Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Prop 8 Supporters: New Hollywood Blacklist

UPDATE, January 13, 2009: Proposition 8 Donor Maps

The Volokh Conspiracy reports that donors supporting Prop 8 have been pinpointed on EightMaps.com.

From EightMaps.com

Proposition 8 changed the California state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. These are the people who donated in order to pass it.

What a handy tool to aid the opponents of Prop 8 to target donors in favor of it!

Each red bubble on the map is a target.

This technology makes blacklisting easy. Let the intimidation begin!

Shooting fish in a barrel.


Hollywood is full of hypocrites.

Over fifty years after the era of the "Red Scare" and blacklisting, it still elicts strong emotions.

Members of the Hollywood elite, who weren't alive during the proceedings of the House Un-American Activities Committee, act as if they themselves were victims.

In 1999, when Elia Kazan received an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement, some Hollywood royalty reacted with outrage, not ready to forgive Kazan for "naming names" decades earlier.

And George Clooney pontificated on the scourge of blacklisting in his 2005 film Good Night, and Good Luck.

Andrew Breitbart writes:

When asked why he made the umpteenth uniquely brave film attacking Joseph McCarthy, Mr. Clooney responded, "I thought it was a good time to raise the idea of using fear to stifle political debate."

All of that self-righteousness and pomposity is particularly hypocritical given the pressure being applied to supporters of Prop 8.

The use of intimidation is reminiscent of the blacklisting from over half a century ago, the climate of fear that gripped Hollywood.

Now, websites are popping up to target and punish supporters of Prop 8, such as AntiGayBlacklist.com.

The Los Angeles Times tackles the blacklisting issue in "Liberal Hollywood ponders next step in fight for same-sex marriage."

Should there be boycotts, blacklists, firings or de facto shunning of those who supported Proposition 8?

That's the issue consuming many in liberal Hollywood who fought to defeat the initiative banning same-sex marriage and are now reeling with recrimination and dismay. Meanwhile, activists continue to comb donor lists and employ the Internet to expose those who donated money to support the ban.

Already out is Scott Eckern, director of the nonprofit California Musical Theatre in Sacramento, who resigned after a flurry of complaints from prominent theater artists, including "Hairspray" composer Marc Shaiman, when word of his contribution to the Yes on 8 campaign surfaced.

Other targets include Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that puts on both the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Spirit Awards; the Cinemark theater chain; and the Sundance Film Festival.

...For many in Hollywood, the Proposition 8 backlash represents a troubling clash of free speech, religious beliefs and the right to fight intolerance. Many supporters of same-sex marriage view the state constitutional amendment as codified bigotry, a rollback of civil liberties for gays and lesbians.

...What began as a kind of cyber-venting is mushrooming into a new kind of viral protest movement, including the latest protest of Proposition 8 in Hollywood on Saturday, which was largely publicized via Facebook.

And there remains a distinct contingent of same-sex marriage supporters who are adamant about retribution. One is Chad Griffin, a political advisor to Hollywood executives who says, "A dollar to the yes campaign is a dollar in support of bigotry, homophobia and discrimination. There are going to be consequences. Any individual who has held homophobic views and who has gone public by writing a check, you can expect to be publicly judged. Many can expect to pay a price for a long time to come."

The San Francisco Chronicle even offers a database to make it easy to identify Prop 8 supporters. It's a convenient tool for those interested in making supporters "pay a price for a long time to come."

This is really ugly, hypocritical and ugly.

John Diaz of the San Francisco Chronicle writes:

A supporter of Proposition 8, fed up with what he believed was the gay community's and "liberal media's" refusal to accept the voters' verdict, fired off a letter to the editor.

"Please show respect for democracy," he wrote, in a letter we published.

What he encountered instead was an utter lack of respect for free speech.

Within hours, the intimidation game was on. Because his real name and city were listed - a condition for publication of letters to The Chronicle - opponents of Prop. 8 used Internet search engines to find the letter writer's small business, his Web site (which included the names of his children and dog), his phone number and his clients. And they posted that information in the "Comments" section of SFGate.com - urging, in ugly language, retribution against the author's business and its identified clients.

"They're intimidating people that don't have the same beliefs as they do ... so they'll be silenced," he told me last week. "It doesn't bode well for the free-speech process. People are going to have to be pretty damn courageous to speak up about anything. Why would anyone want to go through this?"

Let the record show that I absolutely disagree with the letter writer on the substance of Prop. 8. I believe that same-sex couples should have the full rights and responsibilities of marriage. In my view, the discrimination inherent in Prop. 8 is morally and legally indefensible in a society where the concept of equal protection is supposed to safeguard the rights of the minority.

But let me also say that I am disturbed by the vicious, highly personalized attacks against the letter writer and others. Protesters have shouted insults at people headed to worship; temples and churches have been defaced. "Blacklists" of donors who contributed to Yes on 8 are circulating on the Internet, and even small-time donors are being confronted. A Palo Alto dentist lost two patients as a result of his $1,000 donation. The artistic director of the California Musical Theatre resigned to spare the organization from a fast-developing boycott. Scott Eckern, the artistic director of the Sacramento theater group and a Mormon, had given $1,000 to Yes on 8.

This out-of-scale attempt to isolate and intimidate decidedly small players in the Yes on 8 campaign is no way to win the issue in a court of law or the court of public opinion.

There is no question that what's going on here is the politics of fear.

It's vicious, pure and simple. That's not exactly an effective strategy to win over hearts and minds.

Link: Andrew Breitbart on Prop 8 Blacklist

LAURA INGRAHAM: So right now, there clearly is no real free speech in Hollywood. There's no political free speech. If... if major Hollywood executives don't speak out against this intimidation, they have no credibility. I don't want to see another movie about the blacklists of the 1940s and '50s. I don't want to see it again coming out of Hollywood. They have no credibility with me. None.

ANDREW BREITBART: Well, what's so important about this issue right now is that George Clooney is silent, and secondly, President-elect Barack Obama is against gay marriage. Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Joe Biden is against gay marriage. So were Bill and Hillary Clinton when they implemented 'Don't ask, don't tell' and the Defense of Marriage Act. What they've done specifically is isolate conservative groups, the Mormon church, which is safe.

...President-elect Barack Obama has a regressive attitude towards gay rights in this country and they allow for him to get away with it.


Read Andrew Breitbart's "Blacklist then and now."

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