02/23/09 — Different views: Hollywood still doesn't get that it isn't tolerant either

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Different views: Hollywood still doesn't get that it isn't tolerant either

Another Oscar awards show and another political statement, this time by Sean Penn. But good news, at least the political agenda was not as blatant as it usually is and the comments did not take up a majority of the acceptance speeches.

But there is something that seems to be becoming a real problem for those who are in the entertainment industry in general and Hollywood in specific.

Many of those actors don't seem to like Middle America or anyone whose values do not exactly mirror their own. And they are getting less and less shy about talking about it -- and less and less willing to debate both sides of any issue.

The number of actors and others who seem to think it is OK to vilify anyone who does not immediately jump on the gay marriage bandwagon or who raises questions about issues that relate to the more liberal side of the equation seems to be increasing.

The idea is that anyone who does not necessarily agree with their point of view, or who professes to be a Christian with a viewpoint that reflects that orientation, must be some kind of conservative monster who is out to destroy human rights. They can't have a point worth considering because they are from the religious right.

These spokesmodels give those viewpoints no respect, yet expect others to listen to their interpretations of a variety of issues of the day. Their qualification to speak? It seems for a Hollywood actor, all it takes is an awards show podium.

And some of the comments they make are downright rude and disrespectful.

Hollywood needs to wake up. There are new issues to debate in this nation and many divergent viewpoints on what the next best course of action might be for handling the differences of opinion.

The right to speak your mind does not only belong to those who support liberal causes.

And choosing to insult those who have different views from yours might not be the best course of action for an industry that thrives on the good will of the people -- just ask the Dixie Chicks.

Published in Editorials on February 23, 2009 10:51 AM