Lopez: What do you hope to accomplish with your book?
Shapiro: I have four real goals. First, I want Americans to know what they’re watching. Knowledge inoculates us against propaganda, and allows us to continue watching and enjoying. Second, I want advertisers to wise up to the fact that they’re wasting their cash by focusing on the 18-to-49 demographic. I want them to actually broadcast — focus on the American people as a whole and make stuff we like. Third, I want liberals in Hollywood to feel pressure not to discriminate. I want them to feel uneasy and guilty about ideological bigotry, and I want them to look deep into their hearts and find the better angels of their natures. Finally, I want conservatives to engage in the television industry. Get involved. Give money to entertainment-oriented projects. I’m working with Declaration Entertainment to raise money for conservative-oriented entertainment — I want us to take the culture back, or at least make it a cultural debate rather than a leftist cultural monologue.
What was your favorite part of writing this book?
Shapiro: Interviewing the Hollywood folks. They’re intelligent, they’re caustic, they’re fun. I just wish they were as intelligent, caustic and fun with those on the other side of the aisle — I have a feeling I would have been treated very differently if they had Googled me.
Lopez: What was the worst?
Shapiro: Getting that phone call from the agent was shocking. And I have to say, the Left’s attempt to shove this whole thing under the rug is disturbing. They say everyone knows Hollywood is Left — but for years, they’ve been maintaining that it’s in our collective kooky right-wing minds. They say that nobody should worry about discrimination in Hollywood — but they say that by exposing what they’re doing, I’m a McCarthyite. It’s absurd.
Lopez: Most shocking things you heard?
Shapiro: Marta Kauffman (Friends) stating that casting Candace Gingrich as a minister at a lesbian wedding was a “f*** you to the right.” Vin DiBona (MacGyver, America’s Funniest Home Videos) saying he’s happy about discrimination in Hollywood; Nicholas Meyer (Star Trek II and Star Trek VI) saying the same thing. Perhaps the shocking thing here is that DiBona, when confronted, stood by the quote rather than apologizing for it — but he won’t suffer any consequences in Hollywood. Bill Bickley (Happy Days) saying that Happy Days had an anti-Vietnam subtext — say what?
Lopez: Are you scared — you’ll never write for The Good Wife, Andrew Breitbart will be your only friend out there?
Shapiro: I’m happy to be friends with Andrew, so no worries there. As far as writing for The Good Wife, I write in the book that I hope Hollywood gets over its anti-conservative bias and starts hiring those with whom they disagree. In the last few months, I’ve had writers’ meetings with Warner Bros. Television heads, with USA Network, with Sony Pictures Television. We’ll see how they take the book. I hope they respond with respect for the positions taken, but of course I fear they won’t. I can live with that. I’m willing to go out and raise money to compete with them, and I’m willing to continue fighting this. And — just a warning to Hollywood — there are movers and shakers in Los Angeles who are talking about filing a class-action lawsuit based on anti-conservative discrimination in Hollywood. Maybe it will take the courts to open this industry.