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‘Hollywood Is the World’s Capital of Hypocrisy,’ Says Screenwriter

Hollywood is having a rough time getting audiences to theaters. Plagued with scandals surrounding filmmakers like Harvey Weinstein and James Toback, the industry has been struggling to connect with the average moviegoer.

After a disastrous summer that saw only a handful of hits, the box office is entering another slump. This last weekend saw low openings for major motion pictures, such as the $120 million “Geostorm” and “The Snowman,” which was executive-produced by Martin Scorsese. The only film to earn a sizable sum was Tyler Perry’s “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween.”

Even "Only the Brave," a film highlighting real-life firefighters, failed to drum up serious business.

Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Roger L. Simon dropped by "The Laura Ingraham Show" on Monday to discuss Hollywood's failures at the box office and the recent scandals in the industry.

"There's obviously people who are getting a little fed up with Hollywood, both for its sexual and political attitudes, but I think there's another thing going on — people are getting a little bored with the movies," Simon, the former CEO of PJ Media, told guest host Raymond Arroyo.

The writer behind such movies as "A Better Life" said Hollywood's disconnect from the average American is similar to the slump in ratings and ticket sales at the NFL. He also said the quality of theatrically released studio films has gone down dramatically.

"A lot of these other movies don't tell stories anymore," said Simon, adding, "Hollywood has written people out."

He pointed to the overuse of special effects and the fear of offending social justice warriors as reasons for bland storytelling that bores people.

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Simon also said movies are simply not as culturally important as they once were. "In the old days, the movies were everything," he said. "They're no longer a cultural event."

The reason? "There's too many other things to do," Simon said, laughing — though he added people "do need stories" in their lives.

Touching on scandals within the industry, including the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment and sexual abuse scandal, Simon said bad behavior is "all over the place" in Hollywood.

He added of preachy celebrities who may have known of some of Weinstein's behavior, "Hollywood is the world's capital of hypocrisy."

Last Modified: October 23, 2017, 6:07 pm

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