Through ABC Family and the Christian Broadcast Network, industrialist and Christian Right evangelist Pat Robertson (not his real name) has spent more than 30 years using Hollywood and the cable television industry to inject his social prejudices — and his failed threats of destruction against various cities — into North American households. Mind you, these are households that never asked their cable company to pollute their living rooms with his Christian cash-crazed telethons such as The 700 Club.
While Robertson used Hollywood domestically to preserve various social bigotries and to market himself as a kindly Christian gentleman, he also used his industrial empire to profit from forced labor in the diamond and gold trade in Liberia, and to support notorious African war criminal Charles Taylor.
Few Americans know about Robertson’s history of international human-rights abuses, because he has focused his television empire on other issues to distract public attention. Robertson doesn’t choose issues such as social violence, middle-class poverty, inaccurate news shows, or infidelity and divorce — issues that might enjoy broad public agreement, but which would hit too close to home among his viewers and donors.
Pat Robertson says the primary threat that America faces is from homosexuals who are using Hollywood to glamorize gay people’s rights and to pressure straight actors into accepting gay roles.
Homosexual Hollywood — it’s an alarming prospect, isn’t it? There’s just one problem: Straight actors are taking gay roles (for pay) because directors and casting agents refuse to hire openly gay actors!
The 1996 documentary The Celluloid Closet had no problem finding homophobia in Hollywood 15 years ago. If things have changed, tell that to all the openly homophobic celebrities that AfterElton found last month. Respected straight actor Colin Firth says he sees discrimination against gay actors and feels “complicit” for having accepted a gay role that could have been performed by a gay actor. Actor Rupert Everett has been outspoken about antigay discrimination in Hollywood, as has veteran actor Richard Chamberlain:
Homophobia is alive and well in Hollywood — and few should know that better than Robertson, who is a product of Hollywood conservatives’ glamorization of Christian Right war criminals and human-rights violators.
Hat tip: People for the American Way