This time, Hollywood collaborates with Islamists
Author Ben Urwand has ignited a controversy with his claim that Hollywood effectively collaborated with Hitler's Nazi regime in the late 1930s to expunge any material that might depict Germany and the Fuehrer damagingly. Fearing a loss of an important revenue stream, Jewish film moguls like Louis B. Mayer (MGM) and Adolph Zukor (Paramount) cut scenes, ran scripts by Nazi censors for approval and abandoned promising film projects in an attempt to placate Berlin. While Brandeis professor Thomas Doherty challenges this characterization of Hollywood's behavior (especially the use of words like "collaboration" and "pact" in the book's title), Urwand backs up his assertions with compelling documentation.
Fast forward to the 21st century where violent Islamists have, by one estimate, perpetrated over 21,000 deadly terror attacks worldwide since 9/11. And while the studio system may be gone, it is undeniable that once again Hollywood is largely afraid of depicting totalitarians as the "bad guys." As Daniel Pipes has chronicled, Hollywood avoids Muslim antagonists like the plague, transforming, for example, the Arab terrorists in Tom Clancy's The Sum of All Fears, into neo-Nazis in the filmic version. Meanwhile, Zero Dark Thirty, the Oscar-nominated 2012 movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, was savaged by critics, politicians and Hollywood elites alike for purportedly whitewashing the tough choices sometimes made by those engaged in the war against Islamist terror.
Hollywood Producer Howard Gordon (L) with the executive director of the Islamist group Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Salam al-Marayati, at an MPAC Hollywood Bureau event.
Although the first generation Jewish immigrants who built Hollywood are long gone, their co-religionist descendents still wield sizable influence in the film industry and are following in their cowardly footsteps. The much touted Homeland TV series, produced by Howard Gordon, pushes a moral equivalence between the actions of its American POW-turned-Muslim terrorist hero and the vice president who ordered a bombing campaign that took the lives of innocent Iraqis. Munich, written by the vocally anti-Israel Tony Kushner, directed by Steven Spielberg and distributed by Dreamworks (founded by Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen) and Universal (headed by Ron Meyer) equated Israeli counter-terrorists with the Palestinian murderers they were tasked with assassinating. Nary a Muslim terrorist is in sight in recent Hollywood offerings; instead audiences are treated to a proliferation of anti-U.S. films set in the Mideast (In the Valley of Elah, Green Zone, Rendition) — all of which have happily tanked at the box office.
The parallels are obvious but worth highlighting. Once again the film industry, afraid of offending a lucrative market (Muslims), pulls back from tackling the genocidal danger staring it in the face, this time seeking the approval of Islamist groups like MPAC and CAIR. Once again, Jews are in the forefront of kowtowing to those who, under the right circumstances, would likely seek their elimination. The only difference this time is that Hollywood's reprehensible behavior is equally prompted by rampant political correctness and a well-earned fear of violent Islamists (just go ask the late Dutch film-maker Theo Van Gogh).
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the film industry did get behind the war against fascism foursquare, producing such classic—and top-grossing—movies as Casablanca, Mrs. Miniver and To Have and Have Not. Although the devastating jihadist attack of 9/11 may be a decade behind us, the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing is still fresh in the minds of most Americans, who have a clear idea of the nature of the enemy. It is long past time for Hollywood to shake off its p.c. blinders, its timidity, and its fear of the "Islamophobia" grievance industry and make the films that Americans crave.
NOTE: In a previous version, Darryl Zanuck was identified as a Jew. He was not. However, 20th Century Fox, the studio which he headed, was identified in Mr. Urwand's book as one which collaborated with the Nazi regime.