About a year ago I made one of the more risky decisions of my life — one that I knew could hurt my career as an actress. I decided to come out of the conservative closet and admit to my peers that I was a conservative in Hollywood.
Yes, hard as it is for some to believe, not everyone in the entertainment industry on the Left Coast is a left-winger.
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 first option may have brought me liberal forgiveness. Let’s be honest, many of us in Hollywood “whore” ourselves out for work, a paycheck and another credit for our résumés.
But I knew if I took Option 1 that I would have to never speak or post anything that even squeaked of conservatism again. I would have to nod and agree with all the constant comments and wild accusations against President Trump — “the racist,” “the misogynist,” “the one who is trying to destroy the world.” Sigh.
So, being the person I am, I chose the second option. I refused to be a coward and be untrue to myself. I believed my path to be the more honest albeit more painful option.
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.
I’ve been attacked with obscenities, called a racist, and had one person tell me he hoped I would die.
And then there was the fellow actress attacking me with an obscene sexist insult reserved for women. Unbelievably, I had short-listed that same actress for a film I was helping to cast last year!
Needless to say, I learned to tune the abuse out. What’s interesting is that I noticed a particular upsurge in unfriendings immediately after the Charlottesville incident. And of course, I know why: The media of choice for the Left – including CNN, MSNBC, HuffPost, The New York Times and The Washington Post — all reported the incident in such a way as if to make it appear that all Trump supporters are Nazis.
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Of course, that’s false and it couldn’t be a more ridiculous spin, but the media are, after all, giving their base exactly what it wants to hear, true or not.
Even the head of CNN International, Tony Maddox, himself has stated that President Trump has been good for business (at least the way they report on him).
Predictably, the majority of people in Hollywood believe the media they watch and read to be utterly and completely true, so how can I convince my liberal friends and associates otherwise?
Members of the Hollywood Left don’t want to listen, discuss, or even see a dissenting viewpoint that challenges their own comfortable echo chamber. It’s ironic that an industry that constantly talks about diversity is so judgmental, hateful and utterly rigid in its groupthink.
I actually ran into a former good friend (who had, of course, unfriended me and stopped calling) at a film screening recently. He told me: “Oh, we’re still friends … I just couldn’t be your friend on Facebook.”
It’s ironic that an industry that constantly talks about diversity is so judgmental, hateful and utterly rigid in its groupthink.
I asked him why. He said, “I have a lot of important people on my page, and I can’t be seen to have those kinds of associations.”
“Coward,” I thought.
As I try to move forward in my creative life and my career in Hollywood, it will be interesting to see how I will be able to navigate a future there. After all, I’m a creative soul, and art is art. It should be the one area where utter freedom of expression should reign, regardless of political leanings.
As for my more liberal friends who haven’t ditched me over politics, I’m truly grateful for them. It is they and maybe conservatives like me who I hope will help to bring people together again and end this insane polarization we are all witnessing.
As for the others, I’m not going to back down and lie to get ahead. But I know that staying true to my conservative beliefs means they’ll steer clear of me so as not to be sullied with the association … much like my so-called “friends” who ditched me publicly.
Bearing this in mind, I can see that I’ll have to take my career into my own hands in trying to find producers and funding for my own screenplay to get my film cast, shot, produced and distributed.
As one very high-up industry (and closeted conservative) person said to me recently, “Get back in that closet if you want to get that film made.”
Thanks for the tip, but there’s no going back. Wish me luck.
Julienne Davis is an American actress, singer and model. This Fox News article is used by permission.
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