Screenwriter and director Lionel Chetwynd, who has been the dean of Hollywood conservatives, has resigned from the Caucus for Producers, Writers and Directors in the wake of a new book chronicling what it calls a left wing bias in primetime.

The recently published book, "Primetime Propaganda," by Ben Shapiro, includes interviews with a bevy of TV show creators including Vin Di Bona, Marta Kauffman, Nicholas Meyer and Susan Harris. As part of the promotion for the book, Shapiro has placed audio portions of interviews online, in which content creators respond to questions about injecting liberal themes into their programming. The book also chronicles instances in which conservatives in the industry claim they are discriminated against in employment because of their views. See my post from earlier this week here.

In one instance, Di Bona, a fellow member of the caucus, is asked by Shapiro of the critique that Hollywood is a "one-sided town" and "that only one perspective tends to get told in scripted shows." "Um, let's think back,"  Di Bona says. "Well, I think it's probably accurate and I'm happy about it. If the accusation is there, I'm OK with it." Di Bona confirmed the accuracy of the comments earlier this week, but said that Shapiro pitched the book to him as a history of television and its creators, not one chronicling political bias.

Chetwynd wrote in his letter to Dennis Doty, chair of the Caucus, "In preparing his book, Mr. Shapiro interviewed a large number of our Hollywood notables on the subject of diversity – not the sacrosanct mélange of race, religion, gender orientation and the like, but a more challenging diversity: that of opinion and policy. The vast majority felt quite comfortable endorsing discrimination against those whose political philosophy was not rooted in the reflexive Leftism of Hollywood."

Chetwynd adds, "In my years as a member of the Caucus, I worked tirelessly to promote fidelity to our First Amendment rights. You well know, for example, the Bipartisan Political Panels I organized, my pieces for the Caucus Journal, and – now to my embarrassment – my involvement in bringing to the Caucus such speakers as Eric Cantor, Tom Ridge, John Thune and others. I knew most of my fellow members looked upon the political positions of these people as distasteful; what I now understand is the disgust was not for their views, but for their very person. Such people, Mr. Shapiro’s sources make clear, must be silenced and it is therefore proper to make them suffer discrimination. Shame on all of them."

The book is published by HaprerCollins' conservative imprint Broadside Books.

 

 

The full text of the letter is after the jump.

 

 

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 17