Hollywood¹s Attack on Religion
The section that I have chosen to analyze from the book Hollywood vs. America
is ³The Attack on Religion.²
In this part of the book, Michael Medved discusses
the shift in attitude Hollywood has made toward religion, from acceptable to
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.
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.
Medved¹s 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, ³A Declaration of War,² 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
³know-nothing wacky pack² (38).
However, as Medved points out, the protest was
³the largest protest ever mounted against the release of a motion picture² (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
MCA/Universal was even supported by the Motion Picture Association of
America, which stated that ³The . . . MPAA support MCA/Universal in its absolute
right to offer to the people whatever movie it chooses² (41).
rebukes this statement, arguing that ³absolute right² wasn¹t the issue; the issue
³concerned the movie company¹s choices, not its rights² (41).
He supports this
argument further by indicating that the MPAA would never support a film portraying
Malcolm X as a paid agent of Hoover¹s FBI or portraying Anne Frank ³as an out-of-
control nymphomaniac² (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