Now we get Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada” to
take over from “Wall Street’s” Gordon Gecko. She’s just
one more iconic evil boss added to the growing Hollywood pantheon. Even the kids’ movie “Hoot” set
up “greedy” businessmen as the enemies of nature.
Coming on the heels of the 2006 Academy Awards, this should be no surprise.
The Oscars highlighted Hollywood’s contempt for any business except its
own. Half of the 16 movies earning top Oscar nominations showed businessmen
crimes in either primary or secondary roles.
Of course, they weren’t all deadly. We had the pimp Djay and his friends
from “Hustle & Flow” using drugs, prostitution and violence to
launch a “legitimate” business career. In a particularly disgusting
act, he even traded the services of one of his hookers for a microphone. But
for a professional crook, he was a rank amateur compared to some of the other
businessmen found on the silver screen last year.
Those other bosses, CEOs, store owners and more served up attempted murder,
assassination, mass murder and an international conspiracy to overthrow a nation’s
Maybe that’s how business is run in Hollywood, but for all others in America,
it’s far from the case. Movie executives have become fond of this new
villain, and they kick businessmen around in the very same way they claim businessmen
This trend was documented in an extensive study of the 16 films that received
the 30 nominations for the top Oscar awards – Best Picture, Director, Actor,
Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress. The study was released by the
Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute, which works hard
to advance the whole idea of free enterprise against media that deem it out
BMI found businessmen were depicted as either criminals or simply unethical four
times as often as they were portrayed in a positive light.
Take the lead character in “A History of Violence.” He owned a small
diner, was the perfect father and loving husband. But we knew that couldn’t
last. Instead, he went from local hero to murdering mobster almost overnight.
I guess even evil businessmen have to get a paycheck somewhere. For example, “The
Constant Gardener” portrayed drug companies intent on killing people
to maximize profits.
One of the characters tried to defend how a business had used poor Africans
as guinea pigs for a new drug. “We’re not killing people who wouldn’t
be dead otherwise,” he claimed. The business ethics shown could be summed
up in three words: “Don’t get caught.”
That same strategy was an essential element of the movie “Syriana,” dubbed
by London Observer writer Gaby Wood “the most political film to have come
out of Hollywood since there was a war in Vietnam.” Just in case you might
be tempted to like the businessmen involved, it included a memorable rant in
favor of corruption. That ended with: “Corruption is why we win.”
“Syriana” certainly won – for Best Supporting Actor. It and
two other Oscar nominees were products of Participant Productions, a company
that claims on its Web site “a mission to make the world a better place.” “Better,” in
this case, meant where businessmen accept that they are evil incarnate. Everyone
else gets to despise them to their heart’s content.
Using propaganda to wipe out another American value is just a day at the office
to the Hollywood hate-igentsia.
It’s important to remember that these aren’t just any movies. These
are the ones the movie moguls and their minions have decreed are somehow the
best they have to offer. What a pathetic declaration.
Where are the ethical businessmen? Oh that’s right, we had only one of
those in a major role actually doing business. That was Paul Giamatti’s
character in “Cinderella Man,” who even sold his furniture to invest
in “something” he saw in an aging boxer.
That character succeeded because he knew his business. Unfortunately, Hollywood
doesn’t know any but its own.
Hurray for Hollywood? Not hardly. CRO