Archive for Hollywood

Who runs Hollywood? C’mon (“Jews totally run Hollywood”)

Posted in Media Watch with tags , on January 22, 2009 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

20090122145424790_1The Los Angeles Times
December 19, 2008

A poll finds more Americans disagree with the statement that ‘Jews control Hollywood.’ But here’s one Jew who doesn’t.

By Joel Stein

I have never been so upset by a poll in my life. Only 22 percent of Americans now believe “the movie and television industries are pretty much run by Jews,” down from nearly 50 percent in 1964. The Anti-Defamation League, which released the poll results last month, sees in these numbers a victory against stereotyping.

Actually, it just shows how dumb America has gotten. Jews totally run Hollywood.

How deeply Jewish is Hollywood? When the studio chiefs took out a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times a few weeks ago to demand that the Screen Actors Guild settle its contract, the open letter was signed by: News Corp. President Peter Chernin (Jewish), Paramount Pictures Chairman Brad Grey (Jewish), Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger (Jewish), Sony Pictures Chairman Michael Lynton (surprise, Dutch Jew), Warner Bros. Chairman Barry Meyer (Jewish), CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves (so Jewish his great uncle was the first prime minister of Israel), MGM Chairman Harry Sloan (Jewish) and NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker (mega-Jewish). If either of the Weinstein brothers had signed, this group would have not only the power to shut down all film production but to form a minyan with enough Fiji water on hand to fill a mikvah.

The person they were yelling at in that ad was SAG President Alan Rosenberg (take a guess). The scathing rebuttal to the ad was written by entertainment super-agent Ari Emanuel (Jew with Israeli parents) on the Huffington Post, which is owned by Arianna Huffington (not Jewish and has never worked in Hollywood.)

The Jews are so dominant, I had to scour the trades to come up with six Gentiles in high positions at entertainment companies. When I called them to talk about their incredible advancement, five of them refused to talk to me, apparently out of fear of insulting Jews. The sixth, AMC President Charlie Collier, turned out to be Jewish.

As a proud Jew, I want America to know about our accomplishment. Yes, we control Hollywood. Without us, you’d be flipping between “The 700 Club” and “Davey and Goliath” on TV all day.

So I’ve taken it upon myself to re-convince America that Jews run Hollywood by launching a public relations campaign, because that’s what we do best. I’m weighing several slogans, including: “Hollywood: More Jewish than ever!”; “Hollywood: From the people who brought you the Bible”; and “Hollywood: If you enjoy TV and movies, then you probably like Jews after all.”

I called ADL Chairman Abe Foxman, who was in Santiago, Chile, where, he told me to my dismay, he was not hunting Nazis. He dismissed my whole proposition, saying that the number of people who think Jews run Hollywood is still too high. The ADL poll, he pointed out, showed that 59 percent of Americans think Hollywood execs “do not share the religious and moral values of most Americans,” and 43 percent think the entertainment industry is waging an organized campaign to “weaken the influence of religious values in this country.”

That’s a sinister canard, Foxman said. “It means they think Jews meet at Canter’s Deli on Friday mornings to decide what’s best for the Jews.” Foxman’s argument made me rethink: I have to eat at Canter’s more often.

“That’s a very dangerous phrase, ‘Jews control Hollywood.’ What is true is that there are a lot of Jews in Hollywood,” he said. Instead of “control,” Foxman would prefer people say that many executives in the industry “happen to be Jewish,” as in “all eight major film studios are run by men who happen to be Jewish.”

But Foxman said he is proud of the accomplishments of American Jews. “I think Jews are disproportionately represented in the creative industry. They’re disproportionate as lawyers and probably medicine here as well,” he said. He argues that this does not mean that Jews make pro-Jewish movies any more than they do pro-Jewish surgery. Though other countries, I’ve noticed, aren’t so big on circumcision.

I appreciate Foxman’s concerns. And maybe my life spent in a New Jersey-New York/Bay Area-L.A. pro-Semitic cocoon has left me naive. But I don’t care if Americans think we’re running the news media, Hollywood, Wall Street or the government. I just care that we get to keep running them.
The above article can be found at: http://articles.latimes.com/2008/12/19/editorial_pages/oe-stein19
See this similarly-themed article (also featuring Jewish boasts of media control by a writer with the same last name as the first article) originally published on E! Online in about 2004, but subsequently pulled:
Do Jews run Hollywood? You bet they do — and what of it?
By Ben Stein

A few days after Marlon Brando scandalized the airwaves by referring to the Jews who worked in Hollywood as “kikes,” I got a call from an editor at “60 Minutes.” The woman wanted to know how I felt about Brando’s use of words and his allegation that Hollywood is “run by Jews.”

She suggested the desired answer by noting that her researchers had conclusively proven that Jews do not run Hollywood.

Crafty 60 Minutes had studied the top slots in town. Their research showed that “only” about 60 percent of the most important positions in Hollywood were run by Jews. What did I think?

I managed to disqualify myself by saying that while Hollywood was not really “run” by anyone (it’s far too chaotic for that), if Jews were about 2.5 percent of the population and were about 60 percent of Hollywood, they might well be said to be extremely predominant in that sector.

That was far too logical and un-PC an answer, and I never heard from her again.

But Jews are a big part of my thoughts (as they are of every Jew’s thoughts). Plus, I live and struggle in Hollywood, so the combination intrigues me. What exactly is the role of the Jew in Hollywood? More to the point, what does it signify, if anything, if Jews have a big role? And, most interesting of all, why do we care?

First, it is extremely clear to anyone in Hollywood that Jews are, so to speak, “in charge” in Hollywood in a way that is not duplicated in any other large business, except maybe garments or scrap metal or folding boxes.

At mighty Paramount, the controlling stockholder is Sumner Redstone. Head of the studio is Jon Dolgen. Head of production is Sherry Lansing — all members of the tribe.

At titanic Disney, the CEO is Michael Eisner, the world’s most assimilated Jew, who might as well be a Presbyterian. Deputy head is Michael Ovitz, karate champ but also a Jew. Head of the studio is Joe Roth.

At newly energized ICM, the top dogs are Jeff Berg and Jim Wiatt. At still overwhelming CAA, Jack Rapke and other members of my faith predominate. At William Morris, Jon Burnham and other Jews are, by and large, in the power positions.

This has always been true in Hollywood. The ex-furriers who created Hollywood were Eastern European Jewish immigrants, and all of the great edifice of fantasy-making in Hollywood is their handiwork. Names like Zukor and Lasky and Goldwyn and Cohn are the foundation of mass culture in America and the world.

There is a much quoted note that it took all these Eastern European Yiddish-speaking Jews to create the lasting, worldwide image of America and what America is — the mass culture mirror that America likes to hold up to its face.

This thought is made concrete by the simple line at the beginning of “Gone with the Wind” that it is “A David O. Selznick Production.” It took a Selznick, married to the daughter of a Louis B. Mayer, working with a Thalberg, to create the ultimate vision of romantic America — the antebellum South.

It took a Jew — Leslie Howard — to play Ashley Wilkes, the bedrock image of what a perfect American gentleman is supposed to be.

Thus, the fact of Hollywood’s being very largely Jewish is not exactly news. The news is that Hollywood is rapidly becoming ethnically far more diverse than it was only a couple of decades ago, when I first arrived here.

You can take it from the studio level, where probably the most powerful man in town is of the Australian faith — one Rupert Murdoch by name. Murdoch, no one’s idea of a Jew, controls a major studio, a major broadcast network and the largest aggregation of TV stations in America. [Actually, Murdoch’s background is still open to question (see Christopher Bollyn on Murdoch’s Jewish roots), while his closeness to the Israeli Likud Party is well-known.]

The head of programming at ABC is a full-on gentile, Ted Harbert. The owner and head of production of what has become the Tiffany studio, MGM, are Kirk Kerkorian and Frank Mancuso, also not members of Temple Israel. And on and on.

It is certainly true that there have always been goyim in Hollywood.

But there are more gentiles in the Industry now, and there has formed a whole new route to Hollywood.

No longer do young men and women work their way up solely by being mailroom clerks or nephews of producers or offspring of men in the linen-supply business.

The standard route to Hollywood now is through Harvard and Yale. Sitcom writers and producers, movie scriptwriters and producers now come from the Ivy League far more than from the streets of Brooklyn. Most of the writing staff of the powerhouse “Seinfeld” is from the Harvard Lampoon.

So are many of the writers on “Married…with Children,” “Friends” and other stalwarts of the box. The route from Harvard Square to Hollywood is now hallowed by success and money. In fact, the agencies now beg and plead for Harvard Lampoon grads the way they once cried for the writers of The Jack Benny Radio Program.

This change from borscht-belt origins to the halls of Harvard as a prime source of writing talent in Hollywood is a quantum shift. Many of the Harvard and Yale alums are, to be sure, Jews, but many are not.

Now, this is interesting to those of us who work here. But it is of no significance at all to the 99.9 percent of Americans who do not.

The only possible significance of whether Hollywood is run by Jews or not must have to do with whether or not the product comes out “Jewish,” or in some way different from the way it would if it were made solely by gentiles.

Really, the point is even a little uglier than that. The only real reason why the question of whether Jews “run” Hollywood is at all interesting is because there is some residual thought — apparently as was in the mind of Marlon Brando — that Jews are sinister and alien.

”Kike” is a low Polish word meaning the nastiest, most alien connotation of Jew. That would mean that the Jewish product of Jewish Hollywood would be somehow subversive in some way. This would be akin to Wagner’s notion that Jews had polluted and ruined German music with their innately subversive sensibility.

This is a thought so bizarre and even comical to anyone familiar with Hollywood that it merits laughter more than fear. Yes, of course, the Hollywood product is made mostly by Jews. But these Jews are in love with America.

These are Jews who want to play polo, not davvinn in shul. These are Jews whose children play soccer and learn horseback riding in Malibu.

These Jews, as soon as they have two million to rub together, buy farms in South Carolina (Joel Silver) or vast spreads in Colorado (Peter Guber).

It was the Jews of the ’30s and ’40s who gave us the vision of America the Good, where money did not count — only goodness. Think of the works of William Wyler (maker of the ultimate pro-American heartstrings movie, “The Best Years of Our Lives”), or of MGM and its celebration of the swinging good life of Ginger and Fred.

Where does the idea come from of the perfect American family, occasionally quarreling mildly but ultimately working it all out in love and affection? From “Ozzie and Harriet” and “Leave It to Beaver” and “I Love Lucy,” with their largely Jewish writers and producers.

Where does the idea come from that parents and children, as polarized as they might be, will ultimately love each other? From Norman Lear and his factory for grinding out funny and touching affirmations of domestic life in America.

Where does the idea that blacks can be funny and endearing as millionaires and not just as servants and wide-eyed fools fleeing ghosts? Again, from Norman Lear and “The Jeffersons.”

Hollywood’s current product occasionally repels and even sickens me. I am truly disgusted with its language, its violence, its endless attacks on businessmen and military officers. (On the other hand, it never can attack the CIA enough for me.)

But these are eddies and ripples in the vast tide of Hollywood messages that encourage and hearten us in our daily struggle.

Many Americans get this message far more from Hollywood than from worship, and these are by no means subversive messages.

So now, as the shrinks say, we may perhaps to begin.

If any overall view of the Hollywood product shows it has been a wholesome influence on American life, why is Hollywood itself still so not trusted?

Why can a Marlon Brando attack it so explicitly for its Jewishness and a Dan Quayle and even a Bob Dole and even a Bill Clinton attack it on an ongoing basis for its alleged sinister quality?

I marvel that when people criticize the auto industry for making trucks that catch fire when they are struck and cars that turn over on a turn, no one ever says “the gentile auto industry.” No one calls the pharmaceutical industry sinister or attacks it as alien even though it turns out a lot of pills that addict people.

As far as I can recall, Hollywood, and only Hollywood, gets the treatment as being somehow sinister and alien.

Other industries are bad — like big tobacco — but only Hollywood is un-American, even though its product kills a lot fewer Americans.

It’s hard to resist the thought that there are only two explanations for this:

– Envy. Life in Hollywood is thought to be fun, well-paid, glamorous and sexy. Naturally, many people sitting in cheerless offices in D.C. or elsewhere want to be in the seat where the mighty of Hollywood sit. Because they have no idea of how to get there, they express envy and criticism of the people who are there.

– Plain old primitive anti-Semitism. About two years ago, as I was having lunch at the Spokane airport, an obviously somewhat off waitress recognized me from my modest acting work and said she had once seen “that Jewish woman with the big nose and the great voice” and did I know her?

“Do you mean Barbra Streisand?” I asked.

Without missing a beat, she asked, “Say, do the Japanese control Hollywood, or do you people still run it?”

It’s fear and racism at that level that motivates the issue of Hollywood as sinister and alien. Maybe it’s so basic when it comes to Jews that it just will never go away. Or maybe it will take so long to go away that Hollywood will be Korean by then.

For now, Hollywood, in many ways the most successful cultural enterprise of all time and the most potent messenger of American values of all time, is changing, but it is still largely Jewish. And a very angry voice in my curly head makes me add, “What the hell of it?”
The above article no longer exists on the E! Online website, but can now be found here: http://www.radioislam.org/medias/hollywood/hollyjew2.htm
For further information about the role played by Eastern European Jews in the creation of Hollywood and the US film industry (and their subsequent effect on the American psyche) see the excellent documentary film “Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream Hollywoodism: Jews, movies and the American dream

Who runs Hollywood? C’mon (“Jews totally run Hollywood”)

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ADL survey: Americans believe religious values are “under attack”; 59% say Hollywood “doesn’t share their moral values”

Posted in Media Watch with tags , on November 24, 2008 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

fear_hand_smallStreetInsider.com
November 14, 2008A majority of the American people believes that religious values are “under attack,” and that the people who run the television networks and major movie studios do not share the religious and moral values of most Americans, according to a survey from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued today.

”American Attitudes on Religion, Moral Values and Hollywood,” a national poll of 1,000 American adults conducted in October 2008 by The Marttila Communications Group, found that 61 percent of the American people continue to believe that religious values in this country are “under attack.” The poll also found that 59 percent of Americans agree that “the people who run the TV networks and the major movie studios do not share the religious and moral values of most Americans.”
The poll was released during the league’s 2008 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles.

“These findings point to the challenges that we face in dealing with issues of religion in society,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “The belief that religion is under attack underlies the drive to incorporate more religion into American public life. Disturbingly, 43 percent of Americans believe there is an organized campaign by Hollywood and the national media to weaken the influence of religious values in this country.”

Among the main findings of the ADL survey, “American Attitudes on Religion, Moral Values and Hollywood”:

— 61 percent of Americans say they believe that “Religious values are under attack in this country,” while 36 percent disagree with that statement. 59 percent agree that “the people who run the TV networks and the major movie studios do not share the religious and moral values of most Americans.” And 43 percent hold the view that Hollywood and the national media are waging an organized campaign to “weaken the influence of religious values in this country.”

— Significantly fewer Americans believe today that Jews control the TV and film industries. The survey showed that 63 percent disagree with the notion that “the movie and television industries are pretty much run by Jews,” while only 22 percent agree. When ADL conducted its first survey on anti-Semitic attitudes in 1964, nearly half of all Americans believed that the television and film industries were run by Jews.

— There is surprising support for censorship. Nearly 40 percent of the American people support the notion that “dangerous ideas should be banned from public school libraries,” and nearly the same number of Americans disagree with the statement that “censoring books is an old-fashioned idea.”

— Nearly half of those surveyed, 49 percent, believe that the United States is becoming “too tolerant in its acceptance of different ideas and lifestyles; 47 percent disagreed with that statement.

“It is troubling that so many Americans feel as if the output of Hollywood is part of an organized campaign to undermine religious values in this country and believe that censorship is acceptable,” said Mr. Foxman. “It shows that in this age of pervasive media and the widening availability of the Internet, many Americans still maintain a very parochial view toward the information age, and even believe in censorship to ‘protect morality.’ If anything, it points to the need for a greater awareness of the fundamental role that the First Amendment has played in helping religious freedom in America to be sustained, and indeed, to flourish.”

The survey was conducted by the Marttila Communications Group, a Boston-based public opinion research firm that has conducted numerous national surveys for ADL measuring American attitudes on a wide range of domestic and foreign policy issues. The survey has a margin of error of +/-3.09 percent. For many questions, the survey used the technique of split sampling, a process in which the 1,000 sample was split into two demographically representative national samples of 500 respondents each. The margin of error for questions answered by 500 respondents is +/- 4.38 percent.

The poll results, including graphics and other visuals, are available on the League’s Web site at: http://www.adl.org/hollywood_poll_2008/default.asp

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.
This article can be found at: http://www.streetinsider.com/Press+Releases/ADL+Survey:+Americans+Believe+Religious+Values+are+’%3BUnder+Attack’%3B/4164189.html

ADL survey: Americans believe religious values are “under attack”; 59% say Hollywood “doesn’t share their moral values”

Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Creation of the Superhero

Posted in Media Watch with tags , , , , , on September 25, 2008 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

The Jewish Daily Forward
March 19, 2008

The history of comics has been big recently, and there’ve been a number of books and articles about it. Because so many Jews were there at the creation of both the comic book and the great superheroes who served as the main attraction, you have to ask the obvious question: What, if anything, does it mean that the industry was so heavily populated by Jews?

Your answer to this will depend on what you think “comic books” really do. In “Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics and the Creation of the Superhero,” Danny Fingeroth seems to assume that the most important comics tell tales of superheroes. He is mostly interested in what he calls “The Golden Age” — from 1938 until the end of the Second World War — when caped crusaders and men of steel patrolled the streets of Gotham City and the skies of Metropolis. Fingeroth, a former comics editor at Marvel, also gives due attention to the “Silver Age” of the 1960s and beyond — the heyday of oddball heroes, like Spider-Man and The Fantastic Four. Unfortunately, the narrative he constructs leads him to breeze over what happened to the comics between the golden and the silver ages, to the fact that after the war, comic book buyers got bored with the squeaky-clean defenders of the innocent. They were more interested in Wonder Woman’s breasts.

As David Hajdu points out in “The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America,” overt sex sold, horror reigned and the villains stole the stage from the superheroes. Magazines suddenly sported racy titles, like “Crime SuspenStories,” “My Secret Life” and “The Crypt of Terror.” These, too, were created by Jews. As far as Hajdu is concerned, you need to look at the whole industry — at both “Superman” and “The Crypt of Terror” — to understand what the comics mean. Hajdu demonstrates that the comics’ particular meanings and their particular forms of Jewishness cannot be divorced from their specific — and distinct — histories.

Fingeroth admits that it’s “hard to tell” where the comics themselves are properly Jewish. It probably is. Superman presents a relatively easy case: Jules Feiffer has argued that the Man of Steel really came “from the planet Poland,” while Gerard Jones, in his excellent 2004 book “Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book,” suggested that Superman quite literally embodies the Jewish immigrant’s dilemma (he has to pretend he fits in, while knowing that he has special, unseen and potentially unappreciated powers). The “secret” of Superman’s success also rests on the fact that his is the dilemma of every geeky and not-so-geeky kid. A hero on the inside, he’s prime bully bait on the outside. So Superman’s dual identity fits a number of important bills. DC Comics, Superman’s publisher, profited from all of them.

But what about Batman? Hardly an immigrant and definitely not Jewish. And the rest of that alliterative and hardy crew of caped and costumed heroes who bashed the bad guys all through the early 1940s? Again, hard to tell. Nevertheless, Fingeroth wants to tell. The trouble is that he has to hyperextend in order to tease out what he calls “shreds of Jewish meaning” from the superhero comics. Unfortunately, that’s all they are: shreds.

According to Fingeroth, some heroes are stand-ins for Moses, some for survivors. Because comics script writers were ambivalent about not being professionals themselves, they created heroes who were established professionals in their day jobs. (Sorry, Mom.) You get the idea. Perhaps the oddest of Fingeroth’s claims is that Captain America’s writers were particularly Jewish in that they wanted every story to be “universal.”

In “The Ten-Cent Plague,” Hajdu makes the interesting case that postwar comics were the first shot in a coming youth revolt. By the early 1950s, cities were banning comics. Prodded by their parents, kids were burning them. The Senate was investigating them. Hajdu indicates that the sex and mayhem stories that caused such a ruckus represented the flip side of the superheroes’ adventures. He suggests that we see them as expressions of a particularly Jewish — though likely unconscious — mistrust of assimilation, of its enforced conventions and unavoidable authority. So if DC’s Superman appealed to the nerd in all of us, the sleazy comics peddled by companies like EC spoke to an inchoate but increasingly independent youth culture.

This new buying public of rebels without a cause — the same kids who would turn Elvis into a superhero of a different kind — scared the daylights out of their parents. Even though there was no overt proof, psychologists, politicians and the chief crime fighter in the land, J. Edgar Hoover, claimed that reading comics led directly to juvenile delinquency. In 1954, psychologist Frederic Wertham published his most famous work, “Seduction of the Innocent,” which made it sound as if he wanted to protect our children from the pernicious influence of the comics. But Hajdu makes an excellent case that the anti-comics brigades wanted protection from our children. The seduced, it seems, resembled other paranoid fantasies of the Cold War: all those fifth-columnists in the State Department and the communist dupes in the schools, those invasive germs in the kitchen and the brainwashed automatons lurking in the streets.

While Hajdu explicitly refuses to draw a parallel between McCarthyism and the attacks on the comics industry, they are linked by a common fear of contagion and subversion. And, though Hajdu won’t go this far, it would be fair to guess that there was more than a touch of latent antisemitism in the comic book affair. The Catholic Church, the American Legion, towns without many Jews and towns with too many Jews all ganged up on the comics. Jewish comics editors and publishers like Bill Gaines (hopped up on amphetamines and aggression) came up before televised committees of such manifestly upright, proudly non-Jewish lawmakers as Estes Kefauver and Robert C. Hendrickson (and, as Michael Chabon shows in “Kavalier and Clay,” the Jews did not come out so well). In an era when the most famous American traitors were a pair of down-at-the-heel communist Jews, it’s hard to imagine that the great comics scare was not a sideshow in the even greater Red Scare.

Hajdu’s book winds up in the mid-1950s with the exemplary case of EC’s Mad magazine. Mad’s caustically anarchic humor — sometimes gross, and often puerile — matched up Jewish snarkiness with adolescent rebellion. It was a hit. Having incurred the anger of the powers that were, EC turned Mad into a “real” magazine, upped its price and found a different distributor. EC and Mad lived to fight another day.

In the glory days of the depression and World War II, millions of people read about Superman, Batman and the scores of other superheroes who rode in on their cape-tails. Though a lot fewer people now buy comics, Fingeroth is right to say that these heroes still saturate our culture — if mostly at the movies. In the final chapter of “The Ten-Cent Plague,” R. Crumb is quoted as saying that he never got over “Mad.” We have never gotten over Superman, either.

For better and for worse, the comics, cranky and grandiose as they frequently are, really do express the various fantasies of American Jews. What’s more — and this is absolutely critical to their success — they seem to reflect the fantasies of everyone else. Of course Jews and non-Jews sometimes dream of different things, but that might be the most important point. The comics can mean so much because they can skillfully coordinate so many dreams.

The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America
By David Hajdu
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 448 pages, $26.

David Kaufmann, cultural critic for the Forward, teaches English at George Mason University.

This article can be found at http://www.forward.com/articles/12974/

Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Creation of the Superhero

“Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream”

Posted in Media Watch with tags , , , , , , on September 3, 2008 by The 800 Pound Gorilla

For anyone who disputes the fact that Jews run Hollywood, this obscure little documentary film is a must-see.

“Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream” is a mainstream production and therefore contains a number of exaggerations and falsehoods. It does, however, make one important concession: namely, that Hollywood — and the industry it spawned — was “largely the product of six movie studios… run for over 30 years by a group of Jewish immigrants” with “strikingly similar backgrounds.”

The 1hr/42m film goes on to explain how these studios, under exclusively Jewish ownership, spent the next several decades using their new medium to create an artificial “American Dream.” As the narrator explains in the introduction: “This is the story of the founders of Hollywood; the story of the idea that became their America — and ours.”

Quoting a host of Jewish film experts, “Hollywoodism” answers the contentious question of Jewish influence on the movie industry straight from the horse’s mouth: as Author/Historian Aljean Harmetz states: “I’m not sure that there was an ‘American Dream’ before the Jews came to Hollywood and invented it.”

Based on Neal Gabler’s best-selling book, An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood, the film tells the story of a small group of Jewish immigrants who transformed the technological novelty of moving pictures into the most influential art form of the twentieth century.Adolph Zukor, founder of Paramount, Carl Laemmle of Universal; Louis B. Mayer, of MGM; William Fox of 20th Century Fox, and Harry Cohn of Columbia; were all immigrants (or children of immigrants) who reinvented themselves as Americans. In the process, they transformed America.

“Modern America first saw light on a Hollywood screen,” the documentary begins. “It was largely the product of six movie studios, established in the 1920s, and run for over 30 years by a group of Jewish immigrants” with “strikingly similar backgrounds.”

The moguls — virtually all of them Jewish — included Harry Warner of Warner Bros., born in Poland; Samuel Goldwyn of MGM, also born in Poland; Carl Laemmle of Universal Pictures, born in Germany; Louie B. Meyer of MGM, born in Russia; Adolph Zukor of Paramount Pictures, born in Hungary; and William Fox of 20th Century Fox, also born in Hungary. Harry Cohn of Columbia Pictures was born in New York to German-Jewish parents.

Author/Critic Neal Gabler states: “All of these men who founded Hollywood were born within a 500-mile radius of one another — and all of them wound up within 15 miles of one another in Los Angeles.”

The Jazz Singer (1927), starring Al Jolson, epitomizes in cinematic terms the conflict of the Jew in America. The elderly cantor of a synagogue on the Lower East Side of New York City assumes that his only son will follow in his footsteps and retain the orthodox traditions. But the son would prefer to be an entertainer and goes against his father’s wishes. Years pass and Jakie Rabinowitz, the cantor’s son, has become Jack Robin, a nightclub singer. The crisis comes when the elder Rabinowitz cannot sing the “Kol Nidre” on Yom Kippur and the congregation pressures the young jazz singer to fill in for his father. But Jack’s Broadway opening happens to be the same night.

As Gabler describes this situation: “Jack’s quandary is that he can bring Judaism to show business, but he cannot bring show business to Judaism Ö which is to say that Judaism cannot be reinvigorated or revitalized in America or by America. It is alien to it.”

The Jazz Singer has a happy ending. Jack’s producers allow his Broadway premier to be postponed a night so he can sing the “Kol Nidre” in the synagogue. Then, in his show business triumph, the young Jewish entertainer appears in blackface, “one minority disguised within another,” singing “Mammy” to his mother seated in the enthusiastic audience. The son of the immigrant gets the best of two worlds.

The film explains how, in the late 19th century, these men immigrated to the USA from Eastern Europe, where Jewish populations allegedly faced persecution at the hands of the Russian czar. No doubt exaggerating the extent of Jewish suffering, the narrator explains how, “without warning, death could come crashing down on the defenseless schtetls, reminding the Jews that, as a people, they were permanent outsiders — vulnerable and powerless.”

The future founders of Hollywood came to America with little money, “but they brought with them a new vision of America,” the narrator states. “Hollywood was a dream, dreamt by Jews fleeing a nightmare.”

In 1912, after a brief stint in New York (where, according to the film, the movie business was “monopolized” by bad-guy Thomas Edison), this small band of determined Jews set up shop in California, where they met with instant success. By 1920, they had established their own film studios and began producing hundreds of movies every year.

Interestingly, “Hollywoodism” — while stating that the moguls first came to America “with little money and few belongings” — does not explain how these monumental business ventures were initially financed.

[The 800lb. Gorilla poses this thought: perhaps the six studios, all set up simultaneously by Jews of “strikingly similar backgrounds,” were all financed by the same source — i.e., Rothschild — from the very beginning. This certainly appears to have been their modus operandi in most other industries, where so-called “competitors” are actually controlled by the same forces from behind the scenes.]

By the 1920s and 1930s, “seventy-five percent of all Americans went to the movies at least once a week,” the film explains, while movie houses had become “temples of the new Hollywood religion — Jewish values made kitsch.”

“Actors became the gods and goddesses of the new American religion. And where there are new gods there must be new idols, so the studio heads began a movie guild with the lofty title of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” the film explains. “It was Meyer’s brilliant idea to create the Oscars, where the movie moguls could honor themselves by giving each other awards. In this way, they went from being a group of immigrant Jews to award-winning American producers.”

The Jewish moguls, however, did more than just establish a superficial and self-serving Hollywood cult (which has never boasted more devotees than it does today). According to sources quoted in the documentary, they also used their new medium to create an American “mass culture” based on self-gratification and consumerism — that which would later become known as the “American Dream.”

“I’m not sure that there was an ‘American Dream’ before the Jews came to Hollywood and invented it,” Author/Historian Aljean Harmetz states in the film. “What you had…was an idea of freedom, but you didn’t have what we have today, which is a popular culture that creates dreams — a dream factory.”

[For more on the transformation of America into a gratification-based society through the medium of advertising — also at the hands of a small clique of East European Jews — see Adam Curtis’ brilliant, four-part BBC documentary, “Century of the Self.”]

Film Critic Gabler states: “They created their own America — an America which is not the real America… But ultimately, this shadow America becomes so popular and so widely disseminated that its images and its values come to devour the real America.”

“The grand irony of all Hollywood is that Americans come to define themselves by the shadow America that was created by Eastern European Jewish immigrants…,” Gabler adds. “One could say that the American Dream was really founded in Eastern Europe.”

“Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream” — Download it HERE

“Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream”