Murdock, for instance, lists Jane Fonda and Sean Penn among those whose movies or television shows he won’t watch. Oliver Stone, Susan Sarandon and Martin Sheen are similar political lightning rods.
Bewkes might think that those offended by Freeman will still see Freeman’s movies, but that’s not necessarily true, especially considering modern entertainment options. “The Dark Knight Rises” will only be in theaters for a few weeks. Conservative Batman fans could easily wait to see it on Netflix, stream it online or rent it from Redbox.
Bewkes and other studio heads are not powerless. They can tell their stars to stick to promoting their films and not promoting their politics.
David W. Almasi is the executive director of The National Center for Public Policy Research, a free-market think tank based in Washington, D.C. Comments may be sent to DAlmasi@nationalcenter.org.