How closely were D.C. Republicans watching the Oscar nominations for any mention of “Fahrenheit 9/11”?
“Let’s just say it’ll be the determining factor,” Rep. J.D. Hayworth said before the list of nominees came out. The Arizona Republican, who sits on the influential House Ways & Means Committee, added, “If Michael Moore wins the Oscar, it would be an unhelpful sign.”
To no one’s surprise, Moore’s critical look at the Bush administration’s response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks enraged Republicans — many of whom still believe the pic represents the views of Hollywood in general.
A nomination for either Moore or the pic would have only confirmed their suspicions — not to mention made it that much harder for Hollywood lobbyists to find sympathetic ears among Congressional Republicans.
“It would’ve been a huge problem if it had been nominated,” says Rep. Mark Foley, a Florida Republican and member of the Ways & Means Committee, as well as head of the House GOP Entertainment Caucus.
Whether the pic’s having been shut out from noms will improve Hollywood’s image with the GOP remains to be seen.
“I think it has helped mend some of the frayed edges of our relationship, at least tangentially among Republicans who perceive a (liberal) bias in Hollywood,” says Foley.
“The ‘Fahrenheit’ decision won’t make things better,” says one major industry lobbyist, “but it would have gotten worse had it gone the other way.”