News flash: 72% of Hollywood’s decisionmakers believe in God.

Yet only 23% look to religion for their moral code; nor do they have much faith in organized religion. They do, however, conduct their lives according to their own internal sense of right and wrong. On the other hand, they don’t feel there is one set of values that’s right.

These statistics come from a survey regarding the entertainment industry’s moral Zeitgeist, conducted by U.S. News & World Report and the UCLA Center for Communication Policy, which reports that Hollywood’s leaders identify violence, crime and education as the biggest problems facing the country. Results appear in the May 8 issue of U.S. News, ahead of a similar Zeitgeist survey the Los Angeles Times is conducting of Hollywood decisionmakers.

So who says Hollywood is out of touch with the public?

This attempt to take the moral temperature of entertainment industry mavens reports that:

* 52% think it’s OK for unmarried adults to engage in consensual sex and 18% feel that it’s OK for married folks to have extramarital sex.

* 83% say the criminal justice system is seriously ineffective… but it sure makes for great ratings.

In the past 10 years, they say, their values have become more conservative (37.89%) than liberal (20.70%). But they overwhelmingly stand behind such historically “liberal” causes as the right to abortion and gun control, as well as opposition to organized school prayer.

The survey also reveals that a larger number of entertainment leaders felt public cynicism is a more serious problem facing the country than a stagnant economy – yeah, right.

And while industry tastemakers say they’re very concerned about violence, only a small percentage say the entertainment media are a major contributing factor to the level of violence in America. Further, Hollywood execs believe government can have a positive role in the regulation of business, but few feel the government can have a constructive role in curbing violence on TV.

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