Hollywood likes to think it adds something important to the political environment. Instead, it just seems to confuse people.
During an interview on the syndicated television program In Depth With Graham Bensinger, liberal writer, director and comedian Judd Apatow used the opportunity as a guest on the weekend show to slam Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as “a sociopath,” “a very, very dangerous person” and “a madman.”
Apatow's rant came after the host asked him a simple question: “How do you view Donald Trump?” The guest, who has used his Twitter account to hammer the GOP candidate on a wide variety of subjects, could barely restrain himself while doling out a tremendous amount of venom.
Clint Eastwood's movie “American Sniper” dominated the box office race on the long Martin Luther King weekend with a gross of $103.5 million. That's more than twice as high as the previous January opening weekend record. It received a rare "A+" CinemaScore from people who saw it, suggesting word-of-mouth will be wildly positive.
This movie wasn’t very controversial – until, that is, the film earned six Oscar nominations and had that amazing weekend at the box office. That's when the hostility erupted from leftist Hollywood types on Twitter, hell-bent on pushing back against the wave.
Your truly noted yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) how Michael Moore tweeted, in part, that "We were taught snipers were cowards." Earlier today, Geoffrey Dickens at NewsBusters observed that Seth Rogen, whose "The Interview" movie was at least partially salvaged financially by freedom-of-speech supporters on the left and right who watched it online and in person in select areas, tweeted that "American Sniper kind of reminds me of the (Nazi propaganda) movie that's showing in the third act of Inglorious Basterds."
Tonight, both Moore and Rogen are in keister-covering walkback mode. Predictably, both are pretending that they didn't imply and say what they really implied and said.
William Boot at The Daily Beast reported that before all the hacking and bomb threats, Sony CEO Michael Leynton showed a rough cut of their movie “The Interview” to U.S. officials before completing it. The State Department apparently agreed that the movie could help put an end to Kim Jong Un's reign over North Korea.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Correction appended. Seth Rogen did not send the tweet mentioned below.)
Lights, action - cue the Leftists! Or, what comes around, goes around.
Seth Rogen, a Hollywood favorite as star or a supporting player in such gems as Knocked Up, The Green Hornet,The 40 Year Old Virgin and more, is having what one might call a Martin Niemoller moment. Niemoller was the German Lutheran pastor who had the nerve to publicly oppose Hitler, being rewarded with seven years in a concentration camp. Niemoller famously wrote of the experience:
Actor Seth Rogen and director/producer Judd Apatow are hitting back at a Washington Post film critic for strongly suggesting that the sort of movies churned out by the duo are partly to blame for Elliot Rodger's deadly killing spree on Friday. For his part, Apatow effectively blasted Ann Hornaday for, well, trolling.
Jessica Chasmar of the Washington Times has the story (emphasis mine):
According to NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, It's an "outrage" that members of Congress didn't sit in rapt attention to every word of self-admitted "pothead" Seth Rogen. The comedian and actor appeared on Capitol Hill, Thursday, to testify on the issue of Alzheimer's disease. As is common, senators filtered in and out of the hearing. Later, Rogen took to Twitter, railing against the poor showing. NBC dutifully played along.
Williams alerted, "Still ahead for us tonight, outrage. A funny guy gets suddenly serious before a roomful of empty chairs in Washington." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] According to journalist Peter Alexander, the actor felt the sting of testifying "before a largely absent Senate subcommittee." Alexander sympathized, asserting this was an example of how "Washington wasn't listening." However, the practice is fairly standard as members have meetings, votes and other congressional duties.
I caught the scene with Rogen sporting the T-shirt in the promotional clip played during this past Monday's re-run of the July 20 Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien on which the star of the film, Adam Sandler, was a guest. IMDb has the same video clip, “George asks Ira to kill him.” (For the image here, I've enlarged the blue on black graphic.)