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Hollywood's Attack On Religion, From The Book Hollywood Vs. America By Michael Medved

1605 words - 6 pages

The section that I have chosen to analyze from the book Hollywood vs. America is "The Attack on Religion." In this part of the book, Michael Medved discusses the shift in attitude Hollywood has made toward religion, from acceptable to contemptible. He takes a look at the messages being sent in films, music and television in the last 15 to 20 years and analyzes their effects. In general, Hollywood depicts religion in an unfavorable manner, according to Medved. Moreover, Medved also argues that, not only has Hollywood taken a hostile stance toward religion, but it has paid the price, literally, for doing so. All of Medved's arguments are well supported and documented, making them seemingly futile to argue against. Yet, Hollywood, which includes films, music and television, continues to disregard the obvious facts that Medved has revealed.In the first chapter of this section, "A Declaration of War," Medved discusses the facts surrounding the protest which took place on August 11, 1988, in opposition to the release of the motion picture The Last Temptation of Christ. MCA/Universal, which funded the Martin Scorsese film, called the protesters a "know-nothing wacky pack" (38). However, as Medved points out, the protest was "the largest protest ever mounted against the release of a motion picture" (37) and included such groups as the National Council of Catholic Bishops, the Southern Baptist Convention, twenty members of the U.S. House of Representatives and prominent figures such as Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Ken Wales, former vice president at Disney studios. Even with such strong opposition from these respected groups and people, the studio refused to listen and stood behind its First Amendment rights.MCA/Universal was even supported by the Motion Picture Association of America, which stated that "The . . . MPAA support MCA/Universal in its absolute right to offer to the people whatever movie it chooses" (41). However, Medved rebukes this statement, arguing that "absolute right" wasn't the issue; the issue "concerned the movie company's choices, not its rights" (41). He supports this argument further by indicating that the MPAA would never support a film portraying Malcolm X as a paid agent of Hoover's FBI or portraying Anne Frank "as an out-of-control nymphomaniac" (41). By releasing The Last Temptation of Christ, the studio positions Jesus, God and Christianity below these prominent figures in history because it is portraying Jesus and other religious figures in uncharacteristic situations that would never be associated with these historical figures. This is supported by past experiences when movies were edited so as to not offend animal rights activists, gay advocacy groups, and ethnic organizations:Leaders of the motion picture business showed more concern with possible sacrilege against the religious traditions of a single Hopi village than with certain offense to the faith of tens of millions of believing Christians; the prospect of being...

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