In liberal Hollywood, a conservative minority faces backlash in the age of Trump
As an Academy Award-winning producer and a political conservative, Gerald Molen has worked in the entertainment business long enough to remember when being openly Republican in Hollywood was no big deal.
“In the ’90s, it was never really an issue that I had to hide. I was always forthright,” recalled the producer, whose credits include “Schindler’s List” and two “Jurassic Park” movies. “It used to be we could have a conversation with two opposing points of view and it would be amiable. At the end, we still walked away and had lunch together.”
Those days are largely gone, he said. “The acrimony — it’s there. It’s front and center.”
For the vast majority of conservatives who work in entertainment, going to set or the office each day has become a game of avoidance and secrecy. The political closet is now a necessity for many in an industry that is among the most liberal in the country.
Since the presidential election, some conservatives feel that their political beliefs are more of a career liability than ever — even for those traditional Republicans disenchanted by President Trump.
“I feel absolutely it has harmed me professionally,” said Andrew Klavan, the L.A.-based screenwriter and novelist, and a “reluctant” Trump supporter. His credits include the 1990 Michael Caine dark comedy “A Shock to the System” and the novel “True Crime,” which was made into a movie directed by Clint Eastwood.
Klavan said that producers have “called my agent asking, ‘Why would you represent this guy?’ Anything that lowers your odds is going to hurt.”