The leftist political agenda that prevails in Hollywood not only damages artists’ values and spirituality but also stifles their creativity, filmmakers Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman said.
People tend to believe that Hollywood is ruled by money but in fact “political correctness and leftism is what rules Hollywood,” Konzelman told The Epoch Times’ “Crossroads.”
The way Hollywood operates is that if someone is given an opportunity that can bring in a fortune, they will be required to violate their morals, destroying everything the person believes in, Konzelman explained.
After successful careers in the secular film industry, Solomon and Konzelman left Hollywood to find their way in making faith movies. “We were called to come out of Hollywood and start a new Hollywood which was basically where faith and family and tradition and all these things and truth matter,” Solomon said.
Solomon and Konzelman have been writers and producers in the entertainment industry for 30 years. They have worked with Warner Brothers, Paramount, Sony-Columbia, and 20th Century Fox.
“It was horrible, it was dark, it was perverse, it was everything we weren’t. Its political, spiritual, moral intentions were all evil in our opinion … we’re about to leave the business because, I mean, our soul was being just destroyed,” Solomon said in describing Hollywood at the time they left it.
“Any creative spirit you have is crushed by Hollywood because they take the attitude that if you don’t think like [them], if you’re not an automaton, if you’re not a machine that thinks the way [they] want morally, spiritually, or in any other way, [they] don’t need you [and] will destroy you or crush you. So you’re fighting, you’re constantly swimming upstream,” Solomon said.
“Your heart gets rended when you can’t create if you’re a creative person; you need to create. A painter needs to paint but you can’t paint what you don’t believe,” he added.
In addition, “there’s a tremendous darkness in Hollywood that people don’t know,” Solomon said. “If the people actually knew what was going on behind the scenes in Hollywood … they would burn down the studios.”
Hollywood was once the greatest commodity in America; it supported freedom during World War II “but now the devil has corrupted it, it’s dark, it’s perverse,” Solomon said. “It’s the face of evil, it’s the destructive mechanism that could destroy the world and people don’t see it.”
There are many conservatives in Hollywood but they are not in control of the means of production, Konzelman explained. They work on film crews as editors, assistant directors, grips, or gaffers.
“There’s lots of conservatives there, they just have to be quiet,” he added.
They “are afraid of being outed as a conservative in town” as it may lead to not getting any business opportunities, Konzelman said. Over the last 10 years, he and Solomon have not been contacted for business by Hollywood agents, managers, or entertainment attorneys, he said.
Film as Propaganda Machine
“Hollywood is the greatest propaganda machine that has ever existed,” Solomon said.
According to Ronald Rychlak, a law professor at the University of Mississippi School of Law, authoritarian regimes have been using films for political gain since the early 20th century.
“The entertainment industry is tremendously influential—go back and look at how the Soviets controlled movie theaters and ballet. The Nazis did the same thing,” said Rychlak, who coauthored the book “Disinformation.”
In the past few years, several companies in the Hollywood film industry were acquired by Chinese capital. The most well-known was the acquisition of AMC Theaters and Hollywood studio Legendary Entertainment by Chinese company Wanda. However, due to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, AMC suffered losses, and Wanda relinquished its majority stake in AMC, retaining less than 10 percent, according to Screen Daily.
Several other Hollywood production studios entered into partnerships or contracts with Chinese companies.
“While the studios are completely wrapped up in their political agenda, to date the theater chains have not been,” Konzelman said. As long as a movie attracts viewers the theaters are willing to show it, he added. “Our product can do that, so they’re willing to have us.”
Solomon believes that those times are over and “theaters are going to now be absorbed by the Hollywood studios so that they will have the theater money and they will have the streaming money” and be able to control the means of communication to the American people and the world.
The big success for both filmmakers was their movie “Unplanned,” released in 2019. The story presents a “true account of Abby Johnson’s conversion from dedicated Planned Parenthood clinic director to superstar advocate for the unborn,” Solomon and Konzelman wrote for The Epoch Times.
However, the movie met with suppression by cable outlets and social media, Solomon and Konzelman wrote. “’Unplanned’ still managed to gross over $20 million; it could have done far better with a level playing field.”
Twitter destroyed the movie’s promotional account on the Friday night of the opening weekend, Konzelman said.
Film marketing involves building the intensity for the night of the opening weekend, Konzelman explained. On that night Twitter cut off the account feed completely so when it was partially restored the next morning only a hundredth of the followers was shown.
“We had, you know, 200,000-plus followers, we went to under 2,000, and the star of our movie, Ashley Bratcher, and the subject of our movie, Abby Johnson, were both unable to follow their own movie [on Twitter],” Konzelman continued.
It was so abusive that the filmmakers reported it to the White House twice, and were called to testify before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on suppression of conservative thought, Konzelman said.
A Twitter spokesperson said at the time that the account was suspended by mistake.
“We reinstated the account as soon as it was brought to our attention. An account’s followers take time to fully replenish after it is reinstated. We are not hiding follower counts or disallowing certain people from following,” the spokesperson said in a 2019 email.
Both filmmakers encountered pressure while working on the movie but they believed that they were protected, Solomon said.
“It was miraculous, it was impossible to make that movie,” Solomon said, “We were told in prayer to go to Oklahoma which is the reddest state in the Union, and literally to hide to make the movie.”
They had a legitimate concern that some people could interfere with their work and try to damage their premises and equipment so they had a special team of operatives to protect their work, Solomon said.
The project was carried out under an assumed name and “people only knew that it was a faith and values friendly project but they didn’t know what it was,” Konzelman said, adding that people in town were praying for them.
With three days to go before production started, the filmmakers were short a million dollars, Solomon said, but all of a sudden he received a phone call from a stranger telling him, “Send me your routing number.”
The person calling said that he was flying over with his jet, praying with his girlfriend to Jesus four times, Solomon continued. The man heard Jesus telling him to send a million dollars to Solomon, and shortly after a million dollars was deposited in their bank account, Solomon said.
The filmmakers were approached by people who were inspired by their work and wanted to help them in various ways, he added.
“I just think it’s time for people to get active. They’ve got to want to do it, they got to want to change it,” Solomon said.
“All the people like us … we have to stand up; it’s time … it’s time to go forward for what we believe, otherwise they’re going to be telling us what to believe, and they’re already doing that,” Solomon added.
Petr Svab contributed to this report.