Music Critic Reconsiders NEA Longshot Stallone

Mark Swed treatise part of this weekend's L.A. Times Calendar examination of "Hollywood values."

LATHollywoodValuesOnline today and in print Sunday: 16 opinion pieces by Los Angeles Times entertainment editors and writers that calibrate “Hollywood values vs. American values.”

We’re not really buying film critic Kenneth Turan’s argument that movies played a major role in the election of Donald Trump. Reality TV and social media led the way there. However, we were tickled by music critic Mark Swed’s admission that after initially rolling his eyes at the idea, he now thinks Sylvester Stallone might not have been the worst choice to head up the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Much of Swed’s article is a review of the 44th POTUS’ patronage of the arts:

President Obama had to pick his fights, and the NEA, it turned out, was never to be one of them. In 2009, another phony controversy occurred when the far-right website Breitbart News reported that a spokesperson for the Obama administration had reputedly tried to politically influence artists. That pales next to President Reagan personally phoning up theater critic Dan Sullivan at the Times in 1981 to ask that he prop up Reagan’s old Hollywood pal Buddy Ebsen, whose new musical was a flop.

Somewhat comically, given that history, the Ebsen musical was called Turn to the Right. The most chastening part of the Swed piece for us is when he compares the per-capita money spent on the arts by France’s government, vs. that amount in the U.S.: $575 to 45 cents.

Check out the full slate of L.A. Times pieces here.

Previously on FishbowlNY
Daily Mail Drops Sylvester Stallone Bombshell

Section illustration by Edel Rodriguez, courtesy and with permission of: L.A. Times