Sen. Dole on Hollywood

* Re "Dole Indicts Hollywood for Debasing Culture," June 1:

Yes, yes, yes! We live here in Los Angeles, but we know just as well as Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) that for all its vaunted technical excellence far too many of Hollywood's productions are aimed to test the outer limits of what is vulgar and tasteless. Dole won't get our votes for anything on account of his embrace of the National Rifle Assn., but we applaud his bringing to Hollywood the message that we have a very grungy group of people as arbiters of taste; people who believe that the so-called bottom line justifies any possible excess.


Rancho Palos Verdes

* There are so many contradictions in Dole's attack on Hollywood that one hardly knows where to begin. He is troubled by violence in the movies, yet he wants to overturn the ban on assault weapons. Apparently real violence does not trouble him as much as the make-believe variety. He finds mainstream entertainment unacceptable, yet he and his cronies want to eliminate public broadcasting. He objects to rap music, yet it is a byproduct of years of Republican indifference to the inner cities.

Ultimately, Hollywood is guilty of nothing more than pandering to the tastes of those willing to pay for access to its products. Come to think of it, so is Dole.



* Isn't it ironic how conservatives are quick to criticize Hollywood for producing violent fantasy while defending right-wing talk shows that pollute our airwaves with bile and cynicism. Tell me, Mr. Dole, aren't all negative media influences harmful or just those that don't support the Republican Party?



* I hope Dole sees Peter Rainer's article about how poorly "A Little Princess" is doing at the box office (June 1).

Dole is correct about Hollywood's part in the debasing of our culture, particularly in its influence on our young people. By portraying poor role models as heroes and by giving wide exposure to aberrant behavior, the movies lead kids to believe that abnormal, antisocial behavior is normal, even "cool."

But Hollywood would be helpless without the cooperation of millions of parents who have abdicated their responsibility for the guidance and control of their children. The tail now wags the dog as children, not parents, make the decisions about what movies to see.

If parents really want Hollywood to make good family films, they have to support the ones that are produced by taking their families and encouraging others to buy tickets as well.

If parents are not ready to supervise their kids, why should they expect Hollywood to do so?



* Should we assume that presidential candidate Dole will be refusing any financial campaign support from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Clint Eastwood and others who are responsible for the kind of films to which the senator so strenuously objects? Or could it be that this is nothing more than grandstanding?


Studio City

* I find it curious that many of those who decry the shortcomings of the commercial media oppose continued government funding of public broadcasting, which provides the type of programming they claim to seek, suggesting that to survive it should become more commercial.



* That's it! I would like to thank Elizabeth Dole, the Knights of Columbus and anyone else who is selling their Disney stock due to involvement in movies such as "Priest" (June 3). I wouldn't want their hypocritical dollars to color the truly human messages expressed by the open-minded, honest and enlightening filmmakers of our time.

The term "moral majority" deeply offends me, as they are not the "majority." To me, unfortunately, the term "Christian" has become synonymous with closed-mindedness, prejudice and ignorance.


Studio City

* Neal Gabler (Opinion, June 4) misses two big points: Our cultural trash is growing increasingly more foul and it's our children who wallow in it the most. And while adults may deliberately choose their trash, children are malleable and ignorant and deserve protection.


Redondo Beach

* Re "Charge a 'Slasher Tax' for the Most Savage Fare," by Michael Medved, Commentary, June 5:

I am not an idiot! I know what is right and what is fair. I should not have to rely on the thought police to tell me which films I should pay more to see. Is it fair that I should have to pay an extra dollar to see a film such as "Pulp Fiction," when those people that see lousy films such as "French Kiss" and "Casper" do not? Should films that reflect reality, like "Menace II Society," also be taxed, while those that hide reality ("Forrest Gump") be exempted?

The comparison between a slasher tax and taxes on tobacco and alcohol does not work because there is no hard proof that films put a heavy cost on our society.


Los Angeles

* Standing up for the "family values" constituency, presidential candidate Dole says it's time to get violence out of the movies and into the streets where it belongs. Just say no to assault fiction and yes to assault weapons.

Meanwhile, representing the wounded parties, Aaron Spelling is "stunned" by this attack on mindless sex and violence in film (June 2).

So far, everyone seems to be following the script.



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