Hollywood not totally unbiased

By Anita Doberman: Columnist

It’s always fun to watch the Academy Awards, if only to see celebrities’ faces when they win, and especially when they lose.

There is the teary acceptance speech, always a favorite for me. A few years ago Halle Berry was almost incoherent, and I still got choked up.

There’s watching the fulfillment of the American Dream, like this year with Jennifer Hudson and the satisfaction of winning an award after being voted out of “American Idol.”

And of course – the clothes. There’s a reason the Oscars are sometimes called the Female Super Bowl (though my husband watches with me).

The one thing I don’t look forward to during my Super Bowl is mixing politics with entertainment, even though politics can be entertaining.

I knew Al Gore made a documentary, but I haven’t seen it. I have small children and the concept of going to a movie theater is somewhat foreign to me, yet I do make a point to rent movies. Let me be honest. I rented Gore’s documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” watched 5 minutes and fell asleep.

I wasn’t that surprised to see that Gore’s documentary won. I had heard it was a favorite. Good for Gore – seriously. He believes in what he is doing, is committed and is pushing a worthy cause. What I don’t understand is why he and several actors, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, had to keep repeating that global warming wasn’t about politics. As Shakespeare (who would have loved the Oscars) wrote, they “dost protest too much.”

It’s too bad Hollywood has become polarized and we can’t take something at face value even when it comes to an important issue such as global warming. Hollywood’s messages are often worthy, and we need to care about the environment. But the people who need to be convinced about global warming will see an alliance between the entertainment industry and a former Democratic presidential candidate as alienating and polarizing, and will be more likely to distrust the message.

When celebrities embrace Gore’s documentary, it seems that what they really want to do is criticize the present administration – not about global warming, but in general.

As it is, we are all consumers of entertainment, but only one part of the country feels that Hollywood speaks for them. Even more unfortunately, some of the best-known conservatives in entertainment better not speak for the rest of the country (Mel Gibson).

The perception that Hollywood embraces diversity in everything except opinion makes it hard to be widely convincing when it gets behind a good idea.

If entertainment elites want to succeed in persuading the nation about global warming or any issue, they must gain the nation’s trust. And in order to do that, they have to do a better job of representing the whole country – or at least making the whole country feel welcome. Otherwise, they’re just preaching to their own choir.

As a small step, how about getting some military wives to attend the Oscars?
I’m available for next year.