Book Review Archives

The Hollywood Culture War: What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You!

By: Michael Vincent Boyer
Reviewed by: Sherry Kughn
Xlibris, 2008
$34.99, Hardcover/$23.99, Paperback

University of Alabama at Birmingham graduate Michael Vincent Boyer is a former location scout for the movie industry for many high-profile films, including Driving Miss Daisy, Forrest Gump, Glory, and Fried Green Tomatoes. From his twenty-year vantage point, he was able to observe the influence of leaders in the movie industry, and he was able to observe the powerful and money-rich culture created by Hollywood’s relationship with leaders in the government, namely those in Washington, D.C.

Boyer’s interest in political science and urban studies, his major at UAB, also led him to research changes from the time of television’s inception until current days. The book is fresh: It includes Barack Obama’s views on American culture versus John McCain’s. Obama, Boyer says, is perpetuating a plot by Hollywood against Christian values. McCain is defending. Boyer’s views, however, would be more credible if they were not so extreme on both ends of the left and right wings.

Boyer opens his exhaustive and voluminous 730-page book in the period of time during the late 1960s when Hollywood began airing programming that included “a marked increase and intensity in violent, sexual, anti-social, and profane movies, television programs, video games, and music.” These ideas clashed with the strict Production Codes of the motion picture industry. They would be replaced by a ratings system. Boyer describes how the history of the relaxing of standards for movies, radio, and television has adversely affected society.

Boyer says the backlash against these changes in values by Hollywood, the media, and even the literary community—as evidenced by the writing and promotion of the occult-oriented Harry Potter series—is removed from mainstream Americans. The effect of this disconnect is that the movie industry is shrinking because the average person is tired of the assault on their morals.

More hope for winning the culture war, Boyers says, is possible through the media watchdog groups that list wholesome titles the groups think mainstream thinkers would enjoy. He endorses the passage of the Family Movie Act, which would clean up existing movies, and the Cable Choice position, which allows viewers to delete channels they do not want. Oct 2008

Sherry Kughn is the author of the Heart Tree Book Series for empty nest mothers, and she is working on her fourth inspirational book.