Republicans in Hollywood feel bullied

Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:35pm EDT
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By Paul Bond

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - At a recent event for Republicans in Hollywood, an actress was asked whether she had ever worn her pro-Sarah Palin pin to an audition.

"You must be joking!" she said with a laugh, adding, "But I see Obama stuff all the time."

It's no secret that the entertainment industry is overwhelmingly liberal -- political donations this presidential cycle from the movie, TV and music industries recently were running about 86% Democrat versus 14% Republican. But being outnumbered is one thing, but being bullied by your liberal co-workers into keeping your opinions to yourself is quite another.

Is that what's going on? Yes, say many of the industry's conservatives. That's why secret organizations with such names as "SpeakEasy" and "The Sunday Night Club" spring up every so often. They're not conservative per se, they just let it be known that attendees of their gatherings may freely discuss politics without being chastised for not toeing the liberal line.

"Are you kidding me? Of course it's true," Kelsey Grammer said when asked whether the town is hostile to conservatives. "I wish Hollywood was a two-party town, but it's not."

Grammer said he knows of a makeup trailer that sported a sign warning Republicans to keep out and of U.S. war veterans who keep their backgrounds a secret from their Hollywood co-workers because they hear them belittle the military.

He even said that, earlier in his career, his job was threatened by a prominent sitcom director who demanded he donate money to Barbara Boxer's U.S. Senate campaign. To keep his job, he gave $10,000 to Boxer and the Democrats.

Nowadays, Grammer is a bankable actor who is unafraid to speak his mind. His advice to less established industry players, though, is to shut up about politics -- "unless you think the way you are supposed to think," and that means liberal.   Continued...

<p>Actor Kelsey Grammer (R) and wife Camille watch a match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Flushing Meadows, New York August 27, 2008. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes</p>