Hollywood is a union town in a traditionally anti-union metropolis, and, while that makes industry workers more Democratic, it also has paradoxically conservative effects. The creative artists' unions such as the Writer's Guild keep the movies from being an utterly death or glory business like the music industry, where countless wanna-bes work for years for almost nothing in the hopes of becoming one of the few superstars. The film guilds help those who have made it into the inner circle stay there long enough to raise a family.
At the blue collar level, the Teamsters (the most GOP-leaning union, by the way) are widely despised as lazy goldbrickers, but most of the other crafts unions are considered team players whose members, while generously-paid, are competent and hustle when needed.
A production company recently rented my mongrel front lawn to shoot a few seconds of a beer commercial ... About 60 technicians swarmed all over my street, the great majority of them white males, a proportion normally unheard of in Southern California where so much of the blue collar work is done by illegal immigrants. The movie and TV unions are pretty much all that's keeping what's left of L.A.'s American-born blue collar workers from being driven out of California by illegal aliens willing to undercut their wages.
November 13, 2007
From my 2005 American Conservative article on "Hollywood's Skin-Deep Leftism:"