Adam McKay is mad as hell, and he's not gonna take it anymore.
The director of "Anchorman," "The Other Guys" and "The Big Short" is one of Hollywood's most outspoken liberals. His comic creation, "Funny or Die," is a steady source of progressive humor. The site, which he founded with his creative co-conspirator Will Ferrell, routinely mocks conservatives while giving Democrats a pass.
McKay's "The Other Guys" ended with a progressive attack on Wall Street. He produced "The Campaign," a comedy casting the Koch brothers in an oh, so nasty light. His Oscar-winning "Short" took a left-of-center look at the 2008 financial crisis.
He even briefly considered making a comedy about a dementia-addled President Ronald Reagan with Will Ferrell before intense public pressure snuffed the project out.
These days, McKay is finishing up his biopic of Vice President Dick Cheney, expected in theaters in December. Christian Bale stars as Cheney in the film dubbed "Backseat." Other stars include Steve Carell as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney and Sam Rockwell as President George W. Bush.
The film is almost guaranteed to be critical of the Republican leader given McKay's track record, another example of liberal Hollywood using their content to change hearts and minds. Yet as he sees it, stars are being silenced across the fruited plain.
Vanity Fair just published a piece describing how celebrities are taking a low profile role with their current political maneuvering. Stars, perhaps aware of how their fame and fortune rub some voters the wrong way, are attempting to use their cash and clout in less obvious ways to make change.
The scribe checked in with McKay to get his take on the matter. The filmmaker sounded hurt that Americans take his views less seriously due to his chosen profession. What he said next was, well, rather surprising about his political foes.
“It’s not just Hollywood whose voices they are able to stifle; it’s any dissent,” he said. “All of it is emotionally driven, but man, does it work. They’ve done a great job getting people to shut up. The second you can go, ‘Oh, it’s liberal Hollywood,’ you’re done. And I’m not even a liberal.”
Just who in Hollywood is shutting up these days? Stars are constantly talking, Tweeting and sharing their views far and wide. Conservatives are often all too happy to let stars say what they want, if only to show the folly of their views. The fury to "shut up" opposing voices is a Hallmark of the modern liberal. Just ask Alyssa Milano, Debra Messing and other actors trying kick NRA TV off of major content platforms like Apple TV and Amazon.
Or note the deafening silence from Hollywood when it comes to conservatives being attacked, literally and figuratively, on campuses nationwide.
Perhaps he's hurt by the fact that Americans are starting to tune out what celebrities say on critical issues. President Donald Trump played into that mindset during the 2016 presidential election cycle. Now, PR pros are suggesting stars take a low-profile approach to their activism, according to both Vanity Fair and a recent article in The Hollywood Reporter.
McKay is responsible for some very funny movies all the same. Still, his best line to date may be him claiming he's not a "liberal."