March 12, 2018

Americans keep trying to tell Hollywood that they have adopted a bad business model by constantly insulting at least half their potential audience, but they just don’t seem to be getting the message (an odd Achilles heel for people who are supposedly in the communications business). You’d think that the cratering of the Oscar ratings might have been a big enough hammer on the cranium to get their attention, but does anyone doubt that next year’s Oscars will again feature lots of leftwing preening and anti-Trump snark, a gaggle of “transgressive” art house nominees that nobody paid to see, and most likely a TV audience smaller than test patterns used to pull?

But if TV ratings don’t get the message across, maybe money will talk for us, or the lack of money, anyway. Over the weekend, the much-hyped fantasy blockbuster “A Wrinkle in Time” opened. It had a $103 million budget, a big name cast that includes Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon, and it was based on a beloved children’s book. Plus, it got lots of fawning advance publicity for being directed by Ava DuVernay, an African-American woman best known for message movies such as “Selma” and “13th,” which compared the modern prison system to slavery. Yet, it pulled in just $33 million in its opening US weekend, and only $6.3 million at the foreign box office. Those numbers are likely harbingers of a disastrous flop. Why?

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A number of conservative critics are noting that the movie makers made a major, very deliberate change from the book that may have alienated its generations of fans. Author Madeline L’Engle was a deeply spiritual person who made Christianity a central theme of her book, filling it with references to the Bible, God and Jesus and quotes from Scripture. The new movie jettisons almost all of that, replacing it with references to liberal social justice heroes such as Nelson Mandela and the kind of self-centered New Age beliefs currently popular in Hollywood.

It’s not surprising that it stars Oprah Winfrey, since replacing God with “The Universe” and moral leaders with gobbledygook about “forces of light,” and promoting self-empowerment instead of spiritual growth, made some critics feel as if they were sitting through a two-hour episode of Oprah’s talk show with CGI effects. There’s already a movie about someone who thought he was God: in “The Ruling Class,” Peter O’Toole played an insane aristocrat who noticed that he was talking to himself when he prayed, so he decided he was Jesus. That was a black comedy (and did I mention, his character was insane?); but hey, it’s as valid a belief system as thinking you’re the center of the universe.

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If Hollywood wants to reverse its popularity death spiral, I’d offer a friendly suggestion that they stop preaching to the converted (or more like preaching to the unconverted and insulting the converted). Maybe consider returning to the old, profitable days when studio heads looked at Middle American Christians as their target audience instead of their target. Failing that, they could try praying for these audience-insulting movies to make more money. But since they’ve replaced God with self-worship, I’m not sure that praying to themselves is going to do much good.




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Comments 1-50 of 182

  • kathy nauman

    12/27/2018 03:35 PM

    I do not do much Hollywood anymore. There is too much hate in that place to suit me and I tend to avoid hate like plague.
    Those entertainers of the past that I watched and enjoyed ...well now they cuss - out loud - are profane and pretty much hate most of us that are not flaming liberals. The lies and "do what I say not what I do", is just too much overload on top of the media. I cannot finance them and sleep nights. It's sad really. I just read - it won't hurt me. :)

  • Margaret Henderson

    04/05/2018 08:58 AM

    Love your commentaries.

  • Bill Goldsby

    03/26/2018 12:09 AM

    At the theater I was seeing 'I Can Only Imagine' at 'Wrinkle in Time" was showing on two screens. 'I Can Only Imagine' had more in it's audience the both showings of "Wrinkle" combined. I suspect Walt Disney is rolling over in his grave with how horrible the movies coming out of his once Wholesome Movie Studios. I loved hearing that a Christian movie with 1/10th the budget made double the money per screen on opening weekend. I highly recommend 'I Can Only Imagine' to everyone!

  • Nancy Price-Hobday

    03/24/2018 08:36 AM

    Amen Mr. Huckabee. I never read the book. I am a great grandmother. However, I was immediately suspicious when I saw Oprah. I like her as a person, but disagree with her in spirit. Thank you for this commentary.

  • Diane Wilson

    03/23/2018 06:04 PM

    Thank you Mr. Huckabee for speaking the truth about Hollywood, their liberalism, anti-God speech, egotism and Oprah!!!

  • Vickie Van Antwerp

    03/23/2018 07:33 AM

    Hollywood disciples can only reflect what they know and that is a self worship that rejects any other god than self. They expect people to follow them for their greatness and can't understand when Christians defy them. They just don't get it, because they are blind.

  • Denise A Wright

    03/23/2018 01:13 AM

    Very good commentary Gov. Huckabee. Spot on! I am so glad to hear from a credible and your staff...that the Oscars did not have a large audience. Yes! How very sad that Oprah and the who-so-evers changed the original book and took out the references to the Almighty God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I really hope this movie is a real flop at the box office since we already know it's a flop. Thankful that faith based movies are on the rise in 2018, and we need to get out and support them!

  • Barney Mcneill

    03/22/2018 10:20 AM

    keep up the good work Mike. Talking about Hollywood is one of the best things we conservatives can talk about, because movies have such an effect on everyone. Today's movies are filled with sex and cursing, so people think it's OK.

  • Dave Hawes

    03/21/2018 07:28 PM

    Right on for the "Wrinkle In Time" and Hollywood self absorption comments Mike. The View debacle which mocked the Christianity of Vice President Pence and thereby every Christian in the world is further evidence of an obvious anti-christian idology within our entertainment industry. The same way that Toys Are Us learned the hard way that insulting millions of customers and attempting to force their "social brilliance" upon us was a terrible mistake, I hope/pray that those who make their living by offering Americans a brief diversion from their daily lives will sooner rather than later realize the cost of biting the hands that feed them. ---- I Can Only Imagine (a new Christian blockbuster movie) might help them to see the light.

  • Anita Ayers

    03/21/2018 11:31 AM

    I love the work that you and Sarah are doing! It is uphill I know but so worthy of the fight. Thanks for this article the disconnect of Hollywood to its audience becomes more glaring with each passing day!

  • Delia Warnecke

    03/21/2018 10:15 AM

    All one has to see are the names included in the production and who “stars” in it to know the movie is left-wing propaganda.
    Thank you, Mike Huckabee.

  • Debbie Eklund

    03/20/2018 01:58 PM

    Amen, I am tired of Hollywood selling that GARBAGE Mentality... thanks for the heads up... won't be seeing that one!

  • Carla borders

    03/20/2018 10:24 AM

    Thank you for outing Oprah and others for always trying to get Jesus out of the picture; replacing Him with new age nonsense. And thank you for calling out Jim Carrey for the hypocrite he is. 2 Corinthians 6:8 We serve God even though we’re despised and slandered. We are honest but they call us imposters. By the way, your daughter Sarah is a beautifully talented woman of God. Fulfilling her God-given destiny ??. In His love, Carla

  • Michele Hale

    03/19/2018 09:02 PM

    My husband and I have been boycotting Hollywood lately. We watch FOX News on Saturday mornings. The rest of the week, when I'm not at work, I watch the old shows on TVLand. It's about all I can stand to watch anymore. We haven't seen a movie in quite some time. Until they stop showing their hatred for Trump voters and conservative Christians in general, I'm done with them.

  • Dee cole

    03/19/2018 06:23 PM

    I appreciate your review. I had a gut feeling this wouldn’t be a movie I would agree with. Said a prayer for those walking out from it as I walked out from “I Can Only Imagine”. I am pretty sure I made the right choice! ??

  • Joyce Smith

    03/19/2018 05:02 PM

    I went to see A Wrinkle in Time with my sister-in-law who was a Madeline L'Engle fan. She had read the books. I was very disappointed by the emphasis on "The Universe", forces of light and self-empowerment. I would definitely not recommend that my family or friends go to see the movie.

  • Zella Field

    03/19/2018 04:02 PM

    I have not seen the movie and don't plan to but thank you for pointing out what should be obvious to the so-called "brilliant" people who make these movies.

  • Lewis

    03/17/2018 08:41 PM

    The only people you attract on this low trafficked site is other racist like you who can only see things as a racist does... I bet it's kicking the crap out of you that the other "black" movie Black Panther is breaking records. What you and your ilk don't realize is that time is changing... The old racist ways of everything being white and have a white religious theme is now becoming a much welcomed thing of the past.... Soon and very soon, all the white racist ways will no longer be the norm... People are thinking more and accepting more... Sorry but what you're witnessing is the end of your way of thinking... It's a wrap...

  • Stephanie Stavrakos-Sigalos

    03/17/2018 06:45 PM

    Mr, Huckabee,

    Thank you for your review of the movie. Now I don't have to waste my time or money on this garbage. I hope many others will agree and show Hollywood that we do not support their liberal, anti-God agenda. God's blessings on you and your lovely family!

  • Milton Meyers

    03/17/2018 02:55 PM

    Gov. Huckabee. Thank you. I am going to start reading your posts. I heard you were a smart conservative and a good man.

  • Arlene V. Klocek

    03/17/2018 02:39 PM

    Thanks Gov. Huckabee for your information.
    We are so bombarded with drivel from the media, it's good to read truth.
    God Bless you a abundantly.

  • Stacey L. Shallenbarger

    03/17/2018 02:17 PM

    God bless you Mr. Huckabee for speaking the Truth from the platform God has given you! Praise to those in the industry with the courage to produce the faith based movies our families enjoy So Much! God is on the Throne!

  • Curt Locklear

    03/17/2018 02:13 PM

    Spot on as usual. Having taught A Wrinkle in Time in my English classes, and taken my students to a live play that was correctly portrayed per d'Engle's version, I do not even watch the ads for it. The ultra-ultra anti-family, anti-decency folks who put out this travesty of a movie need to be ostracized from movies until the wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe we need to wrinkle time back or forward to a better time

  • Ruth Burke

    03/17/2018 02:10 PM

    I was very disappointed in the 2018 version of Wrinkle. It made unnecessary changes and omissions in the basic story. The twins were left out, Mrs. Murray and Meg were African American, Charles Wallace was adopted, plus Camazotz and Central Central Intelligence was completely changed. There were many more changes, but Ill go back to the book and the 2003 version of the movie. Disney made the movie a disappointment !!!

  • Betty Oglesby

    03/17/2018 08:25 AM

    I do not support Oprah in any way! I will not support this movie! What a price she will pay unless she changes her ways!

  • Kay Powell

    03/16/2018 04:43 PM

    Thank you Governor for always "telling it like it is"! I appreciate your insight and informative commentary. Please keep up the good work!! Hollywood will not get anymore of my money!

  • Ramona Howard

    03/16/2018 04:19 PM

    I agree with you about the movies being made these days in Hollywood. Most of them are not fit for anyone to watch, much less Christians. I don't know the person that wrote the book they made the movie from, but Oprah would never star in a film that had anything to do with the Lord, God, or Jesus, since she has turned her back on God and has spread her ignorance and superiority to millions teaching them the New Age religion - They are their own Gods, they are holy, they are their own salvation. What total nonsense and how sad that she is leading millions of people to hell. I will not be seeing that movie. Thank you for your comments.

  • Carolyn Bailey

    03/16/2018 02:48 PM

    Your so articulate and funny. Your tweets are being hidden, along with so many people. We must do something, we're getting clobbered! Thanks

  • Gieneh Jones

    03/16/2018 01:22 PM

    Madeleine L'Engle has been strongly criticized by religious conservatives for her Christian universalism beliefs. She was banned from Christian bookstores & schools. The entire premise of your review is based on an incorrect view of the author. Don't you feel stupid now?

  • Susan Prescott

    03/16/2018 01:02 PM

    Oprah is now box office poison. People see all of those pictures of her fawning over celebrities, and it's obvious that she's a wannabe.
    She bought a place in Montecito because Ralph Lauren is the neighbor. always sidling up to them
    "I'm so famous; I must be a Hollywood celeb as well."
    Ever since Color Purple, she views herself as Hepburn.
    I admire her Christianity and intellect, but she has lost her way.
    I wish we knew what Trump knows.

  • Michele Scharf

    03/16/2018 12:47 PM

    We don't see Hollywood films any longer; we will not support people who hate and disparage our faith, our morals and our ethics. We certainly will not fund campaigns against our President, Donald Trump, which is precisely what these pseudo celebrities do with OUR hard earned cash. So, once We The People shut off the cash flow, eventually this political machine will shut down. The sooner the better.

  • Neil Hunt

    03/16/2018 11:36 AM

    It is a shame that the movie industry continues along this path that it has chosen. Movies that are worth seeing, seem to be fewer and farther between.

  • James A Clay

    03/16/2018 10:07 AM

    Once again Governor, you have hit the nail squarely on the head.
    Your insight; wisdom and candor are an inspiration.
    Keep it coming. Thank you.

  • James Allbrook

    03/16/2018 09:55 AM

    Hoping to find something good from 95+% of what HARVEYWOOD or HILLARYWOOD (Hollywood) has to offer is like expecting to see something wonderful in bowels of an outhouse!

  • Maggie G

    03/16/2018 09:34 AM

    You are totally right.
    Every week we went to the cinema.
    We would have awards parties where everyone would bring a dish & BYOB & we’d have slips of paper with the categories that we filled out & one with most correct predictions won a small prize. We’d have such fun.
    We NEVER go to movies now unless ok’d by Christian movie sites. The awards parties ended long ago, & now we don’t even watch Oscars etc anymore.
    Oh, and FYI, If Country Music Awards don’t buck up they’ll be slung out too!!
    Hwood only has itself to blame.
    I’m also on a mission with Writers/Screenwriters Guilds etc for them to realise Jesus/Jesus Christ & all permutations are NOT words for profanity. Think Mohamed. If you wouldn’t use that, please DO NOT use my Lord’s name either.
    Christians at least deserve the same consideration as other religions.

  • Patricia Murray

    03/16/2018 09:18 AM

    Last night I went to see "Three Billboards", awful, awful movie, crude, violent, childish, condescending..... It was so dumbed down I lost respect for all the actors involved. For this movie to be lauded by Hollywood and audiences shows the bar is now set woefully low.

  • Renee Twersky

    03/16/2018 09:13 AM

    Your review is disingenuous and misrepresents the novel. 1) A Wrinkle in Time is often banned from public school libraries because it is considered "New Age" and not traditionally Christian -- it is not a traditionally Christian novel. 2) Ms. L'Engle was a very liberal Episcopalian and rejected fundamentalism; the novel is often criticized by conservative Christians. 3) In addition to mentioning Jesus, the book also references Buddha and secular philanthropists as sources of goodness. I have not yet seen the movie but I've read the book many times. Its themes address good versus evil and contains Christian overtones but is not a "Christian" novel.

  • Demetri Papazoglakis

    03/16/2018 09:10 AM

    As an Orthodox Christian I am offended that Hollywood took such a wonderfully written story and turned it into a mockery of God. But then again most people that see the movie most likely have not read the book so they won't know any better.

  • Teresa Bass

    03/15/2018 10:16 PM

    Thanks for the heads up. I get really tired of the overly liberal views of crazy Hollywood.

  • Mark Tappen

    03/15/2018 09:36 PM

    Thank you for your comments on the movie, "A Wrinkle in Time". I wasn't aware that the book it was based on was written by a Christian. Because of the radical changes made in the movie, I have no interest is seeing it, but I plan to find the book and read it.

  • Sherrie Cagle

    03/15/2018 09:36 PM

    God will not be mocked. One day, even all the hollywood elites, will bow down and confess Jesus Christ is Lord. Well said Sir. Well said.

  • Grant Carpenter

    03/15/2018 08:58 PM

    Sad that Hollywood has to take the Truth out of a story! We were planning to go. We need to pray for the folks in entertainment. We do.
    Thanks, Mike, enjoy your comments.

  • Beth and George Williams

    03/15/2018 06:52 PM

    We have not seen the movie nor will we be spending our money on it. We agree that Hollywood needs to stop attacking Christians and our beliefs. We also believe that if those in Hollywood had a personal relationship with Jesus that our world wouldn't be so divided. Teaching self worship and being your own god and seeking ones own truth instead of God's truth is a major problem today. We stand with you and for America and God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit!!!

  • James Bowe

    03/15/2018 01:36 PM

    I do my best as a Christ-following consumer to spend the money God has blessed me to have with businesses that mind the business of business rather than attempting to help the left re-engineer society. That's why I don't shop at Target. That's why I will not buy anything from Disney. That's why I steer clear of Walgreen's, Verizon, ESPN, the NFL and many other corporate giants who want to transform the world into satan's playpen. I realize we cannot always do this and get by in this world, but when I can choose against corporate leftism, I do. Even so come, Lord Jesus!

  • Jeanette White

    03/15/2018 11:29 AM

    Thank you for the commentary about the movie, Wrinkle in Time. I did not know it was changed from its original storyline. I will not be going to see it and will tell others about your information regarding it!

  • Charles M

    03/15/2018 10:53 AM

    On a more positive note, the Charlotte Observer just published a "cartoon" memorial to Stephen Hawking who recently passed - it is circulating on the Internet. Was not able to "cut and paste" it here, sorry.

  • Linda Johnson

    03/15/2018 10:13 AM

    Wow! This is the first comment I've read about the movie.. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about it. I won't be watching this movie!

  • Jo Ann Sikes

    03/15/2018 07:55 AM

    Well said!

  • Betty Sizemore

    03/15/2018 05:37 AM

    I completely agree with every single thing you said. I am a conservative Christian and will not support Hollywood. The next movie I am seeing is “I Can Only Imagine”...a Christian film based on a true story.

  • Deborah Ashby

    03/15/2018 02:05 AM

    Thank you Mr. Huckabee. I keep telling anyone who will listen, if you don't like what the left is doing, hit them in the pocketbook. Don't buy from abortion supporters. Don't go to movies that belittle Christians. Don't support organizations or companies that stand against our constitutional rights.