He was very lonely and extremely depressed about his struggling career.
“People often ask me whether my political change hurt my Hollywood career – whether I was or am the object of a new reverse BLACKLIST that discriminates against those who, as I did, publicly supported and continued to support the Iraq War or, worse yet, voted for George W. Bush in 2004.
I haven’t lost sleep worrying about whether or not I was BLACKLISTED. Still, I am sure this new form of the BLACKLIST exists, but not nearly to the formalized extent of the original list of the Forties and Fifties with its Red Channels and dramatic hearings in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee featuring ‘friendly ‘ and ‘unfriendly’ witnesses. Times are different and the system functions in a very different manner. Now it operates through an almost invisible thought control caused by a post-Orwellian ‘liberal’ conformity so pervasive that a formal BLACKLIST is unnecessary and, indeed, would work against itself.
In some ways, this new, less overt list is worse because there is nothing concrete to rebel against, no hearings, no committees, no protest groups pro or con, no secret databases. There don’t need to be. There is no there there, in Gertrude Stein’s immortal words – only the grey haze of this mindless received liberalism, the world as last week’s New York Times editorials, half-digested and regurgitated, never questioned, going forth forever with little perceived chance of reform, as if it were the permanent religious text of some strange new orthodoxy.
You see this new faith in practice at the average Hollywood story meeting. There are ritualized events and have been for the decades that I have participated in them. You wait an inordinately long time for your appointment, often longer than at a doctor’s office, but with nowhere near the legitimate excuse on the part of the executive keeping you waiting. They are definitely not in surgery. The intention is merely to confirm your lower place in the pecking order. ( I have personal knowledge of an instance when John Huston and Jack Nicholson were kept cooling their heels in a tiny room by the now-forgotten head of ABC Motion Pictures for nearly two hours. I assume he didn’t realize they’d come to pitch him ‘Prizzi’s Honor’. Or maybe he did and this was a form of envy or vengeance. )
Once inside the executive’s office, the pecking order of talent and management thus confirmed, it’s instantly waved off in a burst of small talk, and a call for the requisite mineral water – originally Perrier, now something more exotic like an obscure Welsh brand in a blue bottle whose unpronounceable name you can barely remember. But the small talk is what’s important. It usually revolves around the freeway traffic ( a perpetual subject ), the Lakers ( depending on the year ), and, over the last half-decade or more, a ritualized Bush bash. ( What will they do without him? ) ‘Fxxxing Bush did this or that…. Did you hear the stupid thing Chimpy the idiot said?’ You didn’t even have to hear Bush referred to specifically – the word ‘idiot’ sufficed. You knew. The subtext was that we were all together, part of the secret society, the world of those who know as opposed to those who don’t.
If you didn’t agree with this particular Weltanschauung, if you dissented from its orthodoxy just a tiny bit, you had but three choices:
ONE, you could argue, in which case you would be almost certain to be dismissed as a fool, a warmonger, or a right-wing nut ( all three, probably ) and therefore have had little or no chance at the writing or directing job that brought you there.
TWO, you could shut up and ignore it ( stay in the closet ), in which case you felt like a coward and experienced ( as I have ) a dose of nausea straight out of Sartre.
THREE, you could stop going to the meetings altogether – you could, in effect, BLACKLIST YOURSELF.
I don’t know the size of that self-selected BLACKLIST, but I suspect it’s substantial, though certainly not as large as the number of those in the closet. People have to make a living, after all, as in the days of the old BLACKLIST.
Only there are NO ‘FRONTS’, as in the Woody Allen movie of the same name.”
( “BLACKLISTING MYSELF : Memoir Of A Hollywood Apostate In The Age Of Terror” by Roger L. Simon, Encounter Books: 2008 )
“When I was a young actress, I met with the late great Jay Bernstein. He managed the careers of Farrah Fawcett and Suzanne Somers. I walked into his office, wearing my cross necklace. He picked it up off my neck and said: ‘You’re going to have to lose that, honey.’ I asked: ‘Excuse me?’ And he explained: ‘If I am going to represent you for work in Hollywood, you had better lose that. And you shouldn’t even mention religion at all.’
I then answered: ‘I don’t think this is going to work. This is just not going to work because I will not hide who I am.’ Mr. Bernstein finally told me: ‘Well, have a good life.’ So basically, I was out of there. He was a star-making manager but I couldn’t sign on with him. There is an extreme dislike for anyone who wants to talk in favor of traditional religion. In this town, you can’t be religious and you can’t be conservative.”
( Morgan Brittany, movie, television and stage actress )