In his recently released Primetime Propeganda, Harvard Law grad Ben Shapiro covers what most of us already know to be true, that Hollywood, both on TV and in film, has an intense liberal bias.
Avatar portrayed capitalists as heartless, money-hungry, nature destroyers (and all white). The free clinic on House conveys the message that anyone should have access to the best doctors and medicine, regardless of insurance or ability to pay, and that doctors ought to be conscripted into providing that service. Battlestar Galactica had a plot line that was a not-so-subtle swipe at Gitmo and extraordinary rendition (though, we think the human suicide bomber bit was just because it's such an interesting idea, and not an attempt to side with terrorists). Modern Family, Glee, and America's Next Great Restaurant aren't even subtle in their messages.
The most recent show with a strong conservative angle,The Chicago Code, with it's pro-police theme (and a politically incorrect corrupt black politician as the villain) was canceled after one season.
Much of the bias is only slightly objectionable though. Creative artists have always infused their work with political and social messages, and should be allowed to do so. Where Shapiro's book really gets into the nitty gritty is the de facto blackballing of conservative actors and other talent.
For example, Bruce Patrow refused to cast Dwight Shultz (of The A-Team and Star Trek: The Next Generation) on St. Elsewhere, because Shultz was a fan of Ronald Reagon. About the casting decision, Patrow said "There's not going to be a Reagan asshole on this show!"
Political sympathies aren't a protected class, nor do we think the government should make it one. But, at the same time, we find no problem in exposing such discrimination.
Shapiro's complaints about shows having political messages is a bit whiny. Let the artists say whatever they want to say. But, Shapiro did come across one content choice we found very compelling:
Whites constitutie about 30% of the prison population, but are 60% of the criminals shown on COPS. In an interview with Shapiro, COPS creator John Langley defended Hollywood against accusations of portraying minorities in a negative light by stating that he intentionally over represented white criminals, in an effort to fight negative stereotypes about minorities.
Imagine if he wanted to fight stereotypes about poor whites, that they're all wife-beating, meth-smoking, gun-toting, drunk rednecks. And, to fight that stereotype he showed a disproportionately small number of whites being arrested, necessarily increasing the number of minorities arrested on the show.