Playwright David Mamet Calls Hollywood DEI Initiatives 'Garbage' & 'Fascist Totalitarianism'

Mamet is once again making headlines for controversial statements.

By: Apr. 23, 2024
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The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer David Mamet - most recently represented on Broadway with the 2022 revival of American Buffalo starring Darren CrissLaurence Fishburne, and Sam Rockwell - is making headlines for his opinions on the "liberal establishment in Hollywood" per the LA Times.

During his discussion at USC’s Newman Recital Hall with Times deputy entertainment editor Matt Brennan, Mamet elaborated on themes from his latest memoir, "Everywhere an Oink Oink." The book captures his four-decade career in Hollywood and his political shift from a progressive upbringing to a conservative viewpoint.

Mamet criticized the Academy of Motion Pictures' new diversity requirements for Oscar eligibility, finding them overly prescriptive. "I can’t give you a stupid f— statue unless you have 7% of this, 8% of that... it’s intrusive," he stated.

Acknowledging past discrimination in Hollywood, Mamet argued that the current approach to diversity goes too far. He referred to leaders of DEI initiatives as "diversity capos and diversity commissars."

"The film industry has little business improving everybody’s racial understanding as does the fire department," Mamet commented, suggesting that the industry should focus on its primary roles rather than social engineering.

Mamet also touched on broader issues in Hollywood, such as the impact of corporate control on independent filmmaking and his views on free speech. He highlighted his participation in a recent amicus brief to the Supreme Court, defending free speech rights.

This event marks another instance where Mamet's outspoken views have stirred both controversy and discussion, reflecting his significant yet provocative role in the cultural conversations surrounding Hollywood and its practices.

Mamet's politics have drastically shifted over the years, with the turning point being a 2008 opinion piece in The Village Voice titled "Why I Am No Longer a 'Brain-Dead Liberal.'"

In 2022, the same year American Buffalo was revived on Broadway, Mamet made headlines for his comments supporting the legislation known as Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bills. He stated at the time teachers "are inclined toward pedophilia" - without any evidence to back up his statement. The comments were blasted as "a repulsive demonization of the very people who have been the lifeline to our kids," by the American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten said.

Editor's Note: While the BroadwayWorld Editorial Team unequivocally disagrees with the statements in this article, we belive in our obligation to provide unbiased, informative coverage on the theater industry, and those working in it. Mamet's work continues to be performed around the country, including in Florida (this very month), where much harm has been done by HB 1557, also knows as the 'Dont Say Gay' bill.

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