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Censorship in Hollywood

 
 
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2002 11:12 am
Funding has been suddenly withdrawn for a movie drama/documentary by the distinguished English novellist William Boyd: subject Adolf Hitler's rise from vagrant in 1912 to Chancellor of Germany by 1933. Why?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 2,037 • Replies: 16
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2002 11:38 am
Here's a link to the Observer article about the filming but haven't read anything about the project being torpedoed. The hue and cry has been over the portrayal of Hitler.

http://www.observer.co.uk/Print/0,3858,4465758,00.html
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Steve 41oo
 
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Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2002 04:46 pm
What, Hitler the hero?
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timberlandko
 
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Reply Fri 20 Dec, 2002 02:52 am
Napoleon has been the subject of any number of biographical treatments .... but off the top of my head it was from well before the time of his final defeat not until Tolstoy's "War and Peace", a half century after Waterloo, that he was depicted or considered by most of Europe as other than a monster. Now he has been if anything romanticized. Hitler, though fresher in memory, shows little promise of faring in like manner.



timber
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Fri 20 Dec, 2002 03:15 am
There have been some reports recently in the papers (however, on other films than what the BBC reported on December, 12):

CBS' Hitler Miniseries Adds to Cast

MEET MRS. HITLER
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Dec, 2002 05:37 am
from the meet Mrs Hitler article above posted by Walter;

"Although filming has yet to begin, the project has already drawn criticism from skeptical Jewish groups, such as the Anti-Defamation League, that don't see the value of dramatizing the life of Hitler on TV.

"Why the need or the desire to make this monster human? The judgment of history is that he was evil, that he was responsible for millions of deaths," said ADL national director Abraham Foxman in comments published earlier this year."

They have gone further than this and got the project scrapped, well according to William Boyd who I heard interviewed on the BBC on the morning I started this thread. Sad
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Fri 20 Dec, 2002 05:46 am
BBC scraps Hitler drama


Here is a (conservative paper) commentary to that:

The trouble is Hitler was human
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Steve 41oo
 
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Reply Fri 20 Dec, 2002 06:12 am
Thanks as usual Walter for useful links

The BBC article talks about the film. The telegraph talks about the film and a boycott of Israeli academics that has nothing to do with the film (clearly stupid)

There is no question in my mind that what is going on here is censorship by the Jewish lobby in America. This is from From Prof. Kevin MacDonald

Kevin MacDonald Department of Psychology California State University-Long Beach Long Beach, CA 90840-0901 [email protected]


By all accounts, ethnic Jews have a powerful influence in the American media—far larger than any other identifiable group. The extent of Jewish ownership and influence on the popular media in the United States is remarkable given the relatively small proportion of the population that is Jewish.28 In a survey performed in the 1980s, 60 percent of a representative sample of the movie elite were of Jewish background (Powers et al. 1996, 79n13). Michael Medved (1996, 37) notes that “it makes no sense at all to try to deny the reality of Jewish power and prominence in popular culture. Any list of the most influential production executives at each of the major movie studios will produce a heavy majority of recognizably Jewish names. This prominent Jewish role is obvious to anyone who follows news reports from Tinsel Town or even bothers to read the credits on major movies or television shows.”

Media ownership is always in flux, but the following is a reasonably accurate portrait of current media ownership in the United States by ethnic Jews:

The largest media company in the world was recently formed by the merger of America On Line and Time Warner. Gerald M. Levin, formerly the head of Time Warner, is the Chief Executive Officer of the new corporation. AOL-Time Warner has holdings in television (e.g., Home Box Office, CNN, Turner Broadcasting), music (Warner Music), movies (Warner Brothers Studio, Castle Rock Entertainment, and New Line Cinema), and publishing (Time, Sports Illustrated, People, Fortune).

The second largest media company is the Walt Disney Company, headed by Michael Eisner. Disney has holdings in movies (Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, under Walt Disney Studios, includes Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Caravan Pictures, Miramax Films); television (Capital Cities/ABC [owner of the ABC television network], Walt Disney Television, Touchstone Television, Buena Vista Television, ESPN, Lifetime, A&E Television networks) and cable networks with more than 100 million subscribers; radio (ABC Radio Network with over 3,400 affiliates and ownership of 26 stations in major cities); publishing (seven daily newspapers, Fairchild Publications [Women’s Wear Daily], and the Diversified Publishing Group).

The third largest media company is Viacom, Inc., headed by Sumner Redstone, who is also Jewish. Viacom has holdings in movies (Paramount Pictures); broadcasting (the CBS TV network; MTV [a particular focus of criticism by cultural conservatives], VH-1, Nickelodeon, Showtime, the National Network, Black Entertainment Television, 13 television stations; programming for the three television networks); publishing (Simon & Schuster, Scribner, The Free Press, and Pocket Books), video rentals (Blockbuster); it is also involved in satellite broadcasting, theme parks, and video games.

Another major media player is Edgar Bronfman, Jr., the son of Edgar Bronfman, Sr., president of the World Jewish Congress and heir to the Seagram distillery fortune. Until its merger with Vivendi, a French Company, in December 2000, Bronfman headed Universal Studios, a major movie production company, and the Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company (including Polygram, Interscope Records, Island/Def Jam, Motown, Geffen/DGC Records). After the merger, Bronfman became the Executive Vice-Chairman of the new company, Vivendi Universal, and the Bronfman family and related entities became the largest shareholders in the company.29 Edgar Bronfman, Sr. is on the Board of Directors of the new company.

Other major television companies owned by Jews include New World Entertainment (owned by Ronald Perelman who also owns Revlon cosmetics), and DreamWorks SKG (owned by film director Steven Spielberg, former Disney Pictures chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, and recording industry mogul David Geffen). DreamWorks SKG produces movies, animated films, television programs, and recorded music. Spielberg is also a Jewish ethnic activist. After making Schindler’s List, Spielberg established Survivors of the Shoah Foundation with the aid of a grant from the U.S. Congress. He also helped fund Professor Deborah Lipstadt’s defense against a libel suit brought by British military historian and Holocaust revisionist David Irving.

In the world of print media, the Newhouse media empire owns 26 daily newspapers, including several large and important ones, such as the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Newark Star-Ledger, and the New Orleans Times-Picayune; Newhouse Broadcasting, consisting of 12 television broadcasting stations and 87 cable-TV systems, including some of the country’s largest cable networks; the Sunday supplement Parade, with a circulation of more than 22 million copies per week; some two dozen major magazines, including the New Yorker, Vogue, Mademoiselle, Glamour, Vanity Fair, Bride’s, Gentlemen’s Quarterly, Self, House & Garden, and all the other magazines of the wholly owned Conde Nast group.

The newsmagazine, U.S. News & World Report, with a weekly circulation of 2.3 million, is owned and published by Mortimer B. Zuckerman. Zuckerman also owns New York’s tabloid newspaper, the Daily News, the sixth-largest paper in the country, and is the former owner of the Atlantic Monthly. Zuckerman is a Jewish ethnic activist. Recently he was named head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, an umbrella organization for major Jewish organizations in the U.S.30 Zuckerman’s column in U.S. News and World Report regularly defends Israel and has helped to rejuvenate the America-Israeli Friendship League, of which he is president.31

Another Jewish activist with a prominent position in the U.S. media is Martin Peretz, owner of The New Republic (TNR) since 1974. Throughout his career Peretz has been devoted to Jewish causes, particularly Israel. During the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, he told Henry Kissinger that his “dovishness stopped at the delicatessen door,” and many among his staff feared that all issues would be decided on the basis of what was “good for the Jews” (Alterman 1992, 185, 186). Indeed, one editor was instructed to obtain material from the Israeli embassy for use in TNR editorials. “It is not enough to say that TNR’s owner is merely obsessed with Israel; he says so himself. But more importantly, Peretz is obsessed with Israel’s critics, Israel’s would-be critics, and people who never heard of Israel, but might one day know someone who might someday become a critic” (Alterman 1992, 195).

The Wall Street Journal is the largest-circulation daily newspaper in the U.S. It is owned by Dow Jones & Company, Inc., a New York corporation that also publishes 24 other daily newspapers and the weekly financial paper Barron’s. The chairman and CEO of Dow Jones is Peter R. Kann. Kann also holds the posts of chairman and publisher of the Wall Street Journal.

The Sulzberger family owns the New York Times Co., which owns 33 other newspapers, including the Boston Globe. It also owns twelve magazines (including McCall’s and Family Circle, each with a circulation of more than 5 million), seven radio and TV broadcasting stations; a cable-TV system; and three book publishing companies. The New York Times News Service transmits news stories, features, and photographs from the New York Times by wire to 506 other newspapers, news agencies, and magazines.

Jewish ownership of the New York Times is particularly interesting because it has been the most influential newspaper in the U.S. since the start of the 20th century. As noted in a recent book on the Sulzberger family (Tifft & Jones 1999), even at that time, there were several Jewish-owned newspapers, including the New York World (controlled by Joseph Pulitzer), the Chicago Times-Herald and Evening Post (controlled by H. H. Kohlsaat), and the New York Post (controlled by the family of Jacob Schiff). In 1896 Adolph Ochs purchased the New York Times with the critical backing of several Jewish businessmen, including Isidor Straus (co-owner of Macy’s department stores) and Jacob Schiff (a successful investment banker who was also a Jewish ethnic activist). “Schiff and other prominent Jews like . . . Straus had made it clear they wanted Adolph to succeed because they believed he ‘could be of great service to the Jews generally’ ” (Tifft & Jones 1999, 37–38). Ochs’s father-in-law was the influential Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, president of the AJCongress and the World Jewish Congress and the founder of Reform Judaism in the United States.

There are some exceptions to this pattern of media ownership, but even in such cases ethnic Jews have a major managerial role.32 For example, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation owns Fox Television Network, 20th Century Fox Films, Fox 2000, and the New York Post. However, Peter Chernin is president and CEO of Fox Group, which includes all of News Corporation’s film, television, and publishing operations in the United States. Murdoch is deeply philosemitic and deeply committed to Israel, at least partly from a close relationship he developed early in his career with Leonard Goldenson, who founded the American Broadcasting Company. (Goldenson was a major figure in New York’s Jewish establishment and an outspoken supporter of Israel.) Murdoch’s publications have taken a strongly pro-Israel line, including The Weekly Standard, the premier neo-conservative magazine, edited by William Kristol.
Murdoch . . . as publisher and editor-in-chief of the New York Post, had a large Jewish constituency, as he did to a lesser degree with New York magazine and The Village Voice. Not only had the pre-Murdoch Post readership been heavily Jewish, so, too, were the present Post advertisers. Most of Murdoch’s closest friends and business advisers were wealthy, influential New York Jews intensely active in pro-Israel causes. And he himself still retained a strong independent sympathy for Israel, a personal identification with the Jewish state that went back to his Oxford days. (Kiernan 1986, 261)


Murdoch also developed close relationships with several other prominent Jewish figures in the New York establishment, including attorney Howard Squadron, who was president of the AJCongress and head of the Council of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, and investment banker Stanley Schuman.

Another exception is NBC which is owned by General Electric. However, the President of NBC is Andrew Lack and the President of NBC News is Neal Shapiro, both of whom are Jewish. In addition, the Bertelsmann publishing group is a Germany-based company that is the largest publisher of trade books in the world and also owns magazines, newspapers, and music. Most of Bertelsmann’s influence is outside the United States, although it recently purchased the Random House Publishing Company.

Even granting the exceptions, it is clear that Jews enjoy a very powerful position in U.S. media, a position that is far more powerful than any other racial/ethnic group. The phenomenal concentration of media power in Jewish hands becomes all the more extraordinary when one notes that Jews constitute approximately 2.5% of the U.S. population. If the Jewish percentage of the American media elite is estimated at 59% (Lichter et al. 1983, 55)—probably an underestimate at the present time, the degree of disproportionate representation may be calculated as greater than 2000%. The likelihood that such an extraordinary disparity could arise by chance is virtually nil. Ben Stein, noting that about 60% of the top positions in Hollywood are held by Jews, says “Do Jews run Hollywood? You bet they do—and what of it?”33 Does Jewish ownership and control of the media have any effect on the product? Here I attempt to show that the attitudes and opinions favored by the media are those generally held by the wider Jewish community, and that the media tends to provide positive images of Jews and negative images of traditional American and Christian culture.

As many academics have pointed out, the media have become more and more important in creating culture (e.g., Powers et al. 1996, 2). Before the 20th century, the main creators of culture were the religious, military, and business institutions. In the course of the 20th century these institutions became less important while the media have increased in importance (for an account of this transformation in the military, see Bendersky 2000). And there is little doubt that the media attempt to shape the attitudes and opinions of the audience (Powers et al. 1996, 2–3). Part of the continuing culture of critique is that the media elite tend to be very critical of Western culture. Western civilization is portrayed as a failing, dying culture, but at worst it is presented as sick and evil compared to other cultures (Powers et al. 1996, 211). These views were common in Hollywood long before the cultural revolution of the 1960s, but they were not often expressed in the media because of the influence of non-Jewish cultural conservatives.
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jespah
 
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Reply Fri 20 Dec, 2002 08:45 am
Uh, steve, are you making a point here, other than the fact that there are a lot of Jewish people in Hollywood?
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Steve 41oo
 
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Reply Fri 20 Dec, 2002 09:45 am
Jes

Yes I am making a point. I'm making the point that a perfectly serious film has been censored for political reasons. It doesn't bother me in the slightest that American media is heavily influenced by the "Jewish lobby" as Prof MacDonald has demonstrated, but I do think its sad we will not get to see this film because the establishment in Hollywood does not feel it appropriate. Why?
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fishin
 
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Reply Fri 20 Dec, 2002 10:27 am
IMO, the claim of "censorship" is being used a bit excessively as of late. Those opposed to the flim have every right to voice their objection freely. They haven't taken the film from CBS or the BBC and removed parts of it or edited the script nor have they sought a court injunction preventing the movie from being made.

It isn't the "Jewish Lobby" that has killed the film. The film's producers killed it because they don't have the balls to express themselves and take the heat that often goes with free expression. They censored themselves.
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Dec, 2002 10:40 am
Fishin

You started your last post by saying the word "censorship" was too strong a word. Yet you finish by saying "they censored themselves".

I don't care if censorship is done in an active or a passive sense, its still censorship, and I want to know why.
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jespah
 
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Reply Fri 20 Dec, 2002 10:58 am
And, I have to say, it's worrisome to me when things like this are couched in terms of there being a "Jewish lobby", as if we are evil people pulling the strings of power.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Fri 20 Dec, 2002 11:03 am
The stalwart Robert Murdoch backs down? How could that be? We've had biopics of Jeffrey Dahmer and other sociopathic murderers, why not Hitler? I think you could read many things into this but I don't think you'll be finding any answers until the rumors and suppositions die down. There are several biographical books, two by the historians mentioned above that someone made it past the publishing censors. As television is a more dominate public medium, this would be a factor in Murdoch's decision that this was too sensitive a subject at this time. In other words, any humanizing of Hitler could transfer over to Osama Bin Laden. I don't think it is censorship as much as political correctness on the part of Murdoch and some will interpret that was the far right having no real guts.
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fishin
 
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Reply Fri 20 Dec, 2002 11:11 am
Steve (as 41oo) wrote:
Fishin

You started your last post by saying the word "censorship" was too strong a word. Yet you finish by saying "they censored themselves".

I don't care if censorship is done in an active or a passive sense, its still censorship, and I want to know why.


You are right, I did. I should have used "censored" (with quotes) in my last sentence.

IMO, I told you the "why". They aren't willing to take the heat for their actions. The only thing holding them back is that they value good press and a fast buck more than they value making this series. That isn't censorship, that's making their own business decision.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Fri 20 Dec, 2002 11:13 am
Right, Jespah, the "Jewish lobby" can be made to sound as ominous as the "Gay Mafia." We all have gut reactions to something like this and I'd like to continue to follow the story -- too bad the script isn't available but I can't imagine it being any less honest that the historian's accounts of Hitler's early life. Yes, he was rejected by Jewish art professors at the art academy in Vienna for his prosaic attempt at drawing and rightly so. This was one of the importants seeds of his hatred of Jews. We could go into the fact that the arts are dominated by Jews -- this just makes them very intelligent, creative people who cannot be regarded with any amount of prejudice as to what they have achieve in our society. The pressure of the Jewish religious factions I don't believe could solely shut down production of a TV mini-series. I do think Murdoch may be a sheep in wolf's clothing.
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Steve 41oo
 
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Reply Fri 20 Dec, 2002 11:52 am
Fishin

Surely the business decision was taken, the movie was to be made, but then someone somewhere pulled the plug on the funding.

Jes I can assure you I do not regard Jewish people as evil. Far from it. But there is no denying that Jewish influence - (I really don't know what to call it, perhaps "Jewish lobby" had too many connotations so I withdraw that phrase if you like) - is powerful in Hollywood, and that in my opinion, is the reason why the project was aborted.

And its a shame it sounded like it was going to be an interesting movie series, but now we will never have a chance to discuss its rights or wrongs because its been ******** (!)
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