Hollywood: on a clear day you can see how bad it is
Hollywood is not what it was meant to be. This thriving weaver of tinselled movie dreams, which pulsates slightly north-west of central Los Angeles in California, has become a rebellious child of its creator, Horace Wilcox.
Wilcox was a man of vision. He laid out Hollywood as a real-estate subdivision in 1887. He and his wife, Daeida, were religious people whose vision for Hollywood was that it would become a moral, sober, God-fearing community.
But something happened. Today, Hollywood and most other film and television studios world-wide are trying to create society’s values—instead of reflecting or following those of God the Creator as Wilcox had hoped. This unbiblical indoctrination has become so widespread in recent decades that large sections of society and the media have developed automatic responses to taunt anyone who upholds biblical principles.
For example, in May this year US Vice President Dan Quayle criticized the poor role model that TV character Murphy Brown depicted when she decided to have a baby out of wedlock. The media scoffed at these comments, then quizzed President George Bush about whether he thought the TV character did the right thing ‘by having the baby instead of an abortion’. The media didn’t seem to consider the obvious choice, that Murphy Brown could have married and then had children.
However, counsellors and others who regularly deal with unwed mothers also spoke out against the Murphy Brown incident. The head of a crisis pregnancy centre in Toledo, Ohio, Dolores Douglas, said the grief she sees in unmarried pregnant girls is far from what Murphy Brown portrays. ‘I see girls who can’t get enough formula, can’t get enough clothing, who don’t have a place to live’, she said. ‘It’s very misleading to have a TV person such as Murphy Brown being shown as a role model for our youth today.’
A school counsellor in Lincoln, Nebraska, complained that she spent a lot of time trying to teach teens to say ‘no’ to prevent teenage pregnancies—then suddenly a popular role model on TV becomes pregnant and everything is supposed to be rosy.
Hollywood today is not representative of common values. Film critic Michael Medved pointed this out in USA Weekend He said, ‘Hollywood no longer reflects—or even respects—the values of most American families.’ As if to try to prove Medved wrong, USA Today asked people to call a toll-free number to say whether they agreed or disagreed with Medved. Of the 75,675 callers who rang in, an overwhelming 72 per cent agreed with the film critic that Hollywood no longer reflects or respects family values.
As film-makers stray further from the biblical values our Creator has given us, they create more problems. You can see this happening. The July 5, 1991 edition of Movieguide noted serious problems among those who watched sexually explicit movies. Among junior high school students, a frightening 72 per cent of boys and 44 per cent of girls reported wanting to imitate what they had seen in sexually oriented R-rated movies. The more intense and realistic the violent scenes were, the more likely they were to be stored in the memory and later retrieved as normal behaviour.
Movieguide also pointed out that the addition of X-rated videos to an adult’s viewing diet led the viewer to become increasingly dissatisfied with his or her partner.
Today’s emphasis on sex in movies and TV shows is sending the false message to our kids that abstinence before marriage is a thing of the past. That false message is causing enormous misery—as many youths tragically find out too late. Adams City High School in Colorado thought it was being progressive when it began handing out condoms to students three years ago. But American Information Newsletter of June, 1992 reported that teenage pregnancies increased at the school when the condom handout began, and the school’s birth-rate is now 31 per cent higher than the national average. In 1991 there were 76 girls at the school who became mothers. In 1992 it is expected to exceed 100.
Moral values in movies have been sliding downhill over recent decades. It would have been unthinkable to have the star of the sixties TV series That Girl, Mario Thomas, become a single mother like today’s Murphy Brown. And the word ‘pregnant’ was not even allowed to refer to non-marrieds when Lucille Ball made the popular I Love Lucy series.
The creator and manufacturer of a product is always the best one to turn to for advice on the effective use of that product. When you realize that the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving and holy Creator–God has made you, you can understand why His ‘Manufacturer’s’ advice in the Bible is most effective in running your life. It can keep you out of trouble, help you avoid AIDS, help you raise loving, well-behaved children, and so on. No advice from humanists. Skeptics, evolutionists, atheists, agnostics or Hollywood role models has ever been as effective in these areas.
In evolutionary thinking, there is no Creator to set any standards—everything becomes a matter of your opinion. As such thinking is increasingly promoted, the Creator’s instructions are followed less and less. But the Creator’s instructions haven’t deteriorated like Hollywood’s values and Wilcox’s dream. When they are faithfully followed, they bring the best results.