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Obama’s Hollywood Backers Steeped in Violence

by Keith Koffler on December 20, 2012, 11:00 am

President Obama, who Wednesday appointed a task force to try to reduce gun violence, accepted millions during the campaign from Hollywood donors who made their fortunes in part by purveying extraordinarily violent entertainment to American and international audiences.

Obama’s substantial debt to Hollywood calls into question the seriousness of his claim Wednesday that he wants to “look more closely at a culture that all too often glorifies guns and violence.”

The list of Obama backers in Hollywood who have been associated with violent entertainment products is long, but a few supporters stand out.

Sly Stallone in the upcoming "Bullet to the Head."

Sly Stallone in the upcoming Warner Bros. cinematic offering Bullet to the Head.

Obama’s second ranking “bundlers” of cash for his reelection effort were, according to the latest figures from OpenSecrets.org, Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Barry Meyer and his wife Wendy. They not only raised some $2 million for the Obama campaign but hosted a fundraiser featuring Michelle Obama at their Los Angeles home.

Warner Bros. has had a hand in producing and distributing many disturbingly violent films, most notoriously The Dark Knight Rises, the ultra-violent Batman thriller at which – during a screening this summer – 24 people were murdered. Coming early next year from Warner Bros: The Sylvester Stallone vehicle Bullet to the Head.

Warner Bros. is also the parent company of Warner Brothers’ Interactive Entertianment, which makes violent video games like Mortal Kombat 2011 and F.E.A.R.

Another top bundler for Obama was film mogul Harvey Weinstein, whose Weinstein Co. film studio has had a hand over the past few years in several violence-strewn epics, including another Stallone special, the 2008 film “Rambo,” as well as Scream 4, Killshot, Halloween, and Halloween 2.

One of Obama’s most influential Hollywood backers is George Clooney, a personal friend of Obama’s who hosted a fundraiser at his home that featured the president himself. Clooney has taken paycheck for several violent productions, including the 1999 killfest Three Kings.

{ 21 comments }

Star December 20, 2012 at 11:11 am

I heard Tom Cruise tried to recut JACK REACHER–but since we Reacher fans think short, squeaky Cruise is a horrible choice for Reacher (he bought the book, he plays the guy), this whole exercise is drumb for many of us. Reacher (book version) does not even have a driver’s license in some books and hates driving, but there is of course–a car chase in the movie. Bah! Reach this!

srdem65 December 20, 2012 at 11:36 am

I agree, “Reacher” should not have been played by a short, skinny guy. Part of the character’s appeal was his size and how he used his skills to subdue the bad guys.
“Reacher” is more JohnWayne than TomCruise.

Star December 20, 2012 at 11:50 am

You think we get worked up on this site–check out the thriller and mystery book list http://www.dorothyl.com. Now THAT is intensity!

mo1 December 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Star and srdem65,

You are absolutely correct. By the way, Lee Child’s contract prohibits him from criticizing the movie and, presumably, the choice of Cruise.

Star December 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm

We think he totally sold out. Oh, well, now he can pay more taxes.

brstevens December 20, 2012 at 11:25 am

I love Quentin Tarantino, but his movies are some of the most violent ever made. And who’s been distributing and/or producing his work since Reservoir Dogs came out 20 years ago? Harvey Weinstein.

Swedishlady December 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

An excellent point, Keith. So why doesn´t he preach to his violence-loving Hollywood friends instead ? And to those awful rappers he surrounds himself with ? I have read some of the “lyrics” his good pal Jay-Z has penned. Tasteless, revolting, violent. Probably inspiring many lost young men in his hometown Chicago.

srdem65 December 20, 2012 at 11:31 am

It’s time for everyone to step back and take a deep breath; there is no rationality to the actions of the mentally disturbed.
Humans are violent, we kill each other in mundane or exotic ways, we kill over parking spaces, property rights, or just because.

Hollywood can relax. Sane people don’t want to kill someone because an actor in a drama made it so exciting. Children don’t want to kill each other because ElmerFudd tried to shoot Bugs Bunny. There hasn’t been a movie made yet where the righteous killer ends the drama by taking his own life.

Those with public voices are fanning flames of panic and fear with a nightmarish massacre of children they insist was the result of a deranged man having access to a certain weapon. Children must be kept safe, they shout, take away the guns.
It’s not the guns, or the ammo, it’s our neglect of our brothers and sisters who dwell in a world of misfired neurons that should be our concern.

Susan December 20, 2012 at 11:38 am

Amen, srdem.

Star December 20, 2012 at 11:53 am

I agree. My late father was a psychiatrist (I know, it explains so much) and he told us over and over that you cannot tell what someone is thinking. He also believed in “the bad seed.”

DeniseVB December 20, 2012 at 11:58 am

Great points srdem. Though if I were the head of a big production company (movies, tv, broadway) I would put in all my actors, directors and production staffs contracts. NO POLITICS. No donations, fundraisers or speeches ! STFU !

Believe it or not, it does affect how I spend my money at the box office. Even Brietbart gave a nice review to Barbra Streisand’s new movie, I won’t go see it because of her outspoken politics. It’s just me, I’m not suggesting anyone boycott her.

DeniseVB December 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Oh, I do believe Clint Eastwood’s movie did poorly after his empty chair speech. And he’s an icon !

Dorothy January 5, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Just out of curiosity, why does Barbra Striesand not have the right, in your opinion, to speak publicly about her political thoughts?

cincycinco December 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm

You are correct, srdem65. Remember, though, these are the same folks who tried to convince us that a terrible, amateurish YouTube video no one ever watched lauched a horrendous series of terrorist attacks that – total coincidence! – just randomly occurred on 9/11.

I wouldn’t expect a lot of genuine “cause and effect” analysis from them…

mo1 December 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm

In the main, I agree. But we can become de-sensitized to violence. And this may be more of a problem in an age when people spend their time on the Internet and playing video games, rather than interacting with, and developing empathy for, other people. It’s not the sole cause. But just as President Obama’s speeches villifying those who disagree with him makes political discussion–and compromise–almost impossible, the vioence of films and video games can help push someone over the edge.

Dorothy January 5, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Elmer Fudd, I would argue, is not lifelike. Quentin Tarantino flicks are, not matter that he claims that they’re just fantasy. There is a thin line between fantasy and reality for a lot of people, and not just the mentally disturned either.

So. The real things to think about are: Why do candidates for President have to go around begging for millions in order to run? What does all this money mean to the state of our Democracy? And why do people enjoy watching mayhem and carnage?

Let’s each one of resolve to live a more honest, more peaceful life. Let’s resolve to stop making people rich who provide only “entertainment” that is at the level of the Roman Coliseum. No more gladiators.

diane gordon December 20, 2012 at 11:34 am

oh, please, my Canadian friends watch the same movies. Next.

cincycinco December 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm

And what would lead you to believe that anything Obama says, he would apply to himself?

I keep expecting a clause to be added (by Executive Order!) to the Constitution that says, simply, “except for Obama”, and every other article to be changed to reference that clause (the way he changed all the other President’s biographies to reference himself).

If someone who took an “oath” to uphold the law doesn’t apply the law to himself, why would you expect him to apply a statement on morality to himself? He’s always been the “Do as I say, not as I do” Prezzy – and remember, the king can do no wrong; how much less, then, the Caliph?

cindylou December 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Good point-I was thinking the same thing.

Not Nabob December 20, 2012 at 7:39 pm

If you read between the lines the Hollywood elite will be exempt of any responsibility. It’s the Democratic way.

James Edwards December 21, 2012 at 10:04 am

The new film “Django” (“…the D is silent”) a crazy Quenten Tarantino film, is a perfect example. Jamie Foxx, black actor, says it was “fun” making a movie where he could kill white people. Really, Jamie? Would it be fun to watch a movie where white people were killing black people? You IDIOT! People like you and Tarantino fall right into the bigots trap of exploiting the hidden psyche of the nut-job who goes to such movies and thinks, “hey, not such a bad idea!” I truly hope this disgusting movie LOSES a ton of money and sends a message to the rest of Hollywood. But, sadly, it will probably make a ton of money because there are those who truly believe it is indeed, “fun” to watch a black man kill white people.