05 October 2005

Erica Ogg: In Jason Anderson’s “Undercover of the right…and left” in the Canadian magazineEye Weekly, he warns of the “cagey tactics” studios employ to promote films with ideological agendas that “are getting harder to spot.” Anderson, a professed “part-time atheist,” seems confused by the advertising campaign employed by Walden Media for the upcoming Chronicles of Narnia, having apparently expected the conservative-owned Walden Media and Disney to use the same aggressive marketing tactics as had Mel Gibson in promoting his Passion.

In a play at “balance,” Anderson assures his readers that liberals are engaged in the same surreptitious film-as-propaganda game. He extols the work of Jeffrey Skoll, (“the left’s [Philip] Anschutz” — the conservative billionaire behind Walden Media — Anderson says), a Canadian billionaire fighting that same Hollywood monolith we keep hearing about. You know, the one that only makes films for profit. Skoll is the good Samaritan, we are left to assume, who only makes money-losing movies, such as the documentary Murderball, or the upcoming Good Night and Good Luck and North Country.

Anderson, we can therefore infer, is positing that a biblically-based children’s book is in direct opposition to films about wheelchair rugby, a legendary newsman and sexual harassment. I’m sure many Christians, even evangelical ones, would be surprised to hear that their beliefs were considered contrary to the first successful sexual harassment case in U.S. history. There may be truth to Anderson’s overall point, that “there’s no such thing as a politically neutral movie,” but it’s not shown in this piece.