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The politics of entertainment

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The politics of entertainment

Opinions expressed in thispiece are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of SNLKagan.

Thisyear looks to be a banner year for politics in entertainment (and entertainmentin politics).

Here’sa sample of the affinity I have witnessed and discovered in numerous recentstories and reports that highlight the preferred brand of entertainment andcelebrities by Democrats and Republicans.

SNL Image

Theentries in each category above were selected by me from various comprehensivelists. I have tried to make the exhibit representative of the values eachpolitical party is promoting based on the entertainment and performing artiststhe party faithful tends to favor. There was a lot to choose from andadmittedly, it was a very subjective edit.

Duringmy search, some interesting observations emerged about the nature of eachpolitical base. Granted, they are broad stroke at best and thus subject toscores of exceptions. At worst, they perpetuate a misleading bias that may notbe true any longer, or perhaps never really was. But for better or worse, hereare a few:

Republicanslike a narrower group of celebrities than Democrats, while Democrats tend tohave more diverse tastes in music, sports, TV shows and movies. That conclusioncomes from a recent storyin The Washington Post about NPDresearch into how sports and entertainment celebrities align with politicallyactive fans.   

Democratsprefer shows that are “sexy, edgy and emotionally involving” while Republicansprefer shows that are family friendly, funny, or highlight a good versus eviltheme. That is the verdictof consumer research firm E-Poll Market Research in a recent study of 750prime-time broadcast, cable and streaming programs viewed by voting ageAmericans whose political affiliation is either Democrat or Republican.

Democratslike diverse celebrities while Republicans are fans of family-friendly actorswho often play “law-and-order” roles. Republicans are fans of plot-driven TVshows. Yet, Democrats seem to prefer TV shows featuring a major celebrity.Those observations also come from E-Poll Market Research in a recent studythat analyzed public opinion on more than 9,000 celebrities.

Democratshave an appetite for more variety in music and movies, including foreign filmsand independent releases. Republicans like to watch Westerns and classics. Inmusic, Democrats listen to indie rock, Latin and world music, while Republicansare more “mainstream” or appreciate Christian and folk music. This is accordingto a pressrelease by NPD Group on a recent study drawn from a broad database ofconsumer surveys.

Ifyou are an independent, there is plenty of entertainment that is appreciated byboth sides of the aisle. Using the same sources noted in the table above,here’s some common favorites by category:

* Celebrities: Leonardo DiCaprio, KevinSpacey, Tom Hanks, Betty White, Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and MarilynMonroe

* TV shows: Supernatural (), The Big Bang Theory(CBS), The WalkingDead (AMC)

* Movies: Action-adventure, romanticcomedies, comedy and dramas

* Music: ‘80’s and ‘90s hits,alternative/modern rock, Taylor Swift, Adele, Eric Clapton, The Eagles,Fleetwood Mac, Phil Collins, Elvis Presley

* Video games: Call of Duty, Grand TheftAuto, Assassin’s Creed, Mario Kart

* Athletes: Dustin Johnson (golf), RoryMcIlroy (golf)

I’mnot really sure what all this means except that you probably can’t move andsustain markets, or polls, with my findings. But, clearly it does help to woovoters who may have something in common with a candidate, like theentertainment they both enjoy.

Still,good entertainment and entertainers are multifaceted and difficult to paintwith one simple brush — try as they might. The same might be said for goodpolitics and politicians.