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27 May, 2020 19:48

Will conservatives finally 'infiltrate' Hollywood with new venture from 'Justified' star Nick Searcy?

Will conservatives finally 'infiltrate' Hollywood with new venture from 'Justified' star Nick Searcy?

‘Justified’ actor and outspoken conservative Nick Searcy is challenging left-wing gatekeepers in Hollywood with a new studio venture intended to "run over" the system and speak straight to "heartland America."

Hollywood’s aggressive left-wing bias is the industry’s worst-kept secret. 

Liberal stars consistently trash right-of-center thinkers and Trump supporters through social media, and agenda-driven content is pushed through the pipelines, regardless of the box office results. 

Stars have even been caught promoting the idea of a professional blacklist against conservatives in the past – here’s looking at you, Debra Messing and Eric McCormack – and conservative performers such as Antonio Sabato Jr. and James Woods have beenopen about the professional roadblocks they have faced for supporting the current president and espousing conservative ideas.

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Nick Searcy is looking to change all that. While his name may not be the most recognizable to the average filmgoer, his face is certainly well-known. Searcy has spent decades in Hollywood earning parts alongside Tom Hanks (‘Cast Away’) and Tommy Lee Jones (‘The Fugitive’), and working for Oscar favorites like Guillermo Del Toro (‘The Shape of Water’) and Martin McDonagh (‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’). He is likely best known for his role as Art Mullen in FX’s ‘Justified.’

The filmmaker, who recently turned his hand to directing with 2018’s ‘Gosnell’, is teaming with new production company American Pictures to “infiltrate” the entertainment industry and create content for the patriotic crowd Hollywood appears to despise so much. 

The projects are meant to be an “alternative” to Hollywood’s output, Searcy tells RT, as he doesn’t see much hope for the mainstream side of the industry. 

“I don’t think it’s possible to change Hollywood. You have to go around it or run over it,” he says. 

First up on the production slate are ‘Where I’m Bound’ – a film co-written by Searcy about a 1960s gospel quartet – and ‘Revolutionary’, a movie set to be directed by Searcy which recounts the Battle of Kings Mountain during the Revolutionary War. 

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The films are aimed straight at “heartland America,” says the filmmaker, and they are the sorts of tales today’s Hollywood “doesn’t put much value in.”

Both movies are currently in development, and ‘Where I’m Bound’ is expected to shoot in early 2021. Searcy and American Pictures are even exploring ways to get smaller investors involved with their projects, and anyone interested can visit their website

Beyond telling stories mainstream studios would typically pass over, the ‘Justified’ star also reveals part of his motivation is to create a space where right-leaning artists can work freely, as they are so often passed over in modern Hollywood the second their politics are known.

“You’re not going to choose to be openly Republican if you want to break into Hollywood right now,” Searcy says. “I talk to so many actors, people that I know, people that are recognizable who say, ‘I agree with you, but I would never come out and say that.’” 

“As long as conservatives are doing that, I think basically the bullies win,” he adds.

As for his own success despite being openly conservative, Searcy points to timing simply being on his side.

“My career got going before anyone asked me what my politics were,” he says of the industry, adding he wasn’t all that interested in politics when he first started acting. He became more outspoken when he saw the industry become “so polarized” and taken over by “groupthink” while George W. Bush was in office, a trend he’s seen continue with the current president.

Films aimed at more conservative crowds have not been without success, though. Religious-themed pictures from ‘The Passion of the Christ’ to ‘Heaven is for Real’ have earned victories at the box office, but these films have been mainly independently produced, and none have quite kicked off the trend that Searcy and company are aiming for here. After all, when was the last time you saw a movie about the Revolutionary War? Save for Mel Gibson’s hit ‘The Patriot’ in 2000, the stories have been mostly left unmined by Hollywood, the tales likely too tied to American patriotism for any card-carrying Hollywood liberal to feel comfortable with having on their resume. 

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Other successes are mainly owed to stars who have undeniable appeal. His celebrity being etched in stone is how Tim Allen can get away with a sitcom about an unapologetic Trump supporter — ‘Last Man Standing’, which still suffered from a brief (and confusing) cancellation — or how Clint Eastwood can continue making pictures that celebrate blue-collar heroes of the right, such as ‘American Sniper’ and ‘Richard Jewell’.

Searcy’s venture has a higher mountain to climb due to the fact that he and his producers are attempting to build this Hollywood “alternative” from the ground up. This also means, however, there will be greater rewards should the venture prove successful. While the gatekeepers have long controlled Hollywood and kept the narrative going that fascism can only belong to the right, an alternate Hollywood with the right projects and the right people could spell out an inevitable change for an industry that refuses to evolve. 

“You’ve got to create entertainment that will compete with [Hollywood],” Searcy says.

But Searcy’s project is about doing more than just creating entertainment. It’s about challenging a system that has grown intolerable of dissenting voices and art that doesn’t support certain agendas. Creating a machine ready to take on the modern beast that is Hollywood is, without a doubt, a daunting task, but perhaps with his fiery brand of take-no-prisoners conservatism displayed through social media, and his decades of experience working with the very best storytellers, Searcy could be just the artist to take on that challenge. 

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