Opinion: Is Hollywood Finally Reaping the Results of the Morality Breakdown?

This year is the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Hollywood sign. While it now says Hollywood, it used to say “Hollywoodland.”

However, some of the glitter and glam is gone now. The city is in hard times. A recent headline on deadline.com reads, “Hollywood Jobs Down Nearly 20% This Year, & Not Just Because of the Strikes, Study Says.”

The article notes that “Despite the now-resolved writers and actors strikes shutting down Hollywood production for several months, the loss of tens of thousands of Tinseltown jobs this year actually is part of a larger economic contraction, a just-released study claims — and those gigs might not be coming back.”

There have been constant stories on how Disney produces flop after flop at the box office. In the company’s effort to be as woke as possible, they intentionally violate the maxim that “the customer is always right.” They also appear to have forgotten the old saying, “Let kids be kids.”

Whether you are an individual, business, company, or nation, you cannot escape from a crucial principle in life found in the Bible.

“Do not be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, he will reap,” said the Apostle Paul. As humans, we cannot escape the consequences of our bad or good actions. That is why we need a savior, Jesus Christ, whose humble birth we celebrate at Christmas.

During the Golden Age of Hollywood, movie moguls weren’t at war against America, Christianity, or Biblical morality.

According to Dr. Ted Baehr, author, and publisher of Movieguide, a publication that provides a Biblically-based perspective on movies, “Part of the reason for the breakdown of morality in movies and television today, and in the culture at large, is that people of faith retreated from being salt and light in the culture.”

Baehr continued and focused on media programming and movies, “From 1933 to 1966, people of faith were one of the predominant forces in Hollywood. During that period, the Roman Catholic Legion of Decency and the Protestant Film Commission (which started several years after the Legion of Decency) read every script to ensure that movies represented the largest possible audience by adhering to high standards of decency.”

“As a result, MR. SMITH [went] TO WASHINGTON, IT [was] A WONDERFUL LIFE and THEBELLS OF ST. MARY’S rang out across the land,” continued Baehr.

The movies of the year in 1966 and 1967, “The Sound of Music” and “A Man for All Seasons,” both had Christian themes.

However, then Hollywood abandoned the church. By 1970, the movie of the year was the X-rated, “Midnight Cowboy.”

I am a massive fan of old movies, especially those with positive messages or those that tell classic stories written by the greats of literature. Some of the old comedies are genuinely hilarious. It is a significant contrast to comedians of today, who often resort to foul language, humiliation, and filth.

However, when a comedian is forced to resort to wit, he or she is much funnier by being clean.

I am so glad Charlie Chaplin and Groucho Marx were born when they were. If they had belonged to a later generation, they could quickly have gone a lazier route for cheap laughs. But would people still be watching their movies decades after they performed? I doubt it.

Recently, many busy Christians have been working to provide positive Christian films, including Dean Cain, the Kendrick Brothers, the Erwin Brothers, Sam and Kevin Sorbo, and the team at Pure Flix.

Last summer’s smash hit, “Sound of Freedom,” starred Jim Caviezel, is a faith-based movie. Two decades ago, Mel Gibson helped to begin the trend with “The Passion of the Christ” by running around the biased anti-Christian media.

Some might think Hollywood does not have a place for the church. However, who created Hollywood and why?

Kevin Starr writes in his book, “Inventing the Dream,” “Hollywood, as Horace and Daeida Wilcox envisioned their city-to-be, would be a model Southern Californian community: Christian, righteous, and very dry — no saloons, no liquor stores, with free land offered to Protestant churches locating within city limits.” In 1903, eleven years after the death of Wilcox, the city was incorporated.

For far too long, many Christians with good intentions have ignored popular culture despite its substantial impact, whether negative or positive.

Baehr warns us, “Whoever controls the media controls the culture.”