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What I Learned About 'Progressives' When I Came to America

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

When I first came to America about 12 years ago I found out that so much we “know” about the country and its people is just not true. 

In Europe everyone is told and we all believed that there are these weird American conservatives, who want to tell you what to do - particularly in the bedroom. 


I got here and all I saw were so called “progressives” who want to interfere with you in every other room in your house and garden and holiday and travel and grocery store, you name it they’re everywhere, controlling. They want to tell you what kind of car you can drive, what kind of house you can live in, what kind of fertilizer you can use in you garden, how long you stay in the shower, even how you flush the toilet. They want to ban your light bulbs. I never thought coming to America would involve Standing Up and shouting Get Out Of My Light bulbs but it’s a cry for freedom and it is actually a cry for progress.

One of the first things I learned when I came to America was that American Progressives don’t much believe in progress. In fact they are among the most conservative - even regressive - people I know. They look backwards fondly to a golden age when apparently the weather was perfect before America and her evil fossil fuels destroyed it.

As I got to know my new country I discovered that very often leftism debased terms so badly that they meant the opposite of what they should.

We’ve been told for decades that Hollywood actors and producers are so so brave. They have told us that. The media has told us that. And they give themselves loads of awards for being oh so so very brave.


But my experience has been that they’re nothing but a bunch of cowards who don’t understand the meaning of brave. I produce, often controversial, truth telling content. Doing that I’ve discovered just how brave the acting profession really isn’t. 

I wrote a play called FERGUSON which only used actual Grand Jury eyewitness transcripts to tell the story of the shooting of black teenager Michael Brown. It is a technique known as Verbatim Theater.

Nine members of the cast walked out during rehearsals. Why? Simply because the truth didn’t match the “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” Ferguson lie they’d been sold by the media. The irony was that most of the eyewitnesses who gave evidence to the grand jury were minorities. The actors were not willing to give minorities a voice on stage, because they didn’t much like the truth of what had actually happened in Ferguson.

I’ve just had a new play premiere in San Francisco, The$18 Billion Prize. The play exposes Steven Donziger, an “environmental lawyer” who sued the Chevron Oil company for allegedly polluting the Ecuadorian rainforest. He attracted international media and Hollywood support and won a massive $18 billion award. However, the case was later exposed as a fraud. Mr. Donziger was found guilty of a criminal conspiracy in a New York court after secret documents showed he bribed the judge and court officials and ghostwrote his own $18 billion judgment. The $18 Billion Prize is based mostly on court transcripts from the New York Court case.


It’s a great story, a funny story, an important story and a story that turns the traditional leftist narrative on its head. And it’s all true. 

So of course, actors who like to tell the rest of us that they are so brave ran a mile. They refused to come to auditions. They were clear that they wanted nothing to do with the story. And the San Francisco theater establishment was equally intolerant. It was almost impossible to find a venue. No publicist or lighting designer in the whole of San Francisco would work on the project. Eventually we managed to get a team together or at least I thought we did. After the second rehearsal the actor playing Donziger walked out. He couldn’t handle the truth.

Thankfully there are enough professionals in San Francisco. We put on a play that was funny, poignant, farcical and important. I was so excited when Theatricus, a leading San Francisco Theater Review site, sent a reviewer on the opening night.

I spoke to the reviewer afterwards - he seemed to like it but one never knows until the review appears. So I waited and I waited and I waited. The review never appeared. What did appear, just as the play was closing, was a piece in National Review. There the reviewer told how the editor of Theatrius refused to run his review because it was generally positive about the play.


He actually told the reviewer that it would be “too dangerous” to run a review that supported criticism of the environmental movement. Yep that’s right - the brave editor was scared of a play that tells the truth about a fraud perpetrated by environmentalists.

In a few months we will enter “awards season” in Hollywood. Popular movies will be overlooked. Awards will go to those movies that the community think are brave. Don’t believe it. They only produce content that their friends like - they would never dream of producing anything that goes against their groupthink. In fact they will do their best to shut these productions down.

That’s not bravery. That’s cowardice.

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