He was very lonely and extremely depressed about his struggling career.
JONATHAN BRANDIS : 1976 – 2003
HOLLYWOOD ( UPI ) – A Republican on the roof. . . . sounds crazy, no? Well, it’s not a new musical. But as a member of four entertainment unions, being a conservative in Hollywood just isn’t easy. . . .to put it mildly.
Although many in showbiz may preach diversity with regards to ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation, they are fluent in HATE SPEECH when it comes to intellectual “otherness”. Or have you been in a cave with Osama Bin Laden and not heard Whoopi Goldberg and other showbiz types lately?
I read on an entertainment web site that “actress Mandy Moore is in a rage because it was rumored that she might be a Republican. The star of A Walk To Remember angrily denied she supports Bush and his party. Her publicist claims that Mandy is not, nor has she ever been, a Republican.“
She has reason to be angry or — more to the point — afraid regardless of what her real views are.
One doesn’t dare admit being a Republican, not unless you make it big. And I mean Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger big. Even if a performer is already on a hit television show, being politically incorrect can still set you back.
It is true that Patricia Heaton of “Everybody Loves Raymond” won an Emmy for her work as the culinary-challenged wife but that was before people knew she was a devout Roman Catholic and chairwoman of Feminists For Life, a group that opposes abortion. Now that she’s out in the open, don’t look for any more artistic accolades anytime soon.
Speaking of Catholics, Hollywood’s best known is Mel Gibson. He’s not exactly a Republican but his devotion to his faith is just as threatening to the established order in Tinseltown. Don’t hold your breath for him to be Oscar-nominated for the financial blockbuster “The Passion Of The Christ” about the death of Jesus Christ.
One thing you can probably bank on, however, is that Michael Moore of “Fahrenheit 9/11” fame will probably have to rent a gas-guzzling SUV to tote home all the Oscars he is likely to win for his cinematic attacks on President Bush.
Even I, however, was stunned by the conduct of fellow workers at an entertainment company who openly discussed their hatred of Republicans recently. I tried to focus on the work at hand as my allegedly busy office mates parroted the facts put forth by Moore while one woman spewed contempt for anyone who had the audacity to dispute his latest film’s worldview.
It chilled me to the bone and after a while, this stupid and ugly discourse reduced me to tears.
I’ve been in theater all my life and so I have always been a minority in my profession politically. Of course, there are truly tolerant liberals in showbiz: all six of them happen to be my friends. Maybe there are a few more. I just don’t happen to know them. And I know, as the old saying goes, lots of people.
In the entertainment business, you can all too often encounter people whose basic mindset devolves into a “hate my politics, hate me” approach to life. That these same people are also intellectual bullies of the first order is often overlooked in real life even though this scenario is frequently dramatic plotline.
The musical “Fiddler On The Roof” includes a Cossack who actually likes Tevye, the Jewish milkman who is the center of the story and apologizes in advance for staging a pogrom during Tevye’s eldest daughter’s wedding.
This cold soul patiently tells Tevye that they must create “a little mischief but not to worry about it”. It makes me think of some from Hollywood who intend to wreak havoc at the Republican convention. Most of these people will hopefully be peaceful; but some yearn to be with those protesters who plan on using substances to confuse bomb sniffing dogs.
In Hollywood, people have to state, to aver and sometimes even prove they are not Republicans lest they be shunned and left unable to work, oddly enough through the machinations of people who are always going on about the evils of the BLACKLIST and the defamation of the Hollywood Ten. It is an election year and emotions are high, but I just can’t shake the feeling that many in Hollywood are permanently unhinged. Or it’s something in the water.
Growing up in Illinois, I longed to live in California. Now, I pray some nice family from a Red State will adopt me, a mostly charming actress/writer, and make me the permanent director of their community theatre.
If the offer comes, I’ll mournfully sing “Anatevka” whilst trudging my suitcases to LAX. But otherwise, I’m bound to do the bottle dance right over the edge of the Hollywood sign!
( “Republican On The Roof” by Cheryl Felicia Rhoads, A UPI Outside View Commentary : August 27, 2004 )