Anti-Semites have added a new player to their team. More accurately, he was probably already on the team, but most people outside of Hollywood did not know it. I speak of Oliver Stone, the film director who recently outed himself as a raging anti-Semite during an interview with The Sunday Times of London. This revelation should surprise no one. For a man who considers Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez a friend and who believes Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is misunderstood, the leftist director of films such as Platoon, Wall Street, , Born on the Fourth of July, The Doors, JFK and W has been one of liberalism’s most prolific cultural spokesmen for the last 25 years.
The last Oliver Stone directed movie that I saw at the theater was Any Given Sunday, released in 1999. The combination of Al Pacino and professional football was too great a temptation for me to resist, even if Stone was the director. Before that, it had been 12 years since I paid to see Wall Street (1987), a film I thoroughly enjoyed during my college years and which still holds up quite well more than 20 years later.
Judged purely from an artistic perspective, Oliver Stone must be considered one of the greatest directors of his generation. With two Oscars (Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July) and three Golden Globes (Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, and JFK) for Best Director to his credit, Stone has been one of Hollywood’s most influential film-makers. As much as I dislike the content of many of Stone’s movies, I believe that the freedom of speech we enjoy in this country gives him the right to make whatever movies he chooses.
However, that same freedom allows me to choose what movies I spend my money seeing. I have chosen to not waste any more money on supporting Oliver Stone’s lucrative West Coast venture (although if he directs a Star Trek sequel, I’ll be sorely tempted yet again to open my wallet). However, who we choose to support with our money is not limited to movies.
How do you decide who earns your business? Does the business owner have to share your political or religious views for you to spend your money in their establishment? Do you want to know what the owner’s personal beliefs are before you step foot inside their store? Does it make a difference if the owner is a Democrat or a Republican, a conservative or a liberal, a Christian or an Atheist, pro-life or pro-choice?
In our town, there are two donut shops (insert Baptist preacher joke here). I recently discovered that one of the shops is owned and operated by a Buddhist. When you enter the store, there is a small statue of Buddha sitting on the counter. Should that influence my decision to walk into the donut shop? Should I stop buying donuts at this location simply because a Buddhist is the owner?
If you learned that your favorite restaurant was owned by a conservative, pro-life Republican, would you be more likely or less likely to eat there? If you discovered that the Bed and Breakfast that you and your wife get away to every year was managed by a nice liberal, pro-choice Democrat couple, would it influence whether you booked a return trip? If your child’s pediatrician turned out to be Christian or Jewish or Muslim, would you look for a new doctor?
We live in a pluralistic society, with a diversity unmatched by any other country in the world. Every day, we have choices to make in where we shop and how we spend our money. Some of our everyday choices are trivial, but others will have long-lasting consequences. How do you decide who gets your hard-earned money? I’d love to hear your answers to that question.