Hollywood Goes Authoritarian: Stone and Allen Long For a Dictator With the Right Stuff

Hollywood stars appear to be yearning for some authoritarian relief. This week, Oliver Stone proclaimed his deep admiration of Hugo Chavez, who has stifled dissent and cracked down on journalists in his country. In the meantime, Woody Allen stated that Obama should be given dictatorial powers.

Woody Allen insisted (here) “it would be good…if [Obama] could be a dictator for a few years because he could do a lot of good things quickly.”

For his part, Stone stated “I admire Hugo. I like him very much as a person. I can say one thing. … He’s a soldier and he speaks from his heart. His vision is huge. … And he will go down in history.” That vision of course includes his close ties to such other visionaries as , Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-Il, and of course his mentor Fidel Castro who shutdown all independent media and dissent in his worker’s paradise.

I know that we should not look to people like Allen and Stone for political philosophy, but one would think that they could steer clear of embracing the unlimited promise of authoritarian government.

There was a time when Hollywood viewed dictators as the subject of scorn rather than celebration:

For the Chavez story, click here.

19 thoughts on “Hollywood Goes Authoritarian: Stone and Allen Long For a Dictator With the Right Stuff”

  1. Right, Woody, who absolutely hates despots–if any of you pinheads knew a damn thing about his movies–“literally” believes Obama should be dictator. It’s funny how many of you ignoramuses declare Woody to be a “ped.” You did that shit with me and I’d sue your ignorant asses for libel and win. Funny, I thought in America it was innocent until proven guilty.

  2. As a fan of the Stooges, I feel obligated to point out that they beat Chaplin (who was also a master of comedy) to the Hitler punch.


  3. @Buddha I’m with you on Woody Allen all the way.

    Chavez on the other hand had been labeled by Bush as a ‘dictator’ and this just after he was hailed as a hero for supplying the east coast with cheap heating oil.

    So one minute he’s a hero, and then after he wants to nationalize the oil fields because the oil companies are ripping his country off, then he’s an extremist who hates all of America. (When actually all he hated was Bush, and I can’t blame him for that!!!)

    So there was no one else for him to turn to except other countries that are aligned against us.

  4. LJM,

    He hasn’t made a good movie in years and he peaked with “Sleeper” and “Zelig”. “Radio Days” wasn’t terrible and “Annie Hall” is a good date movie.

    As to my opinion of him? You say inaccurate, I say hyperbole. He’s still (IMO) a skeevy little scumbag and I’d just as soon pay to see one of his later crop (read post-Previn) just about the same time I buy a Michael Jackson collection. I don’t support artists that I find distasteful in both their personal actions and their political pronouncements. I quit reading Orson Scott Card after reading about his politics alone and I liked his writing quite a bit. While I think he’s a funny guy, I quit supporting Drew Carey for the same reason. Kelsey Grammar too (although I confess I do have a copy of “Down Periscope”, a wonderfully silly movie). I purged my music collection of Ted Nugent too. Not because of his personal life, but simply because he has the political sensibilities of a Neanderthal. Dennis Miller. I’ll even quote one of his lines to show what I mean. “Race is a stupid reason to hate someone. If you get to know them there are plenty of legitimate reasons to dislike them.”

    And as to the timing? If you choose to believe that, that’s your choice. I’ve known too many older men involved with inappropriately younger women to believe Woody. Including a guy I used to consider my best friend until he got involved with one of his former lover’s 16 year old daughter (not illegal in that state as 16 is age of consent). That relationship finally deteriorated to point where I no longer speak with him. I think Woody’s a self-indulgent pig.

    Consider it irrational if you like.

    I’ll stipulate that like all people I have a few irrational dislikes and Woody isn’t the only one. I wanted to punch Axl Rose in the face the first time I heard his sickening screech. Can’t explain it, don’t care to try. There’s a saying in sales my mom used to tell me all the time. “20% of people are going to dislike you for no discernible or rational reason. If the product alone won’t close the deal, sell to the 80% and let the others fall where they may.”

    Consider me Woody’s 20%.

    And the salient point is still that a man with demonstrated bad judgment – criminal or not – from a field that has little or nothing to do with legalisms is still advice from a man with bad judgment and pedestrian knowledge of the subject at best and should be weighted as such.

  5. Buddha, I don’t care THAT much. I just think it’s interesting the passion people have for judging people they don’t know anything about. It’s not that “pederast” is too strong a word for me. It’s an inaccurate word. And it’s not so much that we disagree on the severity, we disagree on the facts. It’s reasonable to think the deception involved was vile, but it’s not reasonable to accuse someone who had an affair with his girlfriend’s adopted, adult daughter of having an affair with his own adopted, underage daughter. I like to think that one of the things that separates liberals from conservatives is an appreciation of objective facts and less of an inclination for unending moral condemnation.

    I think Allen’s political advice is ridiculous, because he obviously hasn’t kept up with Obama’s actual behavior. If he knew that Obama was ramping up the Bush administration’s policies on state secrets and denying terrorism suspects due process, not to mention the big increase in drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan which have been blowing to bits and burning alive innocent men, women, and children for zero progress in the war, I suspect he’d rethink his position. Also, it’s always interesting to see the visceral hatred some people have for Allen, while people like Obama, who’s actually making decisions that result in the indefinite imprisonment and violent deaths of innocent people, don’t seem to generate any real outrage from the same folks.

    I’m not a big fan of Woody’s recent output, but he made a few fantastic films after his relationship became news, so it’s a shame you’re denying yourself some fantastic film experiences based on an imaginary scenario.

  6. LJM,

    Why exactly do you care so much that I think Woody Allen is an overrated scumbag who can’t keep his dick in his pants when appropriate? The issue is that he an inappropriate person to take political advice (or any kind of advice) based on his revolting personal behavior. We both agree that the behavior was revolting, we just vary on the severity apparently. Pederast too strong a word for you? Fine. Noted.

    Still not taking him up on his advice nor seeing anymore of his films (haven’t since the whole sordid affair came to light).

  7. Only a person who has been raised in freedom and has been given the ability to express themselves through their art would long for a dictator. The best art, in my not too humble opinion, can come from someone who is struggling for some measure of dignity and freedom.

  8. Buddha, facts are important when judging people we’ve never met.

    It is a fact that Allen and Farrow were never married. It is a fact that they never even lived together. It is a fact that Farrow adopted Soon-Yi with her previous husband. And it’s a fact the relationship was only months old when it was discovered in 1992, when Soon-Yi was 22 years old. And she has been very clear about that. Whether or not you choose to believe her is up to you, but one should wonder why, in the absence of supporting evidence, you would choose to believe the worst about a person you don’t know.

    None of this means that the way they began their (now 18 year old) relationship was right, as they weren’t honest with Farrow about it.

    You might feel a need to judge Allen as a pederast despite the lack of evidence for it, but that’s kind of exactly what social conservatives do to people all the time. So I hope you’ll reconsider your attitude.

  9. LJM,

    What would you call a guy who left his wife for his adopted daughter?

    As to pederast, I believe nothing was going on while she was underage about like I believe the moon is made of butterscotch pudding.

  10. Buddha, Allen may be “sleazy” in your opinion, and I completely disagree with his sentiments about Obama, but he was never a child molester or an adulterer.

  11. I don’t think admiring Hugo Chavez is the same as wanting a dictatorship in the USA. Remotely.

    As for Woody he seems to have a problem with impulse control, doesn’t he? And he’s old. A ridiculously extreme position suits him.

  12. Elaine,

    I found this because of my Rachael Weisz fetish, but it sounds like an upcoming film you’d really appreciate.


    It’s called Agora and it’s about the burning of the library at Alexandria.

  13. Taking political advice from

    1) A sleazy child molesting adulterer who was somewhat neurotically funny twenty or thirty years ago.


    2) A director who has by in large earned a reputation even amongst his supporters of being more than a bit of a loon.

    I think I’ll pass on that offer.

  14. Mespo.

    The worst outcome I can see for Chavez is a Ferdinand Marcos situation, where he gets too full of himself and tries to hang onto power indefinately whilst suspending elections.

    Should he be voted out, or retire I think he will go down in his countries history as generally a good egg albeit something of a “gob on a stick” (that’s Loudmouth to you guys).

  15. “I admire Hugo. I like him very much as a person. I can say one thing. … He’s a soldier and he speaks from his heart. His vision is huge. … And he will go down in history.”


    Like Napoleon Bonaparte or Attila the Hun, I suppose.

  16. By the way, I do not think that Allen was being entirely serious – he made his name as a comedian remember.

    In a past thread I made a broadly similar comment about Obamas style in comparison to Bush and will briefly repeat:-

    Bush “won” 2 elections on the slimmest of majorities, yet ran your country as if he had won both times by a landslide.

    Obama may not have had a landslide, but certainly had a comfortable victory, yet has constantly tried to go down a bi-partisan and consiliatory path with a republican party that has refused to play ball.

    Had Obama acted a little more like his predecessor, he would have achieved much more and not left so many of those who voted for him disenchanted.

    I think that this is what Allen was getting at.

  17. I remember watching a John Pilger documentary a few years back about US interference in its back yard.

    One subject that came up was Chavez shutting down the “free independant” press. It should be noted that much of this section of the press is owned by political enemies of Chavez.

    Some time before, there had been a coup against him, whipped up and supported largely by these elements of the press, where Chavez himself was abducted and went missing for a few days.

    After the coups failure, due to the peoples refusal to accept the new regime, Chavez forgave the elements that had aided the coup on proviso that they ceased to actively plot to overthrow the elected government. They were not gagged and were still allowed to be openly critical of the government.

    They decided not to cease their plotting, so have been shut down.

    I do not always agree with Chavez and think that one of his worst enemies is his own ego. However, considering what he has achieved for his people (think free health care and one of the worlds highest literacy rates) he remains the best of all the choices currently on offer.

  18. WOW, a Ped and what is Stone known for. Well heck Bush even liked Hugo until Hugo said that Bush could not drill for oil there. Hmmm.

  19. I think it’s fair to recognize that Chavez has done some good things for the poor in Venezuela. I think that’s what Stone was referring to. Of course, the economy down there is in ruins (not growing at all) and despite the fact that he is winning elections, it’s hardly all that democratic since he controls the media. Who he is allied to is another thing. If the US was to be judged by some of its “allies”, the picture would be bleak.

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