In what host Claude Brodesser-Akner called “a rant on behalf of the entire editorial staff of The Business“, the Hollywood industry talk show on KCRW took the gay community to task today for its threatened boycotts, equating them with the Hollywood blacklists of the 50s. You can listen to the podcast here. Responding to the resignation of L.A. Film Festival director Richard Raddon after his donation to Prop. 8 was discovered, the host said:
“Personally we think that Raddon’s support of the campaign was wrongheaded and donating to the campaign, given the nature of his job, was naive but we also think that the real issue is how his personal views affected or didn’t affect the films that he chose for the festival. In fact, by all accounts it’s been the very model of inclusion and open-mindedness under his stewardship.
Raddon’s censure feels an awful lot we’re headed back to a time in Hollywood none of us should want to revisit. It was called the Black List. Let’s not shame ourselves with a Pink List to go with it.”
You would think that The Business would know what the black list was. Brodesser-Akner falsely compares marriage equality advocates publicly calling for the resignation of someone who funded an effort to deny someone their civil rights with studio bosses privately refusing to hire writers, actors and other creatives who were considered to be “communists.” One is public civil action, the other private discrimination. In short, there’s no comparison.
It’s also odd that The Business thinks the measuring stick by which Raddon should be judged is the quality of his work on the job. As my Nana might say, “What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?” Radon’s decision to donate to the Yes on 8 campaign was his, and if it upsets people, that’s their right as well. It’s not blacklisting to refuse to spend your money on organizations run by leaders who contribute money to campaigns that strip you of your civil rights.
No secret gay cabal made the decision that Richard Radon should step down, he did. That he bowed to public pressure is his choice and, in our view, the appropriate and responsible choice to make. In an industry where rumors that you’re gay can derail a movie deal and gays and lesbians are relegated too often second-tier roles, it’s ironic and disappointing that Brodesser-Akner and his staff fear a non-existent tyranny of the minority.