Media & Copyright
War & Peace
Horror Film Aesthetics
Horror Film Festivals
Horror Film Reviews
Tabloid Witch Awards
BURT PRELUTSKY: BUSH RE-ELECTION DESTROYS HOLLYWOOD
by Thomas M. Sipos, managing editor.
[December 7, 2004]
The 2004 national election destroyed many longtime Hollywood friendships,
as Tinseltown's glamorous denizens were torn by heated arguments over Bush
That's the shocking revelation
of Hollywood scribe and proud Republican Burt Prelutsky, who recently authored Conservatives
Are from Mars, Liberals Are from San Francisco.
"I know of friendships that
have been torn asunder and of business relationships between writers and
producers that have ended badly," said Prelutsky to the Hollywood Investigator.
whether the arguments stem from an especially contentious election or from
the GOP's growing presence in Hollywood,
Prelutsky said, "I think the strain is based on the fact that no president
in my lifetime has been hated as much as Bush. Personally, I attribute
it far less to his policies than to his being so forthright about his religion. Much of the hostility to him comes, I know only too well, from my fellow
Jews. Oddly enough, they dislike and fear devout Christians more
than they do Islamo-fascists."
to name names, Prelutsky added, "I myself have had friendships and even
family relationships strained to the breaking point and maybe beyond. Only time will tell."
that in his case, none of the strained relations were business related. "These days, all my writing is done for various websites [e.g. World
Net Daily and Men's News Daily],
and, on occasion, for the Washington
Times, where my right-wing point of view is treasured."
are Hollywood Republicans different from red state Republicans? Is
Arnold Schwarzenegger a typical example: fiscally conservative (in word
if not in deed), a strong supporter of Israel and the War on Terror, but
also pro-choice on abortion, pro-gun control, and tolerant of gay rights?
some Republican positions are more acceptable to some [Hollywood] people
than other positions," said Prelutsky. "But there are people who
hate Israel and champion higher taxes. It just depends on who the
people are. I honestly can't say what most Hollywood Republicans
it's a safe guess that most Hollywood Republicans are more liberal when
it comes to certain social/sexual issues than those who live in the South
and Midwest. I know my website garners much favorable comment from the red states and very little from
* Guilty of Growing Old
some twenty years, the sixtysomething Prelutksy was a top TV scribe, writing
for Dragnet, McMillan
& Wife, M*A*S*H, Mary
Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob
Newhart, Family Ties, Dr.
Quinn, and Diagnosis
Murder. But the writing jobs dried up when Prelutsky committed
the crime of nearing his 50th birthday. With bills mounting, he took
desperate measures. Against the advice of friends and business associates,
he took a full-page ad in Daily Variety,
listing his many credits but also confessing his age and admitting that
he'd been told he was "too old" to be hired.
created much buzz. Magazines and newspapers followed up with articles
about the dreaded "graylist." Prelutsky became something of a poster
boy for the issue of Hollywood ageism, an image he retains to this day. He never regained his previous high-level success, but some new work did
come his way, much of it from producer Stephen
J. Cannell, whom Prelutsky credits with being a lifesaver.
decade later, Prelutsky still writes about Hollywood
ageism. But being forcibly semi-retired from TV has had one liberating
effect: because he's already been graylisted for his age, Prelutsky no
longer worries about being blacklisted for his politics.
of my life I was a Democrat," Prelutsky told the Investigator. "Coming
out of the [GOP] closet, as it were, hasn't harmed my TV writing career,
because I haven't got a career these days. It's true I converted
[to the GOP] before getting my first staff job (as Executive Story Consultant
Murder), and that I argued at length with my colleagues on the
show, but we all got along in spite of our political differences. I know they hated my politics, but fortunately it's very difficult, if
not impossible, to dislike me!
hypocrites are quick to label those who disagree with them racists, sexists,
fascists, and bad dressers. However, I don't think they cut conservative
blacks, Jews, and gays any slack. Instead, they merely add to their
list of insults 'oreos' and 'sellouts.' Of course, a white Christian
fundamentalist, a WASP, cannot be proven innocent. He is the enemy. He is, after all, the living embodiment of European culture, representing
those very Judeo-Christian values and traditions the elitists despise."
is now part of a class action lawsuit against the networks, as well as
several production companies and talent agencies. [See below for
while Hollywood claims to be sensitive to racism, anti-Semitism, sexism,
and homophobia, its ageism is open and unabashed. Calls for diversity
ignore diversity of age. Yet Prelutsky believes that Hollywood liberals
are not even consciously aware of their inconsistency to their own ideals.
weren't blind to their shortcomings," said Prelutsky, "they would have
to acknowledge that they are all hypocrites. For instance, they claim
they want the government to look out for the little guy, but they pay their
gofers and assistants as little as the law allows, and they don't think
twice about filming out of the country in order to keep expenses down by not having to hire union people on their
movies. But you never hear about any of them taking $19 million in
salary instead of $20 million so that the IATSE members in America can feed their families."
to Hollywood liberals about their own ageism won't change their hiring
practices, said Prelutsky. "These self-righteous bozos would merely
point to the few exceptions -- the token seniors, as it were -- and flee
to their trailers to call their PR flacks and find out why they haven't
been on Entertainment Tonight in a week and a half. Whatever else they might
lack, they do have a sense of priorities, after all."
liberals are not only open, but even proud, of practicing ageism (though
that's not the term they would use). They brag about the youth-appeal
of their shows and films, and about the youth-orientedness of their companies
and of themselves. Yet Prelutsky doesn't think Hollywood is all that
different from the rest of America, as least not when it comes to aging.
people in the country are youth-crazy," says Prelutsky. "I don't
know that the Hollywood crowd is all that different, except they have the
wherewithal to hire personal trainers, plastic surgeons, botox specialists,
etc., and to write them all off as business expenses.
and executives like to surround themselves with young people for a variety
of reasons. One, it makes them feel younger. Two, nubile young
women are readily available to them. Three, younger people are more
impressionable; they actually believe their bosses are as magnificent as
the bosses think they are (at least for a while). Four, older guys
like to control fiefdoms, to have their flunkies at their beck and call,
and younger people are less likely to have husbands and wives to rush home
to at five o'clock.
because the networks and Madison Avenue are invested in the young consumer,
it makes sense that executives are young. And young executives would
rather deal with writers and producers with whom they play Nintendo games
on the weekend rather than with folks who are as old as their parents or,
God forbid, even older. That also makes sense in the movie business
because most tickets are sold to young people. Oddly enough, it makes
far more sense in the movies than in TV, if only because older people watch
a lot of TV. And though the older crowd has far more money to spend,
young people spend a greater percentage of their discretionary income.
studies show that older people are just as likely to try new products as
young people. It's true if you turn a 20-year-old into a customer,
you may have him for 60 years, whereas a new 60-year-old customer
you may only have for 20 years -- but you may also only have
either one for a week or two, until your competitor comes out with a new,
improved product or cuter commercial.
things aren't likely to change is because the networks, the cable stations,
and Madison Avenue have bought into the younger demographic for so long,
they wouldn't know where to begin if they had to change their point of
far easier, after all, to think young than to actually have to think."
Copyright 2004 by HollywoodInvestigator.com
Tell Us What YOU Think! -- On Our Message