Hollywood's True Agenda Mel Gibson and the Culture War by James Jaeger
With all the media publicity and controversy surrounding Mel Gibson's movie, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, one of the most significant issues of all has been obfuscated or dropped out entirely. This issue can be stated with the following question: How has Mel Gibson been affected by the "Culture War" that is currently raging in America?
The specifics of the issue are this: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX, an MPAA company, declined to finance and distribute THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST.(1) Why? Was it because THE PASSION was a motion picture with an agenda different from the agenda of the control group that dominates Hollywood? If American pop culture is controlled, or significantly influenced, by a dominating minority of politically liberal, secular, Jewish males of European heritage, as extensive research conducted by entertainment-securities attorney, John W. Cones, confirms at the Film Industry Reform Movement (see www.homevideo.net/FIRM), could this be one of the reasons, or even THE reason, Mel Gibson got such a raw deal from Hollywood studios? Many industry observers and analysts imply it was.
When Mel Gibson originally went to FOX (a studio he had worked with on several successful projects), the initial "reasons" they gave him for refusing to finance or distribute THE PASSION were a) it wasn't in English nor subtitled; and b) they felt religious movies, as exemplified by a number of recent flops such as THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN, don't generally do well at the box office.
But to these two politically-correct "reasons" I say, rubbish!
Almost Branded anti-Semitic:
Later on, mouthpieces for the Jewish Establishment(2), in particular Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League (the ADL), came out and declared that "recent statements by Mel Gibson paint the portrait of an anti-Semite. . ."(3) and he was troubled that Mel's movie would incite anti-Semitism -- thus they advised the studios (who listen to the ADL's advice), to decline to finance and distribute THE PASSION. Foxman later advised Mel Gibson to remove a line of dialog (Matthew 27:25) from the picture, which Mel did. Continuing to complain, Foxman then advised Mel to place a post script on the picture, which he opted to not do, because, as Mel stated in his Diane Sawyer interview, 'it implied there was something wrong with my movie'.
Nevertheless, even though Mel DID add subtitles, taking away "reason a)," neither FOX, nor any of the MPAA studio/distributors -- under the direct or indirect, overt or covert, suggestion or orders of the Jewish community, through their advocacy organization, the ADL -- offered to finance or distribute THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. Thus, in effect, the GENERAL JEWISH COMMUNITY (AS REPRESENTED BY THE ADL) AND THE SO-CALLED 'HOLLYWOOD JEWS' COMBINED TO EFFECTIVELY SUPPRESS (SOME SAY CENSORED OR BOYCOTTED) THE FINANCING AND DISTRIBUTION OF A CHRISTIAN MOTION PICTURE THROUGH STANDARD HOLLYWOOD CHANNELS, i.e., through publicly-held, New York Stock Exchange-listed, MPAA-member studio/distributors. (4)
Was Mel Gibson thus forced to curl up in a ball and die like most filmmakers in this position? Fortunately not, as he was in a position to personally finance the picture. Thus Mel Gibson reached into his pocket for $30,000,000 and paid for THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST all by himself. Had he not had the vision and courage to do this, you and potentially billions of others around the world would never have seen a picture like this in a million years. This event should make the thoughtful reader wonder how many projects the control group at the MPAA studio/distributors have also suppressed while at the same time wholeheartedly financing and distributing other projects that promote Jewish issues and concerns, such as SHINDLER'S LIST, THE GREY ZONE and AMEN, a movie that even seriously bashed the Catholic Church, a common target of Hollywood bias in motion picture content.(5)
Then, AFTER Mel spent 30 million bucks of his own money, placing a substantial part of the risk solely upon his shoulders, it came time to distribute THE PASSION. So Mel went to Twentieth Century Fox, his "home studio" where his production company, Icon Productions, had a production-distribution deal for future products (6). He asked FOX if they would please distribute THE PASSION so he could recoup his investment and generate potentially hundreds of millions of dollars for them, as he had done when he directed BRAVEHEART in 1995, earning FOX not only hundreds of millions, but Best Picture as well. But his "buddies" at Fox said take a hike. So Mel went to his "buddies" at other MPAA studio/distributors -- who over the years he had also helped make hundreds of millions on such films as BRAVEHEART (for Twentieth Century Fox), THE PATRIOT (for Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures), SIGNS (for Disney's Touchstone and Buena Vista Pictures), LETHAL WEAPON I, II, III, IV and CONSPIRACY THEORY (all for Warner Bros.), MAD MAX (for MGM) and WHAT WOMEN WANT (for Paramount). But what did all these "highly competitive" MPAA studios say? They also told Mel to take a hike, in effect, taking their cue from the monolithic Jewish community's mouthpiece, the ADL. Even DreamWorks, a studio that doesn't want to "perpetuate an existing system" declined to distribute THE PASSION.(7)
Business as Usual in Hollywood:
The above actions indicate that little has changed in the Hollywood-based U.S. motion picture industry since 1978 when a U.S. Government task force report characterized the studios as oligopolistic, restrictive, controlling, unprogressive and maintaining artificial barriers to entry.(8)
In the end, the MPAA studios (FOX et al), a wannabe MPAA studio (DreamWorks) and at least one segment of the Jewish community at large (ADL) -- who all constantly SCREAM about their First Amendment free-speech rights -- all told Mel Gibson to go to hell with HIS First Amendment free-speech rights because they "are under no obligation to finance or distribute anything," the company line spewed endlessly by apologists for the "existing system" and apologists for Jewish hegemony in Hollywood in general. How convenient. These are the same hypocritical apologists that constantly harp, "If you don't like what's on TV, turn off your TV." In other words, take the crap the control group feeds you or leave it.
Potential Earnings - Downside:
Now, contrary to the Hollywood meme that religious movies don't do well, THE PASSION has earned hundreds of millions. It opened on over 2,800 screens and has garnered about $400 million in domestic theatrical revenues alone. The picture is now on its way to earning another $800 to $1.2 billion in homevideo/DVD because homevideo usually earns about two or three times what theatrical box office earns. It will then play overseas and do these figures again. Using the more conservative estimates, this would bring the picture's total to $2.4 billion over the next 5 years. Then THE PASSION will go to other "windows" such as video-on-demand, pay-per-view and premium pay-cable. It will then go to second-run cable, free TV and syndication for 10 to 30 years over the countless independent TV stations all over the world. None of these revenue streams even include ancillary markets such as church groups, airlines, merchandising, books, video games, Interactive TV, music, consumer magazines, consumer Internet or sell-through retail DVDs and VHS videos. This is the DOWNSIDE of the revenue potential which would have been anticipated by most of the MPAA marketing brass even PRIOR to the completion of principal photography, or at least post production. And such anticipated revenues were less than speculative given the picture was embraced by, or at the very least didn't alienate, the 2 billion individuals in the worldwide Christian community.(9)
Since the PASSION followed the New Testament strictly, as Mel Gibson promised it would from the beginning, it garnered praise and support from the Christian community. Again, given an honest and true representation of the New Testament, at a certain point, it was a no-brainer for MPAA marketing brass to extrapolate that the picture would conservatively sell to at least 10% of the Christian market. This is being VERY conservative. But let's follow the figures: A 10% sale to the Christian community would have easily recouped the production-marketing budget that Mel Gibson was proposing to the studios. This would be the sum of $30 million for production and about $50 million for an initial marketing campaign. Thus the sum of $80 million is all Mel was asking the MPAA studios to "risk." Again, a paltry sum given the fact that he had earned them hundreds of millions in the past decades and the average cost to produce and market a picture today is $150 million, according to the MPAA's new chief, Dan Glickman.
If 10% of the 2-billion Christian market purchased a ticket for $6.03 (the average price in 2003 according to Boxofficemojo.com) that would result in 200 million people spending $6.03, or the sum of $1,206,000,000. In other words, that's 1.2 BILLION dollars!
Giving the theaters about half of this sum (their normal, usurious take, even though they assume NO risks of production or marketing) this leaves the sum of $603 million (in what's called "film rentals" from the studios' point of view). Whoever put up the production money -- either the studios/distributors or Mel's company, ICON PRODUCTIONS -- would have then been able to EASILY recoup their $30 million production money AND the studio/distributor would have been able to recoup its initial $50 million marketing budget (known as P&A budget for "prints and advertising"). Thus a total of $80 million would have easily been available from the $603 million leaving a cool $523 million from which the studio/distributor could have taken their usual 35% distribution fee, such being $183 million in this case. The balance of $420 million could have been split pro rata between the studio and ICON in accordance with how much of the production-marketing money was put up by whom.
Let's say ICON financed the production budget of $30 million and FOX financed the initial marketing budget of $50 million AFTER the picture was delivered. Well, ICON would be entitled to 37.5% (30,000,000/80,000,000) of the profits or $158 million and FOX would have been entitled to 62.5% (50,000,000/80,000,000), or $263 million of the profits. Given that ICON took the risks of production, they would have been entitled to more than 37.5% of the profits.(10)
All of the above estimates are conservative. If THE PASSION sells to a significant portion of the Christian market, say 80% instead of just 10% -- and as of this writing it still IS selling -- the picture could even surpass GONE WITH THE WIND, the highest grossing movie of all time in inflation-adjusted dollars.(11)
Potential Earnings - Upside:
If 80% of the 2-billion Christian market ultimately purchases a ticket for $6.03, that would result in 1.6 billion people spending $6.03 or the sum of $9,648,000,000. In other words, 9.6 BILLION dollars! And this is only theatrical revenues. Double or triple this figure for homevideo, add in the other windows for all territories as well as ancillaries and you're dealing with an unprecedented phenomenon next to none over the next 10 to 20 years.
Thus, PRIOR to the completion of principal photography, or at least post production -- and BEFORE Mel had arranged a distribution deal with NEW MARKET -- there was PLENTY of TIME, RATIONALE and FINANCIAL INCENTIVE for FOX, or at the very least, one of the other "highly competitive" MPAA studio/distributors, to give Mel a NEGATIVE PICK-UP DEAL.(12) But no such deal, or ANY production-distribution agreement, was ever forthcoming from the "economically motivated" MPAA studios. Thus, one can now clearly see that the idea that the studios/distributors are entirely economically-motivated is UNADULTERATED rubbish.
Further, one can clearly see that the idea that THE PASSION was not financed "because it was risky" is also pure HORSE for the simple reason that two conditions WERE present prior to production and certainly AFTER production. These conditions were: a) The potential Christian market was $2 billion, and b) the picture was true to the tenets of this market (at the very least not antagonistic to any significant portion thereof).
Ideological Conflicts of Interest:
Given these factors, the only reasonable conclusion one can draw is that FOX and the other MPAA studios declined to finance or distribute THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST because of ideological conflicts of interest. Put simply, Mel's movie has an agenda different than the Hollywood control group's agenda. Again, by "control group" I mean the dominating minority of politically liberal, not-very-religious, Jewish males of European heritage that have held the top three posts of the 7 MPAA studios/distributors and have done so for the past 100-some years. (See http://www.homevideo.net/FIRM/control.htm#execlist)
Who MAKES the Movies?
A movie is "made" by a person or group that has the clout to finance same -- in this case, the control group that manages the studios.
Given the control group's capabilities, it's a small step to posit the idea that MOVIES REFLECT THEIR MAKERS, as observed by John Cones in his exhaustive research on patterns of bias in the Hollywood-based U.S. motion picture industry.(13) Since the MAKERS of THE PASSION do not REFLECT the MOVIES normally financed and distributed by the MPAA studios/distributors, THE PASSION did NOT get MADE through the normal channels that a $30 million picture normally gets made through. Thus THE PASSION was, in effect, financially boycotted by the MPAA studios/distributors.(14)
If THE PASSION was financially boycotted because there was a conflict of interest with the agenda of the control group, one might ask: What IS their agenda? This can be answered by going back to the idea that MOVIES REFLECT THEIR MAKERS. If the makers are liberal, secular, Jewish and male, we can expect an output of movies that appeal to liberal, secular, Jewish males. That would mean movies that disparage conservative or Republican ideologies, movies that are anti-religion, movies that support Jewish causes or views and movies that appeal to mostly males.
Take a look at Hollywood and the movies that come out of it. Most of Hollywood supports the Democratic party and liberal views such as gun control, abortion, gay marriage and an end to the death sentence. This is why Michael Moore's documentary, FAHRENHEIT 9/11, a contender for Best Picture along with THE PASSION, was financed and distributed by Miramax, a subsidiary of an MPAA studio. Hollywood supports liberal causes and movies because these reflect the control group's bias.
Since the control group is "not-very-religious" (another way of saying secular), it's agenda is certainly is NOT the spread of Christianity, a religion. It is also not particularly interested in spreading conservative or traditional values fostered by Christianity, or any religion. The spread of Christianity, in fact, rolls back years of "progress" the studios (and TV networks) have enjoyed promoting the gay/lesbian agenda of attempting to legitimize the idea that homosexuality is "normal" and that the word "marriage" should be re-defined to accommodate spouses of the same sex.
Since the control group is not very religious, it follows that it would have disdain for religion. This would include demonizing almost anyone in any religion, whether Christians, Muslims or Scientologists. Unfortunately, since Jews and Muslims have been involved in conflict for many years in Israel, Muslims are not endeared to Jews in general when they silently condone the anti-religious activities of their fellow Jews in Hollywood. With Hollywood constantly depicting the "bad guys" in movies as Arabs and Muslims, is there any wonder we are seeing increasing numbers in the Muslim world becoming more extreme in their views and actions towards the United States and the movie industry, dominated by Jews, which it harbors?(15) On the other hand, Hollywood NEVER aims its guns at Judaism. Have you EVER run across a film that portrayes Judaism in a less than noble light? It's an enormous taboo. Even though the Hollywood control group is comprised of secular Jews, they treat the religion which gave them their identity with kid gloves.
Thus the main reason Christianity is often bashed by Hollywood movies is because of the obvious: It's the dominant religious preference in the U.S. (something the control group sees as threatening), AND the founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ, is a JEW that was attempting, through a new testament, to lead Gentiles into a new pact with God. Since the Hollywood control group is dominated by Jews who generally disavowal any recognition that one of their own was the Messiah, it adds to their disdain for Christianity. Thus we are seeing subtle and overt attacks on various aspects of religion, with particular emphasis on Christianity, funneled and amplified by the MPAA studios/distributors and large chunks of the media, which they own. Among the subtle attacks are the constant use of the term "Happy Holidays." Almost every film, TV show and radio program put out by Hollywood or influenced by the control group, promulgates this term instead of the of the more traditional, Christian term, "Merry Christmas" -- the goal being to neuter Christmas from the birthday celebration of Jesus, to a secular, commercial holiday that incorporates the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Since Hanukkah is relevant to only 1.3% of the population and Christmas is relevant to 77% of the population, it is disrespectful for the dominating minority in the studios to attempt to dictate terms of religious celebration to the majority. But they are doing just that, using the power of film and media in the same way Adolph Hitler used it against them a half century ago.
Since the control group is dominated by secular Jews, is it any wonder their agenda would be focused on financing and distributing movies that emphasize or support secular themes? Since the studio brass feared THE PASSION could have the effect of waking up the sleeping Christian community, thus rolling back years of secularism and liberal causes in the "Culture War," is it any wonder Mel Gibson was boycotted?(16)
The next agenda the makers of MPAA studio movies champion is the Jewish agenda, which is, above all, to: a) protect the Jews from anything remotely like the Holocaust happening again (and who can blame them), and b) promote Israel and her interests. Point "b" is so much a part of the Jewish Lobby's agenda, it is questionable as to whether some in the Jewish community have a greater loyalty to Israel than the United States where they live and are sworn to citizenship.(17) As for point "a," it's easy to see an endless flow of movies on the Holocaust coming out of Hollywood, starting with SHINDLER'S LIST and culminating with AMEN, a movie that criticizes the Catholic Church for failing to acknowledge and respond to Nazi atrocities in a more timely manner.
Gentile money that flows into the studios, to no small degree, is money that flows into the Jewish community, already the wealthiest ethnic group per capita in the U.S. Rarely does money flow out of the Jewish network of some 14 million people world wide (the Diaspora), unless it is absolutely necessary to promote or stimulate additional in-flows. It's the perfect money-making machine. If the statistic that Judaism has been decreasing by 10% over the same period is true, this means that wealth is concentrating in Jewish hands, thus leading the wealth disparity witnessed in the United States at this time.
Hollywood studios also promote endless immigration of people that are believed to NOT be prone to anti-Semitic behavior so that the dominating Christian community in America (77% of Americans are Christians, 1.3% Jews and less than 1% Muslims) can be diluted.(18) This is why your European friends seem to have a more difficult time getting permanent visas than do your Asian, African or Hispanic friends. This is also why the United States is being flooded with more people than we can assimilate right now and why America is no longer a "melting pot."
Above all, the control group's agenda is maintaining the status quo of studio power and the elite, hedonistic lifestyle that goes along with same. In other words, they want to PERPETUATE AN EXISTING SYSTEM.
Since movies are the number one export of the U.S., and the MPAA studios/distributors monopolize 90% of the worldwide markets, much of this cash flows into Hollywood's banks. Sick and overdosed on movie-money (just as the Saudis are sick and overdosed on oil-money), California is in debt and crashing (same as Saudi Arabia). But the studios are prepared for these contingencies because they use their movie propaganda machine to endlessly promote the California Life; which translates into endless immigration to California; which translates into endless demand for yet more over-priced California real estate. Thus the global cash flow generated from movie-money is ultimately funneled into the appreciating California real estate bubble. Real estate, being the economic flywheel of society, acts as collateral for bank loans to the MPAA studios when they fall on hard times, want to exercise their independence, need to buy more politicians or hookers, or purchase more of the material possessions that Robin Leach attempts to make us all drool over. All bubbles burst sooner or later.
So is it any wonder, with secular MALES running the MPAA studios, that there would be lots of testosterone mingling with movie-money and being spent on an endless flood of immigrant starlets? Is it any wonder that almost every movie coming out of MPAA-infested Hollywood is saturated with sex and/or violence, if not homosexual innuendo? How's a Christian movie, like THE PASSION, with a moralistic foundation, going to get financing and/or distribution in an environment like this? It ain't, unless the filmmaker pays his own way.
The Culture War:
All of the above agenda are coming out of Hollywood, and any feature or media that supports same, or that incorporates gratuitous violence and sex on the screen to foster an environment of discord conducive to "optimum change," will most likely be financed by the control group over a movie, like THE PASSION, that contributes to the reversal of such agendas. Thus Christian doctrine and Christian morals tend to stand in the way of the Hollywood control group's agenda and that's why Christians are (covertly) despised in Hollywood. Christian values PREVENT these things from happening wholesale in American society (as similar values in other religions prevent same in other societies). Thus, from the Hollywood control group's point of view, there is NO WAY a Christian-theme motion picture will EVER get financed or distributed by the MPAA studios/distributors so long as they are dominated in the TOP THREE positions by liberal, secular Jewish males of European heritage.(19)
Again, the above revelations of Hollywood's true agenda is why we are in a CULTURE WAR, as Bill O'Reilly repeatedly states. The CULTURE WAR can best be understood by reading John Cones' book, HOW THE MOVIE WARS WERE WON (available at http://www.mecfilms.com/coneslaw/conesbk.htm). The MOVIE WARS are part of the CULTURE WAR. Get it?
In THE PASSION conflict, we are seeing a MICROCOSM of the CULTURE WAR that is being waged by traditionalists (and people like O'Reilly who is at least attempting to inject some balance into an otherwise blatantly liberal media led by the New York Times). The only difference is the fact that we at FIRM have the "gall" to include the J-word, that Hollywood Jews are a significant part of the demographic involved in the Culture War. It's ironic, if not sad, that Bill O'Reilly constantly mentions the ACLU as a purveyor of the secular agenda he so renounces, yet he stops short at mention of the J-word even though the ACLU is "overwhelmingly Jewish in terms of membership and funding."(20)
On the other hand, to his credit, William Donahue of the CATHOLIC LEAGUE (http://www.catholicleague.org) has the courage to tell it like it is. He is not afraid to use the J-word when it is the only honest and COMPLETE way to describe what's going on and exactly who is involved. On MSNBC, Donohue said: "Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret, okay? And I'm not afraid to say it. That's why they hate this movie (THE PASSION). It's about Jesus Christ, and it's about truth. It's about the messiah. Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions. I believe in traditional values and restraint. They believe in libertinism. We have nothing in common. But you know what? The culture war has been ongoing for a long time. Their side has lost."(21)
Use of anti-Semitic Sword:
But for some, since we dare to mention the word "Jew" at FIRM, we must be anti-Semitic. To them we must automatically hate all Jews -- even though we applaud the growing list of Jews like Max Youngstein, Michael Medved, Jeffrey Blankfort and Burt Prelutsky who have no other agenda than truth. Apologists and politically-correct cowards demand that, unless we drop the mention of Jews from the Hollywood control group demographic -- even though many Americans and all Europeans know Jews are a part of this demographic -- we must be bigots. No legitimate criticism of either Jews or Hollywood must be allowed. And since we aren't your standard sycophants that condone Jews who irresponsibly control the MPAA studio/distributors, we must be hate-filled, anti-Semitic, jack-booted, Nazis. And we have been called such many times. See How Hollywood Handles Dissent at http://www.homevideo.net/FIRM/dissent.htm. The use of the false accusation of anti-Semitic is one of the main weapons in the control group's arsenal and to some degree in that of the Jewish community for real or imagined threats. We were treated to a unique behind-the-scenes view when Abraham Foxman of the ADL, flirted with the idea of stabbing Braveheart with the anti-Semitic sword for having the gall to put out a movie that presented his interpretation of the Bible. Thus the anti-Semitic sword seems to be designed to stop any agenda that's not pre-approved by the control group or the Jewish Lobby or to stop any legitimate criticism of the Hollywood-based MPAA studios/distributors. A film person who is branded an anti-Semite is blackballed by the general film community because people are still too intimidated to stand up against this weapon of oppression. See the anti-Semitic Sword at http://www.homevideo.net/FIRM/shields.htm
Wake up Call to Lovers of Democracy:
To those who have watched the saga of THE PASSION's rejection for financing and distribution (such tale summarized here but fully documented blow-by-blow at http://www.homevideo.net/FIRM/p-chrono.htm), and who see NO relationship between what Mel Gibson has gone through and WHAT EVERY DISENFRANCHISED FILMMAKER IS GOING THROUGH RIGHT NOW ON A SMALLER SCALE, I say take a closer look -- there's a major double standard going on in Hollywood. Certain people get to make movies, such as THE LAST TEMPTATION (antagonistic to Christians) or SCHINDLER'S LIST (supportive of Jews) with little or no problems compared to Mel's ordeal with THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. Is this double standard okay in a democratic society? Is it okay that the language and art-form of arguably the most powerful communications channel yet devised -- the feature motion picture -- is reserved for only CERTAIN PEOPLE, a narrow demographic, a control group, that chooses to forward their secular agenda to the exclusion of almost all others, yet maintains the illusion that Hollywood is "economically motivated" and only "exercising its rights."
It's about time the culture warriors start dealing with the REAL issues and the REAL players, because unless they do, nothing material will change. It will be business as usual in Hollywood: the same hackneyed stories from the same studio-approved writers; the same performances from the same grossly over-paid, co-opted stars and the same endless saturation of violence and sex on, not only the large screen, but the smaller screens (such as the CARTOON NETWORK) where our kids form their impressions of what culture will be in the future.(22)
(1) The MPAA companies are as follows: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution (The Walt Disney Company); Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLLP; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Source: http://www.mpaa.org/about
(2) In his Washington Post column, Lloyd Grove got to the point: Gibson is making a movie about the last 12 hours of Christ. For reasons I fail to understand, this upsets the left, a largely atheistic bunch who are fixating on spreading the rumor that the movie blames the Jews for the crucifixion of Christ. Ergo, Mel Gibson is an anti-Semite. Steve Lyons, an ADL member from California who watched the panel discussion, said that Gibson might very well be an anti-Semite. "From what I have read, it appears that way," Lyons told CNSNews.com.
(3) In a biting article published in The Jewish Week, Foxman charged, "Recent statements by Mel Gibson paint the portrait of an anti-Semite," and said the star was spouting "classic anti-Semitism." Gibson's spokesman Alan Nierob told The Jewish Week that this was the first time he's heard a charge of anti-Semitism directed at Gibson. "It's an irresponsible statement," Nierob said. "I won't even dignify it with a response." See ADL's Foxman: Mel Gibson 'Infected' With Anti-Semitism Marc Morano, CNSNews.com Saturday, Nov. 8, 2003 Exclusive: Learn the Inside Scoop on Mel Gibson's 'Passion of Christ' - Only in NewsMax Magazine at http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2003/11/5/174814.shtml
It's interesting to note that, Alan Nierob, Mel Gibson's spokesman is Jewish. Even Mel Gibson can't escape the absolutely necessary presence of Jews in the film world, both to lock into the Jewish Network and to toss out as evidence that you're not "anti-Semitic" (not that I'm, in any way, implying that Mel is anti-Semitic).
(4) Here's a good example of how censorship LITERALLY happens in the Jewish network. Below is a case where Orthodox Jew, Howard Jonas, the owner of a distributor of an animated version of THE PASSION, dropped distributing the cartoon after being consulted by a Jewish ethnic newspaper (The Forward).
Kosher Corporation Releases a Cartoon 'Passion',
by Nathaniel Popper, [Jewish] Forward, December 2, 2004
"Until this week, families made queasy by the violence in Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ could take in Jesus' flagellation and death in a kid-friendly cartoon version, The Animated Passion Trilogy. The cartoon is an odd spinoff from Gibson's film, which offended many in the Jewish community. But even stranger is that the animated version, with its own depiction of Jewish rabbis calling for Jesus' death, was being distributed by one of the most Jewish companies in America. Anchor Bay Entertainment, which began distributing the film in August, is a subsidiary of IDT Corporation, the Newark, N.J.-based telecommunications company that serves kosher food in its cafeteria and was founded by Orthodox philanthropist Howard Jonas. After IDT was contacted by the Forward about the film this week, however, the company decided to pull The Animated Passion from further distribution. In an interview with the Forward, Jonas said that the film had not been reviewed by his company before the decision to distribute it had been made. But he is reversing that decision now. ... Jonas has tightened his own company's links with Christian media companies during the last year. Last December, Jonas signed a deal with evangelical preacher Pat Robertson to produce family-friendly entertainment through IDT's animation division. The agreement underscores the increasing links between Orthodox Jews and evangelicals over not only their shared interest in Israel, but also their shared religious values." Source: http://forward.com/main/article.php?ref=popper200412011108
Also see: IDT Gets Animated. Newark Telecom Ventures Into Entertainment, Von Age (from the Star Ledger), January 18, 2004 at http://www.vonage.com/corporate/press_news.php?PR=2004_01_18_0
And see: N.J.-based phone company going Hollywood, APP.com (from Associated Press), January 1, 2004 at http://www.app.com/app/story/0,21625,882335,00.html
(5) For an anatomy of this "control group," see "Who Really Controls Hollywood" at http://www.homevideo.net/FIRM/control.htm
(6) "Hollywood Creative Directory" of Fall 2003 indicates on page 136 that Mel Gibson's production company, ICON PRODUCTIONS, INC., located at 808 Wilshire Blvd., 4th Fl., Santa Monica, CA 90401, has a "deal" with Twentieth Century Fox. No other studios or companies are listed with "deals" with Icon as of that date.
(7) I received a nice letter from Jeffrey Katzenberg (one of the founders of DREAMWORKS along with Steven Spielberg and David Geffin) in 1995, in which he said that they didn't want to "perpetuate an existing system." See letter at http://www.mecfilms.com/jeffrey.htm. Well Jeffrey, if you don't want to PERPETUATE an existing system, why do you perpetually ACT LIKE the existing system? I was really disappointed when your company, which I have always admired and felt was progressive, failed to sign up THE PASSION. This, especially when you know that your partner, Steven Speilberg, was in a similar position back in 1992 when HIS "passion" was to make SHINDLER'S LIST -- whether or not it was commercial. I well remember the concern voiced in the industry when Stephen announced that the picture would be black and white and concerns that the general horror of the subject matter, the Holocaust, would repulse audiences. Nevertheless, Steven's "home studio," MCA/Universal, stepped up to the challenge and not only co-produced the picture with his company, AMBLIN ENTERTAINMENT, but distributed the picture. Why didn't Mel Gibson get such benefit of the doubt? Unfortunately, I guess you still won't be able to meet with me any time soon (even though it's now been almost 10 years) to discuss why DREAMWORKS didn't help Mel Gibson. But if you wish, feel free to call me any time at 800/576-2001. The call is free. I would also very much like to discuss your feelings about what diversity in the movie business should mean and how you have built DREAMWORKS to incorporate your view of diversity and how DREAMWORKS is different from the MPAA studio/distributors. My associate, Mark Hamilton, says that there is no way you, or Steven Spielberg, would, or could, be supportive of me, John Cones, MEC or FIRM's Mission (such mission stated at http://www.homevideo.net/FIRM/fmission.htm), because if you were, even you, two of the most powerful guys in Hollywood, would be ostracized by the rest of the liberal, secular Jewish males of European heritage that dominate the studios. Wow, is that true?! I, on the other hand, still believe in you guys and feel you have the courage to see the merit of what we are doing and will eventually go public with it.
(8) In 1979, Max E. Youngstein, who was working with our company at the time, handed me a copy of the "Analysis and Conclusions of the Washington Task Force on the Motion Picture Industry" of July 1978 and said "James, read this carefully and you will get a good idea what Hollywood is all about." In part, the Task Force report states: "The motion picture industry, with 83% of film rentals received by six companies (the MPAA companies) and 92% received by eight companies, is clearly oligopolistic. . . Capital is not flowing to independent producers, however, because of artificially maintained barriers to entry. For example: a) Cost is partially maintained at a high level because major producer/distributors generally acquiesce in high star salaries and high crew costs. b) The inability to distribute a film appears to result from the refusal by major producer/distributors to allow their distribution units to distribute an optimal number of films. The inability to distribute is the most substantial barrier to entry. . . The number of films produced by the major producer/distributors IS SEVERELY LIMITED. THERE IS NO ATTEMPT TO MEET DEMAND OR INCREASE PROFITS BY PRODUCING OR DISTRIBUTING MORE FILMS. (emphasis added) . . . The profits (rentals) received by a producer/distributor are very high on a film which does well at the box office (blockbuster). The rentals received for a film which fares poorly at the box office IS MUCH HIGHER THAN MIGHT BE EXPECTED BECAUSE OF LACK OF VIABLE SUBSTITUTE. This is true even if the picture is perceived prior to rental as having a poor box office potential. . . . If the market is truly competitive, independent producers can expect to hire the unemployed at lesser salaries and thereby undersell the major producers. This should, in turn, result in a reduction in the cost of production and the price at which films are made available to exhibitors. This, however, rarely occurs because of the restrictions imposed on the number of films which are distributed. . . . Technological progressiveness is low when relevant to the exhibitor, e.g., motion pictures are still being distributed individually in the form of bulky and expensive film. . . . Technological expertise exists in the industry, but more efficient distribution (such as electronic transmission of motion pictures or the use of video cassettes), which would ease distribution for independents and therefore aid their entry into the market, IS NOT BEING EXPLORED. (emphasis added). . . Major studios appear to be controlling the market to restrict competition and lessen output so as to maintain tight control over employees and an exceedingly low buyer (exhibitor) profit." Entire Task Force report at http://www.mecfilms.com/mid/task.htm
(9) As of 2002, there are over 2 billion Christians in the world, according to ADHERENTS.COM (See http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html) This statistic includes African Independent Churches (AICs), the Aglipayan Church, Amish, Anglicans, Armenian Apostolic, Assemblies of God, Baptists, Calvary Chapel, Catholics, Christadelphians, Christian Science, the Community of Christ, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Coptic Christians, Eastern Orthodox churches, Ethiopian Orthodox, Evangelicals, Iglesia ni Cristo, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Local Church, Lutherans, Methodists, Nestorians, the New Apostolic Church, Pentecostals, Plymouth Brethren, Presbyterians, the Salvation Army, Seventh-Day Adventists, Shakers, Stone-Campbell churches (Disciples of Christ; Churches of Christ; the "Christian Church and Churches of Christ"; the International Church of Christ); Uniate churches, United Church of Christ/Congregationalists, the Unity Church, Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, Vineyard churches and others.
(10) If the studio had put up all the production money AND the marketing money, the picture would have been under the total control of the studio and Mel Gibson would have been little more than a high-paid employee, as all stars ultimately are. In this circumstance, Mel probably would not have wanted to make the picture unless the Jewish-dominated studio that financed it gave him total creative control AND director's final cut authority. Given the fact that the studios were already paranoid that the picture would incite pogroms or anti-Semitism (something we see in retrospect that never happened), can you see them giving Mel absolute creative control? I can't. Thus, in fairness to the studios, I would say Mel Gibson would have never WANTED them to finance THE PASSION, again, unless they gave him absolute creative control AND, probably a guarantee that they would actually distribute it. So this is an argument that, in deed, the studios actually DID NOT boycott the FINACING of THE PASSION because Mel didn't want them to finance it in the first place. Nevertheless, even if this is true, the studios are still guilty of boycotting the DISTRIBUTION of the picture after Mel spent substantial sums producing it.
(11) See Box Office Mojo at http://www.boxofficemojo.com as of 16 February 2004.
(12) A "negative pickup deal" is a production-financing deal whereby an entity, usually a studio, reimburses the costs of production AFTER the picture is delivered. The document (or license, as in the case of TV networks), evidencing such a negative pickup deal, when issued by a credit-worthy ("bankable") company can be used as collateral for obtaining production funds from a third party, such as a bank or other lending institution, a private capital entity or even in a public offering. The earlier one allocates funds to the development-production cycle of a picture, the more risk is associated with the project because it is farther from completion, hence exploitation, recoupment and profit participation. See THE FEATURE FILM DISTRIBUTION DEAL by John W. Cones available at Amazon.com
(13) See WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON IN HOLLYWOOD! at http://www.homevideo.net/FIRM/whats.htm) as well as other books by John Cones available at http://www.mecfilms.com/coneslaw/conesbk.htm
(14) According to securities attorneys that regularly work in the motion picture business, it is very rare for an independent picture to be budgeted at more than $2 million. An independent picture is defined as a picture that is financed from non-studio sources, examples of which are wealthy accredited individuals and partnerships or corporations consisting of same. Thus when a picture is budgeted at more than $2 million, the only place a producer can get this kind of risk-capital is from a studio. Since Mel Gibson's picture was budgeted at $30 million, 15 times more than the most expensive independent productions, he had virtually no other choice than to seek financing from one of the studios. As the U.S. government Task Force report at http://www.mecfilms.com/mid/task.htm says, the MPAA studio/distributors are an oligopoly. Given that this is the situation, these studios MAY collectively have a monopoly on the financing of movies costing more than $2 million and CERTAINLY have a monopoly on movies costing $30 million. Therefore Mel Gibson was forced to use his own money because he was boycotted from the financial support of the only entities that routinely are capable of putting up that kind of money.
(15) See: Reel Bad Arabs. How Hollywood Vilifies a People by Jack G. Shaheen, Olive Branch Press, New York/Northampton, 2001. The book is 574 pages long and it's essentially a film by film analysis of how Hollywood has portrayed Arabs. Shaheem briefly discusses, per Arabs, over 900 Hollywood movies. For instance, he says on page 1: "For more than a century Hollywood, too, has used repetition as a teaching tool, tutoring movie audiences by repeating over and over, in film after film, insidious images of the Arab people ... In gathering evidence for this book, I was driven by the need to expose an injustice: cinema's systematic, pervasive, and unapologetic degradation and dehumanization of a people." Unfortunately, Shaheen hasn't taken the risk in his book to mention that Hollywood is dominated by secular Jewish males, but it's highly doubtful he's ignorant of this. After all there are delicate political reasons why he probably took the coward's way and didn't mention Jewish domination of the control group because if he were to complain about Hollywood's "stereotypes" of Arabs, it is not unreasonable to suspect that he may fear being subjected to the false accusation of "anti-Semitism" or the charge that he himself was creating "stereotypes" if he told the truth about the Jewish network that dominates Hollywood.
(16) Look at the attempt to secularize Christmas by groups such as the ACLU who have been working to remove nativity scenes from the public square, impose the term "Happy Holidays" over the traditional term "Merry Christmas," and remove the word God from the public dialog and artifacts. One Jewish screenwriter, Burt Prelutsky, wrote in an article entitled "The Jewish grinch who stole Christmas" published by World Net Daily on December 17, 2004 the following commentary: "I never thought I'd live to see the day that Christmas would become a dirty word. You think it hasn't? Then why is it that people are being prevented from saying it in polite society for fear it will offend? Schools are being forced to replace "Christmas vacation" with "winter break" in their printed schedules. At Macy's, the word is verboten even though they've made untold millions of dollars from their sympathetic portrayal in the Christmas classic, "Miracle on 34th Street." Carols, even instrumental versions, are banned in certain places. A major postal delivery service has not only made their drivers doff their Santa caps, but ordered them not to decorate their trucks with Christmas wreaths. How is it, one well might ask, that in a Christian nation this is happening? And in case you find that designation objectionable, would you deny that India is a Hindu country, that Pakistan is Muslim, that Poland is Catholic? That doesn't mean those nations are theocracies. But when the overwhelming majority of a country's population is of one religion, and roughly 90 percent of Americans happen to be one sort of Christian or another, only a damn fool would deny the obvious. Although it seems a long time ago, it really wasn't, that people who came here from other places made every attempt to fit in. Assimilation wasn't a threat to anyone - it was what the Statue of Liberty represented. E pluribus unum, one out of many, was our motto. The world's melting pot was our nickname. It didn't mean that any group of people had to check their customs, culture or cuisine, at the door. It did mean that they, and especially their children, learned English, and that they learned to live and let live. That has changed, you may have noticed. And I blame my fellow Jews. When it comes to pushing the multicultural, anti-Christian agenda, you find Jewish judges, Jewish journalists, and the American Civil Liberties Union, at the forefront." Balance of article at http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=41978
(17) See The Bush Administration's Dual Loyalties at http://www.jaegerresearchinstitute.org/articles/dual.htm; Invading Iraq: Converging U.S. and Israeli Agendas by Ronald Bleier at http://www.jaegerresearchinstitute.org/articles/agendas.htm; and The Cost of Israel to U.S. Taxpayers: True Lies About U.S. Aid to Israel by Richard H. Curtiss at http://www.jaegerresearchinstitute.org/articles/truelies.htm
(18) According to the 2001 American Religious Identification Survey, as reported in THE MOVIE GUIDE of March 2004 by Ted Baehr (see http://www.movieguide.org), Christians comprise 76.5% of the U.S. population (which was about 277 million in 2001 and is 294 million today, 2005) and have increased in number by 5% over the period 1990-2000; Non-religious/Secularists comprise 13.2% of the U.S. population and have increased in number by 110% over the period 1990-2000; Jews comprise 1.3% of the U.S. population and have decreased in number by 10% over the period 1990-2000; Muslims comprise .5% of the U.S. population and have increased in number by 109% over the period 1990-2000; and Scientologists comprise less than .1% of the U.S. population and have increased in number by 22% over the period 1990-2000. Is there any wonder that we are in a cultural war between traditional values and secular values with an increase of 110% in Non-Religious/Secular values vs. an increase of only 5% in Christian values? On the other hand, I seriously doubt that the statistics indicating that the Jewish population has decreased by 10% are valid.
(19) Of course amateurish, low-budget Christian films seem to have no problem getting distributed by Hollywood as these make Christianity look bad. Also, any time an MPAA-studio picture can work a psycho nut into the picture, such as was done in CONTACT, it helps if such psycho nut is wearing a Christian cross. See RELIGIOUS BIAS in Patterns of Bias in Motion Picture Content at http://www.homevideo.net/FIRM/religion.htm
(20) "It is the ACLU, which is overwhelmingly Jewish in terms of membership and funding, that is leading the attack against Christianity in America. It is they who have conned far too many people into believing that the phrase "separation of church and state" actually exists somewhere in the Constitution. You may have noticed, though, that the ACLU is highly selective when it comes to religious intolerance. The same group of self-righteous shysters who, at the drop of a "Merry Christmas" will slap you with an injunction, will fight for the right of an American Indian to ingest peyote and a devout Islamic woman to be veiled on her driver's license." Source, Burt Prelutsky at http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=41978
(21) This quote is from William Donahue, President of the Catholic League on 08 December 2004 when he appeared on SCARBORO COUNTRY, hosted by Pat Buchanan, who was sitting in for Joe Scarboro. The complete transcript of the show is at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6685898. For more extensive information on the state of affairs in the U.S., see Pat Buchanan's new book, WHERE THE RIGHT WENT WRONG, available at Amazon.com.
(22) James Jaeger is a producer-director with Matrixx Entertainment and co-founder of the Film Industry Reform Movement located at http://www.homevideo.net/FIRM. He has worked in the film and TV industry on both coasts for over 38 years. For further articles and books by Jaeger, go to FIRM at http://www.homevideo.net/FIRM/bginfo.htm and MOVIE PUBS at http://www.moviepubs.net, respectively. Questions and comments on this article are welcome at the FIRM Discussion Forum located c/o http://www.homevideo.net/FIRM/archives.htm. Also at that URL is the Internet's largest archive of film reform-related information
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