Skip to comments.Why Faith-Based Audiences Are More Important Than Hollywood Admits
Posted on 01/10/2014 12:04:43 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
It happened again. This time it was Phil Robertson, the patriarch of Duck Dynasty, who pulled back the shades on an immense body of TV viewers who had apparently escaped the notice of top execs at A+E Networks.
But they should have known. It was this mystery audience that made Historys miniseries The Bible a smash hit not long ago. Yet A+E leaders Nancy Dubuc and Abbe Raven can be forgiven for failing to anticipate the nuclear backlash that benching the fuzzy-faced man from West Monroe, La., would stir after his condemnation of homosexual behavior in an interview with GQ magazine. There persists in Hollywood a common thread of perceptions that have hung a lot of film and TV execs out to dry on one end or shocked them with success on the other. It is a thread of mistaken notions about the faith community in the America, especially conservative ones of the Christian and Jewish variety.
Three things Hollywood needs to know about the mystery audience:
1. The market is huge. I estimate this community of faith at about 200 million of 312 million Americans. I start with the 78.5% or 245 million Americans calling themselves Christian. Then, I reduce this number an arbitrary 25% to allow for the most liberal Christians. This leaves 183.8 million.
Add to this number more conservative Jewish adherents and members of Christian offshoot groups like Mormons, and the non-practicing offspring of Catholic or Protestant parents and grandparents who have retained more conservative Christian core values. Although there is much diversity of opinion among this group, it is a huge market and an equally massive force with which to reckon if these folks get rankled.
2. Their passions run strong and deep. In a secular society with generally negotiable values, many of the folks in this community have built their lives on non-negotiables. Verities rooted in religious truth and holy writ like the Torah, the Bible or the Koran have transcendent sanction. They may go quiet about them when society pushes in another direction, but when pricked, they bleed their deepest beliefs and respond based on them, a la Robertson.
3. The stereotypes dont fit. When we at Mastermedia Intl. consult with media execs to demystify the faith community as we have done for three decades at a score of media companies including Variety we are stunned at how new the information seems to be. Its like we are describing Martians. The shock is the number who are African American or Hispanic, who run Fortune 100 companies and championship NFL and NBA teams, who head huge media operations, and, sometimes, occupy the White House. They are dazzled that evangelicals spend $2.1 trillion a year and consume a broad spectrum of media.
The notion that people of faith are just little old ladies in the Bible Belt doesnt fit. Nor do the perceptions created by the faith communitys jerk factor and every group has these folks of hate-filled protesters, abortion clinic bombers or religio-political power-mongers bent on creating a fundamentalist U.S. theocracy. Neither are they monolithic in their beliefs. Some disagree with Robertsons viewpoints and, most, his coarse expression of them.
So, why does this huge audience remain a mystery to the power brokers of media? First, they generally have no personal association with faith conservatives, especially born-again Christians. Second, they dont read the writings of or personally enter into the world of the devout. Third, in all of their demographic research, they dont get into the nuances of the core beliefs. Thus, they are shocked when believers speak them and receive gargantuan national support as happened in the Duck Dynasty shootout. Finally, media execs share a kind of PC Philosophical Correctness with their media colleagues. This insulates them from a host of competent, reasonable, salt-of-the-earth people out there who believe in Jesus, the Bible or Torah and a four-millennia-old code of moral values.
Shocking but true.
There are none so blind as those who will not see. They’ve had hit after hit, and flop after flop that prove the power of this audience. You’d think they’d start getting it eventually, but they continue to be as thick as a brick.
They are the communist's/liberal/progressive’s worst nightmare.
We have had a Marxist government for at least 30 years. All but the explicitly “conservative” colleges are Marxist. Everyone I know, except self-absorbed Promethean neo-Pelagians (i.e., good Catholics), are Marxists.
Very few people at the top of large institutions and corporations are not Marxist.
So it’s no surprise that the elites are astonished that such a large portion of the American population identify with Neanderthals like Phil Robertson.
What they call the mystery audience is nothing more than what was called the silent majority, aka the TeaParty.
“...what was called the silent majority...”
I was a little kid when Nixon came out with that phrase, but I knew he was right.
I think the “silent majority” is not very silent.
In another month, my special ultimatum deal with DirectV is over. (I had that Premiere Package and called them and told them to give me the cheapest one and drop all the movie channels. They put me on the cheapest one, then gave me all the movie channels for a ridiculously low price - they didn’t want me to drop them - reduced my bill by about $70).
Since then, I’ve studied the movies they have on HBO, SHOWTIME, CMAX, The Movie Channel, etc. Over and over again, movies with Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Robin Williams, Michael J. Fox, Barbara Streisand, Cher, Chevy Chase, Charles Grodin, and just about every other Hollywood nutcase liberal you can name. And, in the Christmas Season, movies that are average 15 years old.
Next month, all that goes, and I’ll buy the DVDs of GoT, TB and others there that I do like from WalMart and watch them.
I remember hearing that Jim Cawiezel said he doesn't get the roles he wants sometimes because of his Catholic faith. Talk about intolerant.
I was so glad to see Caviezel land that tv series, Person of Interest. The recurring exposure is a good thing.
I do not agree that it is their “thickness” that prevents them from seeing. While yes, they insulate themselves, it is because they cannot tolerate disagreement, or any other world-view.
They know the numbers, they keep on producing drek because of their need to feel good about themselves and their “superiority” trumps reality.
It’s not a mystery as much as it is a denial of reality.
It IS a mental illness after all :)
(Next to the story - see who Variety “honors”...one is a crude comedienne, joking about being a slut. THAT’S who they are.)
I think we just overdosed on gratuitous violence, sex and bad language. Hollyweird was trying to numb us to it and instead we just became tired of it.
I’m playing Battlefield3 and it is eat up with F bombs, even in multiplayer. After a while, you just get annoyed with it.
I believe it all boils down to complete worship of everything politically correct. People will shoot themselves in the foot just to be politically correct.
The communist Democrat Party and its propaganda arm known collectively as Big Media deliberately silence and marginalize the (not so) silent majority.
If you are able, travel to Washington DC on January 22 this year and participate (along with hundreds of thousands of other Americans) in the annual March for Life. Observe that the DC authorities have carefully selected the parade route, and blocked streets so that few non participants will see it. Watch the evening news give it 5 seconds of air time ... and give 10 seconds of air time to the handful of vile, vulgar, obscene and profane pro-death protesters. It's very enlightening.
The only thing worse than a completely corrupt Hollywood ignoring the faith audience would be a completely corrupt Hollywood attempting to market to the faith audience.
I appreciate this group for trying to help Hollywood and businesses to see the faith demographic, but it really will only help if those who hear the message come into the faith for themselves. But realizing that faith is mainstream probably wouldn’t hurt.
The 'normalcy bias.' They view the world they populate as 'normal,' and, as the article points out, there are few to none like us who populate their world.
Trapped within the 'normalcy bias' all looks good until the foundations shift, then it's too late.