The Culture Current: Kevin Spacey and Salma Hayek Getting It Right
Conservatives often take an…interesting approach to entertainment news. Sometimes, when an event in Hollywood had a mix of good and bad…we focus on the bad, and ignore the good. Case in point: Last week’s Tony Awards. For those of you who don’t know, that’s the Broadway equivalent of the Oscars. And last weekend’s ceremony was filled with, let’s say…non-Conservatism, and less-than-gracious attitudes towards our president.
And yet, in the middle of all this, who should we see bucking the trend but the great Kevin Spacey.
Now, just to be clear about this: Kevin Spacey is almost certainly a liberal. I wouldn’t cross the line into “Lefty”, because there’s something to be said about him showing up on The O’Reilly Factor, back when promoting Casino Jack—in which Spacey played that master lobbyist of questionable legality, Jack Abramoff. A Hollywood Lefty showing up on Fox News is…frankly very rare, and it tends to be a clear indication that the celebrity’s, well, “open”. Case in point: Richard Dreyfuss. For a while, hard Lefty…and yet, as time goes by, we’ve seen him open up more and more—to the point of showing up at a Ted Cruz rally, publically noting to haters that “Hey I just wanted to give him a fair hearing—this is America, isn’t it?”
Still, in Spacey’s case, Bill asked him the typical question: Why does Hollywood seem so Left? And…Spacey gave the typical response to the effect of, “Well, our profession requiring compassion and understanding.”
But again, he did show up on Fox, when he didn’t have to. And so, I suppose something akin to last weekend’s incident was inevitable—when he went on stage, and completely undercut the Leftism permeating the 2017 Tony Awards.
What did he do? Well…he showed up with his hair powdered-up to whiteness…and impersonated Bill Clinton. As a doddering goofball—but that’s not the main point. My friends, Kevin Spacey took a shot at Hillary—for the e-mail scandal.
Basically, he pointed out how Ben Platt, Broadway star of Dear Evan Hansen (no, I hadn’t heard of it before this story, either) has made the Time “100 Most Influential People” list. Said Kevin-Bubba, “Ah was on that list a couple times—but Ben…you know who you bumped off that list? Mah wife!”
Audience laughs—and Platt exaggeratedly slides down his seat with a “Don’t kill me!” look. But Kevin-Bubba ain’t through:
“No, it’s alright—it’s alright…. Now, between you and me, you might be a better singer…but after seeing your show, there’s no doubt that Hillary’s better at creating fake e-mail accounts than you.”
The audience gave a loud reaction—essentially a combo of laughter and gasps. And Platt exaggeratedly grimaced again.
And Spacey—as if speaking both as Bubba and as himself—noted, “Ah just wanted to do a joke nobody’d ever think Ah’d do! Aw, that was fun…. Yeah, but Ah’m gonna get in trouble when Ah get home….”
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Come on, Eric—what’s the big deal? I mean, you said it yourself—the rest of the ceremony was pretty Lefty!”
Exactly. And that’s what made Spacey’s Clinton moment so gutsy. In the belly of the beast, he took a shot at Hillary for the scandal that just might have been the lynchpin that brought her down. Surely a sore point for the Left. And Spacey laughed about it.
Maybe he’s got half a point about the “understanding” part—at least for himself. That moment, Spacey was Mr. Bipartisan—making a joke that reached across the aisle and frankly appealed more to our side.
Speaking of understanding, you may remember not too long ago, I talked about Zoe Saldana calling out the Hollywood Left for acting like bullies against Trump supporters. It was a golden example of a new trend among A-listers, like Jamie Foxx—a trend of talking about understanding. It was the smart people in Hollywood opening up—realizing that Tinseltown’s gone too far, and it’s time to stop living in a bubble.
Last week, a very surprising voice joined the trend: Salma Hayek.
Mind you, she’s been very harsh towards Trump—and by extension, his supporters. But The Don’s victory—along with a movie she’s been working on, Beatriz At Dinner—shook her up.
What’s a movie got to do with it? Well, Hayek—as “Beatriz”—stars alongside John Lithgow…who plays a Trump-like fellow, named Doug. The two characters go toe-to-toe, and according to Hayek:
“[The script] doesn’t demonize either side—both are treated with respect, and a lot of the arguments that Doug makes are smart and valid.”
Interesting. Very interesting. And so…what has Salma Hayek learned, from all this?
“The movie takes this polarization and tries to create a communication, which right now we’re not really having. One of the things that scares me the most about what’s happening is my lack of understanding of the other side. I don’t like this. I don’t like to say, “Oh, they are crazy. No. I want to understand better what is it that they are seeing. Because I live in the U.S. as well as in other countries, and I travel a lot.
“Outside of the States, people see it as insanity. They can’t believe it. They think it’s laughable and shocking—they are embarrassed for us. But in the States, there’s a large population that don’t see his actions as anything erratic or stupid or offensive. It scares me; I don’t understand the thought process behind that, and I must do it. It is my duty as a citizen to understand the rest of America.”
Now…I’ve called out the online types that fill comments sections of stories like this a lot. And with good reason. What’s their response to this?
Well, there’s two big ones I’ve noticed. Number One:
“OH, she’s just saying this as a CON JOB! She’s going to turn around in a few months and say we’ve CONFIRMED her suspicions! Well, I WON’T FALL FOR IT!!! BOYCOTT HOLLYWIERD!!! BOYCOTT IT ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!”
Uh-huh. News flash: We react like that to her efforts to reach out…and she won’t need to “confirm her suspicions”. We’ll have done it for her.
“She lives in a BUBBLE like all the other Hollywierd types!”
Uh…did these guys read what she said? In the articles they’re commenting on?! Because…that’s precisely what she admits! Observe:
“I also believe that sometimes when you are surrounded by only one mentality, it’s hard for you to see the other mentality. So, maybe if you step out and take a look beyond your environment, we can start understanding each other and have a conversation. I hope it starts this dialogue.”
She knows she lives in a bubble—she’s woken up to it, and she now admits it.
Ladies and gentlemen, we would do well to encourage Ms. Hayek in her efforts to understand our side—not alienate her. Reach out to her with open arms, and welcome her—and others like her. All these admissions about the bubble mentality—all these expressions of willingness to give us a fair look. This is more than what they’ve given us for a long time, all right? So we should encourage it. Don’t deride it.
And point it out whenever it happens. As I’ve often said, Hollywood is not a monolithic entity. And whenever we see a potential ally, we need to reach out to them—and give them the benefit of the doubt.
It’s a Culture War, folks. And we need all the allies we can get. And if said allies include turncoats from the other side? So much the better.
Eric was raised by Conservative Christian parents, but first became especially passionate about politics in high school, through reading up on economic theory. He also first read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged around this time, for the ARI's essay contests. He now owns a great deal of Ayn Rand's work. Also included in his library are the collected works of Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter, etc.
Eric is no stranger to writing commentary, as the writer of the Conservative Considerations column on CampCampaign.com, and as a film critic and commentator on FlickRev.com. He has also carried on the Conservative tradition of talk radio commentary, as the host of "Avengers of America" for the USF student radio station, Bulls Radio. In the meantime, he is practicing what he preaches: Striving to enter the professional realm of Hollywood, he has already written and directed short films for the Campus MovieFest, which can be found on his YouTube channel, Hard Boiled Entertainment.