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Gavin Newsom Lectures Hollywood on 'Values'

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

To the Left, "freedom" is only a positive word when it applies to something like abortion. Suddenly, in the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned, leftist politicians are using "freedom" as a sales word, which is odd, considering most of their agenda is about government control.


California Gov. Gavin Newsom is currently trying to shame Hollywood megacorporations into filming their movies and TV shows in California, instead of less sybaritic red states like Georgia. He wants the Hollywood production money to boost the appearance of his state's economic performance.

So far, companies like Disney and Netflix still plan to shoot shows in Georgia but have pledged to pay for employees to travel to other states to "obtain access to reproductive care," as Variety so delicately put it.

In an advertisement funded by his super PAC, Newsom begged Hollywood to "choose freedom," and said that "California is a freedom state." No fact-checkers were stirred by this rib-tickler. Has California been a "freedom state" on COVID? He aggressively sought the separation of church and churchgoers.

He insisted California offers "freedom to access the health services you need, including abortion care." There's "freedom to love who you love," the LGBTQ slogan. And there's "freedom from repressive state governments that want to tell you what to believe and threaten you with felonies if you don't toe their line."

I'd like Newsom to elaborate on the last one. Is this about teaching critical race theory and sex education for first graders? He's been waging war on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, no doubt seeking liberal media attention as he dreams of national office.


California officially hates red states, so much so that the state bans official travel to 22 states, nearly half the country. This Hollywood shaming is part of the same thought process. You couldn't shame Newsom out of vacationing in one of those states (Idaho), just as you couldn't shame him out of disobeying his own COVID rules when he hobnobbed at a birthday dinner party at the chichi French Laundry restaurant during the 2020 lockdown.

Newsom tweeted angrily at the Hollywood elites: "You can protect your workers, or continue to support anti-abortion states that rule with hatred." That's the weirdest take. Nobody is more hated in an abortion than the victim of the abortion. It's like the babies are invisible in the liberal picture.

The governor argued anti-abortion states "have waged a cruel assault on essential rights," and it's only worsened since the "abhorrent" Supreme Court decision.

"They are carrying out these attacks brazenly and with the intent to cause pain in the communities they target -- many of whom are essential to the success of your industry," continued Newsom. "Today more than ever, you have a responsibility to take stock of your values -- and those of your employees -- when doing business in those states."

Abortion is somehow never "brazen" or "cruel" or "causing pain." Abortion is never the opposite of "equity" or "inclusion." Hollywood thinks abortion is liberating, worth celebrating. It's an essential ingredient in "sex positivity." 


With those values, Hollywood can make an "abortion comedy" ("Obvious Child") or a movie scene where a mother throws her daughter an "abortion baby shower." (That's in Lena Dunham's new movie "Sharp Stick.")

Newsom is angry because Hollywood should always and everywhere devote itself to the pleasure principle, to immediate gratification -- if it feels good, do it. If your pleasure-seeking has adverse reproductive consequences, you should have the freedom to eliminate those consequences. Freedom's just another word for something you need to lose.

Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Tim Graham and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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