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Allegations of Political Bias in Hollywood Trigger Resignations at TV Caucus

Jun 5, 2011  •  Post A Comment

"Two members, Lionel Chetwynd and Norman Powell, have already quit the Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors, an honor society founded in 1977 by Norman Lear, James Komack, Aaron Spelling, Richard Levinson and others to promote creative freedom and quality and diversity in television," reports Paul Bond at The Hollywood Reporter.

The story continues, "Chetwynd and Powell quit separately over remarks made by some Caucus members during interviews with Ben Shapiro, author of the book ‘Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV.’ To promote the book, Shapiro has been flooding the Internet with video snippets of several TV executives — most of them on the political left — saying nasty things about conservatives and even celebrating that there are so few of them in Hollywood. Some have advocated that conservatives be shunned."

The story notes that current members of the Caucus include Tom Hanks, Donald Bellisario, James Burrows, Patricia Heaton, Garry Marshall, Joel Surnow, Henry Winkler and Dick Wolf and is run by chairman Dennis Doty, producer of about 30 made-for-TV movies."

In an email to THR, resignee Norman Powell said, "Certainly the fact that our industry has a liberal bias is no surprise. What is troubling is that now it seems discrimination is an acceptable practice to stifle divergent opinions. Speaking out against this is specifically on the Caucus Mission Statement. Our First Commitment is ‘promoting the artistic rights of the creative community,’ not solely the rights of the liberal creative community."

Talking about the specifics of the resignation of Lionel Chetwynd, THR says, "Chetwynd, whose TV credits include ‘DC 9/11: Time of Crisis’ and ‘Ike: Countdown to D-Day,’ wrote an open letter of resignation to the Caucus, focusing on remarks made by Vin Di Bona, creator of ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos.’ In his recorded interview, Di Bona acknowledged the TV industry is anti-conservative, then he adds that he’s happy about it."

The article notes that Chetwynd said in his letter of resignation, ""Mr. Shapiro interviewed a large number of our Hollywood notables on the subject of diversity — not the sacrosanct melange of race, religion, gender orientation and the like, but a more challenging diversity: that of opinion and policy. The vast majority felt quite comfortable endorsing discrimination against those whose political philosophy was not rooted in the reflexive Leftism of Hollywood."

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