Nick Searcy: Imagine a Film Business That Respects You

When I first moved to LA in the early 1990s to become an international film and television star, my first cousin Gary visited me.  Gary was in the weaving business then.  He had a company that made woven rugs, and he did very well with it, sold them all over the world. He came out from North Carolina to a trade show in Los Angeles and stayed with me.

One night, after a few drinks, he said to me, “Nick, I think I know why everything is so screwed up out here in LA.”

I said, “Lay it on me.”

And Gary said, “For 100 years, the dumbest, craziest, and most screwed-up people in America have moved to LA to try and be movie stars – and they had kids.”

I tried not to take that personally.

But when you look at what the once great state of California has become — an overtaxed, pothole-riddled, crime-infested, feces-covered collection of homeless encampments and sanctuary cities whose biggest export is businesses to other states and largest import is illegal aliens — it looks like my cousin was right.

The policies that all the offspring of aspiring movie stars have voted in have driven almost the entire film industry to lower-tax states that are more business friendly. Other states compete with tax incentives in order to lure film projects to shoot in their states because of the massive amount of revenue and job creation they bring.  Almost every project I have been involved in in the past 5 years has shot in Oklahoma, Georgia, Pennsylvania, or Toronto, primarily because of the tax benefits.  What is the state of California’s response to all this lost revenue?  “Why, we have lost a lot of our tax base to lower-tax states. We’d better raise taxes again to make up the difference!”

But not content with having outsourced all their factory jobs, thereby turning Atlanta into the new film capital of the world, dumb movie stars and their children then set their sights on destroying the audience for their product by continually insulting them and calling them racist Nazis because they won’t vote for the Leftist policies and politicians that ruined California.  One after another, from Alec Baldwin to Dave Bautista to Barbra Streisand, these friends of Harvey Weinstein have impugned the moral character of those awful people out there in America who took a chance by choosing a successful American businessman who had never run for office over a coughing corrupt career criminal who could barely stand up.

And the shutdown over the Kung Pao Flooey has made them seem even more out of touch with — and contemptuous of — the people they have gleaned their fortunes from.

Patton Oswalt, our modern-day Anne Frank, tweeted out that we were all big babies crying about our silly businesses going bankrupt, and we should be happy ordering pizza and watching Netflix like he is:

And even Oprah put out a surprisingly off-key tweet, possibly due to too much expensive wine or a carb overload, dancing around in her kitchen without a care in the world that people might lose their business or their dreams, since we should just be happy watching her and her friends on TV and being #TogetherAtHome:

And speaking of tone-deaf, what could hurt your ears more than watching a bunch of zillionaire musicians on your computer screen singing in front of their laptops to raise $150 million, not for the people in America who are suffering because their livelihoods have been paused and possibly destroyed forever, but for the World Health Organization (otherwise known as “China’s Bitch”) that lied to the world about the origins, the nature, and virulence of the Mu Shu Achoo in order to protect the country the damn thing came from? Is there any question about whose side these “Global Citizens” are on?

Hint: it isn’t America’s

But none of these revealing instances are new developments.  Ever since the shocking election of Donald Trump by an American populace weary of being lied to by self-enriching statist politicians from both sides of the aisle, the scorn and hateful contempt in which many of our wealthiest entertainers hold you, their audience, has been unmasked (I am convinced that one of President Trump’s main superpowers consists of ripping the masks off of every public figure we thought we knew).

While for years you have paid to see these people thinking “He’s so dreamy!” or “She’s so glamorous and talented!”, these dreamboats have been sitting by their heated pools laughing and remarking, “What a bunch of saps and losers. Bring me the caviar and the Dom Perignon, Jeeves.”

Perhaps the best example came a few weeks ago, when the shutdown first began. A bunch of celebrities led by Wonder Woman Gal Gadot, decided that what America needed was to hear them butcher “Imagine” by John Lennon — a song that is and always has been a deceptively catchy and beautiful ode to nihilism, hopelessness, and impossible utopianism that, if instituted, ultimately would lead to gulags, starvation, torture, the end of private property and individual liberty, and the enslavement of all humanity — but hey, he was a Beatle!  He’s so dreamy!

As Joe Rogan said, along with a few other choice words, “This is not the time, when everyone’s grannie is dying…to sing, ‘Imagine there’s no heaven.’”

So I was inspired to respond to this lame-ass version of Imagine with a rewritten version of my own, and I hope you enjoy it.

Imagine there’s no acting

It’s easy if you try

No TV shows or movies

Streaming running dry

Imagine all the people reading lots of books

Imagine there’s no audience

It isn’t hard to do

You’ve told half of them you hate them

What the Hell do you think they’re gonna do

Imagine all the people turning off your show

You may say I’m a Trumper

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And go out and buy a gun

Imagine no award shows

I wonder if you can

No place for you to make speeches

And insult your lowly fans

Imagine all the people screaming “Kiss my ass!”

You may say I’m a Trumper

But i’m not the only one (and you better believe that shit!)

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will be more fun!

For now, at least, we don’t have to imagine that there’s no acting.  Because there isn’t any.  The film business is totally shut down, with no way of knowing when or how it will come back. All the actors are dancing around in their palatial mansions drinking wine, ordering pizza, and watching each other on Netflix.

Maybe we should leave them there.  Maybe, just maybe, we don’t need to be enriching people who hate Americans who disagree with them to the point that they actively support Communist China because Trump is mean on Twitter.

They have ruined their business with their self-righteous contempt for their audience.  It is time to ignore them — and replace them.  Imagine there’s a film business that respects you.  That’s what I’m imagining, and trying to bring about.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.  And you better believe that shit.

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Nick Searcy
Nick Searcy is an actor, director, and writer. His credits include Justified, Fried Green Tomatoes, Cast Away, and The Shape of Water. His film Gosnell was released in October 2018, and his next directorial effort, Where I'm Bound, about Southern gospel music, will shoot in 2020.
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