Actress Julienne Davis, whose credits range from Eyes Wide Shut to Doctor Who, recently penned an op-ed for Fox News in which she “came out” as a conservative in Hollywood.
Davis recounts her initial interest and subsequent reticence to expose her political beliefs:
An acquaintance had asked me to write for a right-of-center political magazine. I realized I would be outing myself by doing it, but I ended up writing a few dozen articles with a right-leaning libertarian slant that were well received. Sadly, the magazine closed and I was faced with two options.
Option 1: I could start apologizing to all my Hollywood liberal friends and associates who’d been shocked by my writing and tell them: “I didn’t really mean it … it was a paid gig and I was simply doing it for the work.”
Option 2: I could have the courage of my convictions and continue down the conservative path.
The actress chose the latter option, which led to loss of friends, as well as distancing behavior:
Since then I haven’t fared well. My “unfriendings” on social media have been many — from acquaintances and close working associates to good friends — including even my best friend. It is interesting to note that all of them just stopped calling and quietly “ghosted” me, and then later unfriended me.
Unfriendings aside, the written and very public insults from Hollywood peers on social media and elsewhere have been numerous. I’ve been attacked with obscenities, called a racist, and had one person tell me he hoped I would die.
Davis writes: “It’s ironic that an industry that constantly talks about diversity is so judgmental, hateful and utterly rigid in its groupthink.”
Speaking to the fear of even being associated with conservatives, Davis notes that she recently ran into a “former good friend” at a screening who told her that while their real-life friendship was intact, he couldn't be linked to her on social media. Additionally, someone in the upper echelons of Hollywood, whom she refers to as a “closeted conservative,” allegedly told her to “get back in that closet" if she wanted to continue her career.
In the end, Davis thanks her more liberal friends who haven't deserted her out of career fear, but notes that because of her conservative leanings, continuing to work in the arts will not be easy.
This is an interesting story, and one that rings true to me personally. I got my degree in acting and musical theatre. My firsthand experience as a conservative actor whose friend-base is 99% progressive has been both fascinating and frustrating.
Like Julienne Davis, I have progressive friends who stand by me despite our political differences. I've also had people unfriend me on Facebook, and in one instance, tell me to my face: “I can't be friends with you because of your politics.” I was even made the example in school of “what not to do on social media” if you want to get hired as an actor.
Despite my low-level status (I haven't “made it,” nor do I have any credits to my name), I still experience resistance and isolation from members of the arts community. Davis, on the other hand, has a much higher profile. As a result, she has experienced greater rejection.
There are prominent conservatives (or Republican-leaning individuals) in Hollywood — Clint Eastwood, Jon Voight, Angie Harmon, Ben Stein, Patricia Heaton, James Woods, Kelsey Grammer, Vince Vaughn, and others. However, these people represent a few drops of water in an ocean of liberalism.
Hollywood is dominated by people who, while claiming the mantle of “tolerance” and “diversity," are entirely intolerant of conservative artists and industry workers, and firmly reject diversity of thought and opinion. It's pathetic.