Hollywood’s Conservative Underground Grows

Monday, 24 Oct 2011 12:47 PM

By Ronald Kessler

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Lately, conservatives in Hollywood have been giving each other support in a secret organization called Friends of Abe, after Abraham Lincoln.

But Clint Howard, a conservative actor who is the brother of actor and director Ron Howard, says conservatives are still outcasts who have “trepidations” that their political orientation in a sea of outspoken liberals will sink their careers.

Like Jon Voight, Pat Boone, Kelsey Grammer, and Gary Sinise, Clint Howard is one of the few courageous enough to identify himself publicly as a conservative. Still, Howard, who has a long list of film and television roles to his credit, chooses his words carefully.

“For years conservative-minded people have been kind of subjected to a lot of — I wouldn’t say bullying, no it’s not bullying,” he tells Newsmax. “Conservative minded people have been subjected to a very liberal work place, and it has been frustrating.”

Howard usually plays comedic roles, but he sees nothing funny about the Hollywood establishment’s view of conservatives. Especially when George W. Bush was president, Bush and Republicans were “openly bashed” on movie sets, Howard says.

“They were made fun of, there were angry comments, there was vitriol,” Howard says. “I resented that because I felt like President Bush was doing a tremendous job under an extreme amount of pressure. My wife and I are so blessed that we were around when President Bush and Vice President Cheney were in control during these difficult times.”

Asked if he knows people who were shunned because of their conservative beliefs, Howard says it is always hard to pinpoint an exact cause and effect when actors are not hired or rehired.

There are a lot of liberal-minded people on the other side of that casting session,” Howard says. “I always tell younger conservative-minded people that they better mind their P's and Q's and remember that you want to have a career.

"I believe that conservative-minded people could easily alienate themselves from the business in terms of getting employment opportunities.”

Howard, who has lately had roles in “Alabama Moon, “The Dilemma,” and “Speed Dating,” says the overwhelming imposition of left-wing values in movies has been bad for business. As Pat Boone says, America is typically portrayed in movies as “the great Satan.”

“People in the business get so confused when a movie like ‘Fire Proof’ comes out and performs well,” Howard says, referring to the 2008 Christian drama. “It’s like wow — who would have thought?”

In the same way, MSNBC executives never seem to connect its left-wing approach with its miserable ratings as compared with Fox News.

Despite their opposing political views, Howard says that he and his brother Ron Howard, who did a commercial for Barack Obama, have a solid relationship.

“We never argue, and I don’t believe for a second Ron would ever consider somebody’s political beliefs while hiring,” Howard says. “He wants to make the best film he can make.”

The fact that conservatives are now meeting secretly — Howard won’t name the Friends of Abe — has given them a feeling of support. The group meets for lunches and dinners. After being launched in 2008, it now consists of up to 2,000 people.

“This sort of conservative-minded movement in the entertainment business makes me feel good personally,” Howard says.

Still, Pat Boone says, there is good reason to keep membership in Friends of Abe secret.

“If certain studio execs — hirers and firers — learn that this is a movement and growing, and that some of these people that they hire are of this inclination, these people could be unemployed,” Boone says.

Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. He is a New York Times best-selling author of books on the Secret Service, FBI, and CIA. His latest, "The Secrets of the FBI," has just been published. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via email. Go Here Now.

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