Socialism is gaining ground among millionaire entertainment industry elites as Hollywood’s brand of corporate leftism has proven to be insufficiently radical for a growing number of showbiz professionals.
The Los Angeles chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA-LA) has garnered support from such prominent names as The Big Short director Adam McKay and actor-comedian Rob Delaney, according to a report from the Hollywood Reporter. The party is also luring rank-and-file Hollywood workers frustrated by grueling, low-paying jobs and emboldened by the Black Lives Matter movement and other social justice causes.
DSA-LA told the Reporter it started 2020 with about 1,700 members and over the course of the year brought on thousands more. There are now 5,500 members.
Adam McKay, whose net worth is estimated at $40 million, said his support for socialism comes down to issues including income inequality. The Oscar-winning filmmaker has an estimated net worth of about $40 million. His production company reportedly just signed a feature-film deal with Apple.
“In a country and in a city with crushing, devastating income inequality, it’s no longer ‘left-wing’ to demand living wages, universal health care and rent control,” McKay told the Reporter. “It’s a bare minimum. When I looked around, I found some incredible groups committed to fighting the big dirty money rotting out our communities. And DSA-LA, for me, is at the top of that list.”
Rob Delaney, who stars in Amazon’s comedy series Catastrophe, is a long-time member of the DSA.
“I joined because I want more democracy in the U.S.,” he told the Reporter. “Voting rights are under [a very successful] attack and, even more than that, I very seriously believe the workers should own and control the means of production.”
The Reporter spoke to DSA members who believe Hollywood is insufficiently radical despite corporate commitments to diversity and BLM. Some have criticized left-wing Netflix because co-CEO Reed Hastings is still a financial supporter and promoter of the charter school movement.
Among DSA-LA’s most pressing objectives is promoting organized labor in the industry. Party members want to unionize video game and visual effects workers, who remain one of the few pockets of non-unionized labor in Hollywood. They are also pushing existing union members to become more politically involved on key issues, like universal healthcare.
But the party sings a different tune when it comes to police unions. DSA-LA has pushed an anti-police agenda that calls for the removal of police from on-set security work. Police frequently provide traffic management and other type of security for on-location shoots around L.A.
The DSA is also fighting to significantly hike the minimum wage.
“There needs to be a $25 minimum wage,” said producer Mitra Jouhari of Cartoon Network’s Three Busy Debras. “I don’t know what these old farts’ memory is of when they were young, but it’s not the same.”