I just can’t believe that I’m going to post this AGAIN. But I have to, after the Oscar’s terribly unfunny Jew joke. I want to make it clear that I LOVE off-color jokes (and the Jews are in no way out-of-bounds), but they need to be funny enough to highlight the absurdity of their misguided core idea rather than propagating old stereotypes.
And so, to help dispense with the pernicious and pervasive idea that the Jews “control” Hollywood, I have to repeat – once again – a commentary I wrote years ago on The Business Brief.
There’s no doubt that Jews played a major role in the creation of the American entertainment industry. Many of the titans of early Hollywood – Harry Cohn, William Fox, Carl Laemlle, Louis B. Mayer, Jack and Harry Warner, and Adolph Zucker – were Eastern European Jews. And so were many of the creative types they hired to write and direct their movies. Jews might have run Hollywood then. But now? Come on. Every major studio is owned by a giant, publicly traded conglomerate. There are no more Hollywood titans. These days, no one person has the power to green-light a $250 million movie.
Let’s face it, you do run into a lot of Jews doing business on a day-to-day basis in Hollywood. And Yiddish — the language of the shtetl – has become a kind of Hollywood lingua franca. In this town, if you don’t know what a putz is, you’re a putz.
In fact, while Jews represent just under 2% of Americans identifying with a religion, they account for something like 35% of the 50 most powerful people in Hollywood as determined by Premiere magazine in their 2007 Power List. They represent a similar percentage of Entertainment Weekly’s “50 Smartest People in Hollywood.”
While this is anything but a rigorous statistical analysis, we can all agree that Jews are disproportionately represented in Hollywood as a whole, but in control? Jews 35% – non-Jews 65%. The Democrats make up 53% of the House…and no one’s saying they’re in control.
Unlike the early days, the modern entertainment industry is a global, billion-dollar business employing millions of people. To even suggest that one group “runs” it is to side with the conspiracy theorists. You might as well believe that the Apollo 11 moon landings were faked by NASA. Well, that’s a bad example. But you know what I mean.
In the modern corporate world of mass media, if there is a god that the industry prays to, it is money. And before you go there, that’s also true in, say, the oil business, which nobody accuses of being run by the Jews.
So while it’s true that Jewish secular culture has lingered from Hollywood’s early days, and it’s true that Jews are still disproportionately represented amongst Hollywood’s elite, let’s not make the unacceptable and offensive leap to the erroneous conclusion that Jews “run” Hollywood. OK? I humbly step down from my soapbox.