfie”) of celebrating “three years of freedom from alcohol.”

Like others who have fought the addiction battle and lived to tell the tale, Heaton extends a helping hand to those dealing with similar issues.

“Message me if you are thinking about doing that, and if you are doing that now, and you need some encouragement or anything at all,” Heaton implores.

Sounds like a celebrity who really is a friend to her fans.

There is another issue that is dear to her heart, one that is not easy to champion when you live and work in Hollywood: The protection of the unborn.

Heaton is the honorary chair of Feminists for Life, a group that supports pro-life causes from a feminist perspective.

She recently posted a statement on her Twitter account that underscores her belief in the sanctity of life.

“I don’t understand why pro-life people want to know if they are ‘welcome’ to join the democrat party,” she writes, adding, “Why would any civilized person want to support a barbaric platform that champions abortion for any reason through all nine months funded by taxpayers?”

Her values appear to have been shaped by her faith upbringing, having been raised as a devout Catholic Christian. Her sister Sharon is a Dominican nun.

In 2011 Heaton revealed details about her family’s faith in an article that she wrote for Guideposts.

“We went to church as a family every Sunday.” Heaton writes. “We said grace before meals and read stories from our collection of books on the lives of the saints. God was in everything that we did and we soaked it in.”

She describes the impact of losing her mother when she was just 12 years of age, when her mother tragically suffered a brain aneurysm. As is often the case when people have to deal with enormous challenges, faith not only helps to get us through, it strengthens our innermost being in the process.

“Losing her was the hardest thing I’d ever gone through, but at the same time it cemented my belief in everything I’d been taught,” Heaton explains. “Especially that life is a journey, and it’s short, so we should live for God and do the best we can.”

The actress reminisces about a portion of her life, during which she was still struggling with her career. She went on a church mission trip to a Mexican orphanage, where she worked with other volunteers to directly assist the needy. Being part of the loving acts of charity moved her deeply.

After she returned home, she knelt down and prayed aloud. While in prayer, she explains how she experienced a realization of the real meaning of transcendent fulfillment.

“As I spoke it hit me that in all my years of praying and going to church, this was the first time that I had relinquished complete control of my life to God,” she writes.

As searchers before her, as well as those who are to come, Heaton left the faith of her childhood for a while and went off looking for other kinds of Christian worship. But her journey would lead her back home.She describes her return to the place where she first got her start with superlative phrases, “…a great joy” and “…a beautiful thing.”

Heaton once posted details on her Twitter account of an otherworldly encounter with God.

“Spent Mass internally grumbling about lame sermon; received Eucharist, knelt down, burst into tears. #NoOneExpectstheHolySpirit,” Heaton shares.

In 2019, in an appearance on the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” she took the opportunity to share aspects of her faith.

From Heaton’s perspective, we all have a purpose for our lives, and it has little to do with self.

“…there’s only one thing that can be the center of your life and that’s your faith. And I think I wasn’t doing that. And I think God was withholding everything until … He made sure that He was the center of my life and not the career,” Heaton says.

In January of 2021, when a whole lot of people of faith were feeling a sense of disorientation and despondency, Heaton posted words that were comforting then, and still apply all these months later.

“If you’re a common sense person, you probably don’t feel you have a home in this world right now,” she wrote.

Then she was quick to note, “If you’re a Christian, you know you were never meant to.”