Within hours of our post yesterday on his efforts to promote the film Hating Breitbart, Mark Joseph deleted his “Breitbart” Google group. A man of modesty, Mr. Joseph probably found the attention embarrassing. Somewhat absurdly for a Hollywood personality, Joseph does not seem to crave the spotlight; he has done quite a lot of uncredited promotion work for so many films, including The Passion Of The Christ and Chronicles of Narnia. We suggest that he has paid his dues and deserves this recognition after all.
In case you had not guessed from his curriculum vitae, Mr. Joseph is a devout Catholic. His uncredited marketing support for movies about “Intelligent Design” is a conscious form of activism, but as we say, he prefers to keep it quiet for the most part. There are exceptions. For example, he has spoken out on anti-Catholic bias in Hollywood:
“There’s a broader religious prejudice,” said Massa, author of Anti-Catholicism in America, “but it often takes aim at Catholicism, because Catholicism is big. It’s an easy target—it’s a big barn with a big X on it. Some it is specifically anti-Catholic, but not all of it by any means. A lot of what’s perceived as attacks on the Church by secular folks—media, Hollywood, yadda yadda—it’s really because Catholicism is the most visibly engaging. … We have statues, we have Roman collars, we have vestments, and a lot of Protestant churches don’t.”
Hollywood consultant and producer Mark Joseph agrees, saying the industry’s portrayal of Catholics is “overwhelmingly negative.” “Because Catholicism has all the great visual elements, i.e., vestments, traditional churches, etc., as opposed to evangelical pastors who have no vestments and often worship in nondescript buildings, it sometimes get the brunt of the attack.”
Yes, those poor Hollywood Catholics like Kim Kardashian, Mel Gibson, Sophia Loren, and John Cusack have it so tough in the movie biz. Mr. Joseph made extraordinary efforts to promote Hating Breitbart, which has its persecution narrative in the title. We detect a theme here: Mr. Joseph sees the world as a spiritual battlescape, with the Hollywood sign overlooking Megiddo. During his promotional tour, Mark Joseph told a panel at CPAC that Hollywood is a neglected culture war battlefront for the right.
Not only does the right fly under the radar in the entertainment industry, but it’s not great at funding and packaging ideas that turn into great movies. Sullivan estimated liberals outspend conservatives by $4 billion in the field; political donors who give millions to right-leaning candidates are far less likely to invest in movies.
Dumb move, according to the panel, who claim there’s a vast, untapped audience in this country.
“If we in Hollywood get America right,” said Joseph, “I think box office numbers would absolutely skyrocket.”
And what did Mr. Joseph mean by “get America right”? He means that by spending more money on Hollywood, the right can make America more right wing, and then Hollywood can make greater profits by giving the people what they have been conditioned to want. Everybody wins!
He may wish to avoid the limelight, but it is too late for Mr. Joseph to step off this stage. His deletion was not quick enough to prevent us from capturing the contents of his Google group in detail and digging through his list participants’ connections before we published the story. The world now knows how much he selflessly sacrificed by hand-delivering DVDs to Supreme Court justices Scalia and Thomas, helping Dick Morris write his review of the film, and accepting returned mailers. Congratulations, Mr. Joseph! You have earned all this attention with your hard, hard work.