Hollywood is a morass of liberal conformity, with exiled conservative dissidents ringing its black-attired, blue-ribboned inner sanctum. If you’re a conservative and want to express what you really think, you’ll be labeled an eccentric if you’re lucky. If you’re not, I hope you like supporting roles in Nicholas Cage B-movies.
That’s why it was surprising to see Bill Murray, a comedy legend I’ve never particularly associated with politics, coming out hard against the Democrats and their anti-American identity politics.
Murray went rogue during an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” — an odd place for the “Groundhog Day” and “Ghostbusters” actor to turn up in the first place.
During the interview Friday, the 67-year-old Murray compared the identity-politics nature of the Democrat agenda to video games.
“It’s ‘Clash of Clans’ everyday, first thing in the morning,” Murray said, making reference to the mobile phone game in which competing tribes fight to the death.
“My friend who’s a great comedy writer, Jim Downey, he’s accused of being a right-wing comedy writer, if there is such a thing — ‘No, no,’ he says, ‘I just think the way Democrats handle things is poor.’
“‘They pick out little pieces of a population and say they represent it — we represent the Hispanics, we represent the LGBT, or something,'” Murray continued.
“They’re not speaking to everyone at once. It’s almost demeaning to say, ‘we’re using you, because you’re a splinter group.’ There’s almost a resentment, to say, ‘you’re my people.’ We’re being separated again by a politician.”
At the end of the day, that kind of identity focus is damaging for a country whose seal bears the motto of “e pluribus unum.” It’s actually anti-American.
As for sexual harassment in Hollywood, Murray said, “It’s been a very interesting year out there.”
“All the movements have affected the restaurant business. People don’t want to go out in public anymore because people will say, you’re the guy who … whatever.
“If people are monstrous, you know, it comes back. Eventually, it comes around. We get justice, but we don’t get it when we want it.”
While not a total endorsement of the Republican Party — after all, this is the guy who played Steve Bannon on “SNL” — it is baby steps toward at least thinking outside of the Hollywood box.
Murray, of course, has an impeccable career behind him, and he’s enough of a legend that, much like Clint Eastwood, he can say what he wants and not draw outrage. If this were a younger or less accomplished Hollywood fixture, the outrage machine would be in full effect.
Which is exactly the problem. The reason the sexual abuse scandal festered so long in Hollywood is the same reason deviation from the prescribed political opinions of the insular Hollywood community equals career death: These are individuals who really believe they can do no wrong and that what the celebrity hive mind thinks really ought to be gospel.
In the case of Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood pretended that he couldn’t be a monster; he believed all the right things that they believed and said all the things they liked to say. How could he be a predator? Meanwhile, if you don’t say the right things, you obviously must be a moral ogre, because only someone wholly lacking in compassion could disagree with embracing things like identity politics.
That, perhaps, is why Bill Murray speaking out like this is so important. I don’t necessarily know if celebrity opinions matter much in the world of politics — they certainly didn’t in 2016 — but leaving your political opinions behind shouldn’t be a necessary evil for those who want to seriously pursue a career in the entertainment industry. If more people with statures like Murray were to speak up and voice unpopular opinions, perhaps that would change.
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