James Woods

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What with one thing and another, I missed the details about James Woods being dropped by his agent, one Ken Kaplan, of the Gersh Agency. Apparently, Mr. Woods’ outspoken conservative political views did not sit well with Mr. Kaplan and were the cause of the agent dropping his immensely talented (three Emmys and two Academy Award nominations) client.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t follow any of the doings of the business I once was part of, and this, in particular, is not the sort of thing to which I would normally pay any attention. Agents drop actors and actors drop agents with such monotonous frequency and regularity—albeit not normally for political differences—that the more interesting take, along the lines of “man-bites-dog,” would be a story about an actor/agent partnership that endures.

But this morning, I happened to catch a news item about the event that included Mr. Kaplan’s tweet to James Woods informing Mr. Woods of the end of their relationship.

My first thought was that tweeting was an exceptionally tacky and unnecessarily public way of breaking the news, but hey, maybe that’s how things are done in the business these days. But what really caught my eye was the text of Mr. Kaplan’s tweet, which read: “It’s the 4th of July and I’m feeling patriotic. I don’t want to represent you anymore. I mean I could go on a rant but you know what I’d say.” (The absence of commas must be a stylistic device of Mr. Kaplan’s.)

Mr. Woods’ response was very elegant and gracious: “Dear Ken, I don’t actually. I was thinking if you’re feeling patriotic, you would appreciate free speech and one’s right to think as an individual. Be that as it may, I want to thank you for all your hard work and devotion on my behalf. Be well.”

At first, I was appalled by Mr. Kaplan’s not even having the grace or courage to break the news to his client face to face, but I was especially struck by his reference to “patriotic feelings,” which I found rather odd. I actually feel patriotic all the time, not just on the Fourth of July.

Mr. Kaplan may only feel patriotic on the Fourth of July, but clearly, like so many well-educated progressives, his annual patriotism is expressed by aping some of the worst tried and true techniques the Nazis used to demonize the Jews: harassment, boycotting, denying opportunities for employment, denouncing those who hold opposing political views, and isolating them as “other.” It might have been nicer if Mr. Kaplan had studied and learned techniques employed by a far greater and more enduring teacher—inclusiveness, tolerance, a willingness to try and understand the other fellow’s point of view, loving one’s neighbor as oneself, following the Golden Rule—but that Book has apparently fallen out of favor in progressive liberal circles these days.

This incident, coming as it does on the heels of Kirstjen Nielson being screamed at in a Mexican restaurant, and Sarah Sanders being told to leave the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia by progressive liberal owner Stephanie Wilkinson, or that paragon of compassionate deeper thinking, Maxine Waters, encouraging people to go after members of the Trump administration, made the comparison to the early days of the Nazi holocaust inevitable. And it begs the question of what conservatives should expect next. Will Maxine Waters introduce a bill demanding conservatives be made to wear an identifying badge, like the yellow star the Jews were compelled to wear? (Possibly a red MAGA hat, something easily stolen from frightened teenagers by violent thugs following an assault.) Should we look forward to an updated version of Kristllnacht, with homes and business looted and destroyed?

Actually, I don’t think we need to worry. Liberal progressives may be ill-mannered, intolerant, and ignorant of the lessons of history, but I think they’re at least smart enough to realize most conservatives are not as cowed and obsequious as the Jews were after fourteen-hundred-years of pogroms and persecution. It’s a shame progressive liberals have only learned the worst techniques from the worst people in history. Almost as great a shame as only feeling patriotic once a year.

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12 thoughts on “James Woods”

  1. James Woods is an amazing actor and an even more amazing voice for Conservatives. The best part is, he used to be a Democrat.

  2. I have never understood how people can be American, yet hate the American way, the American Flag, and America in general. If they don’t like it, all they have to do is shut their mouths and leave this country, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out! Just like Cher, Miley Cyrus, and many actors all threatened to leave this country, yet none of them did. Guess the almighty dollar speaks more than their beliefs, and their word means nothing. The Hollywood weirdos are getting worse all the time, and I bet when you were working there it could not have been this bad. Incidentally, you and Gerald where great actors, and miss seeing Simon & Simon greatly. Thank you for your wonderful insights.

  3. This shocks me but it shouldn’t.

    Those of my generation (Generation X) are sadly the last generation to really remember the days in our great nation when we could differ politically, religiously, socially, etc and still maintain a relationship/friendship. We knew we were better together than we ever were or could hope to be apart. We knew we didn’t have to share thoughts and opinions on everything to be loved and accepted. Now that is all changed, if you don’t agree with me and everything I stand for, believe in, have an opinion on, you are evil personified and the enemy. We use our difference to drive a wedge instead of drive us together in unity, we don’t use our differences to teach us about life etc. If you’re different, you’re wrong. If you’re different, if you think different, believe different, feel different, love different you’re wrong and must be judged, found wanting and hated.
    And we call each other out on such a public forum, that is just unconscionable.
    I wish there was an easy fix. I wish people of your generation and my generation would set the standard for behavior that hearkens back to a time of more widespread acceptance for our differences. Unfortunately, we are just as much a fault and to blame for the state of the union today. Because we do the same thing. (Maybe not you and maybe not me specifically but our generation.)


  4. Jameson,

    People have been refused service based on their beliefs, race, ethnicity and God knows what else for decades. The Red Hen exercised its right to refuse service to anyone. Kirstjen Nielson is screamed at a restaurant. Big deal. James Woods was fired by his agent Ken Kaplan. So What. Firings happen every day. Get over it. No one was traumatized by these incidents.

    However, I do recall Maxine Waters getting death threats which is unacceptable. Yes, she told people to stand up for their rights and voice their opinion but never encouraged violence. Violence is never the answer unless it is self-defense in a life-threatening situation.

    “Will Maxine Waters introduce a bill demanding conservatives be made to wear an identifying badge, like the yellow star the Jews were compelled to wear?”

    HOW DARE YOU! Maxine Waters is a black woman who has suffered discrimination on ALL levels and rose above it to become successful in life. Ms. Waters is an inspiration to all women of color who struggle to find their place in the world and achieve success and respect from peers. Once again, Ms. Waters is under attack from a white male conservative threatened by her power and influence, but she will not be silent.

    This post shows an ugly side to you, Jameson. Some of your posts are thoughtful and insightful but this post is filled with sarcasm and pettiness that hint at intolerance. Intolerance leads to hate.

    If there is to be change, we must be the change while being tolerant to those with opposing views. We must utilize our right to vote which I will do at the next election, if we are not happy with the way things are now. I don’t see Trump serving a second term.

    Carla In California

    1. Actually, Carla, it never occurred to me to judge Maxine Waters on the color of her skin, but rather on the content of her words, both in that particular instance, and in regards to some of her previous statements and actions. Nor did I know of Ms. Waters getting death threats, which is–as you point out–completely unacceptable. But I also find unacceptable the urging of people to harass public figures in public places, whether that harassment comes in form of being screamed at in public, refused service in a restaurant, or denied representation for one’s political views. All of those are clear attempts to both isolate and–to a certain extent–demonize public servants (or private citizens, in the case of James Woods and the two teenagers who had a drink thrown at them), and those were precisely the steps taken by Nazi party members in Germany before the holocaust went into full swing. Don’t trust me; read your history. I’m sure Ms. Waters has indeed suffered discrimination, which might be one of many good reasons for her to temper her behavior and her calls for other people to misbehave. Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina yelled “You lie” at Barack Obama during a joint session of congress, and was rightly reprimanded for doing so. (In fact, despite Mr. Wilson’s poor taste and lack of decorum, he was right, as it was a reference to providing benefits to illegal immigrants, which Obama was claiming wouldn’t happen.) Should Ms Waters be held to a different standard because she is a woman? Should she be held to a different standard because she is a Democrat? Should she be held to a different standard because she is black? Because of all three? I don’t think so.
      “If there is to be change, we must be the change while being tolerant to those with opposing views.” I couldn’t agree with you more. Now tell that to Ms. Waters, Mr. Kaplan, the owner of the Red Hen, the loud and ugly street protesters, or the thug who went after a frightened teenager.

      1. Carla, Maxine Waters is one of the most corrupt politicians around. I am not sure why you would want to idolize her. So she got death threats, so what!!! Politicians get them all the time. So what that she is female. First they claim they don’t want help, but then want extra points for being female. She is a horrible politician who has done nothing!!!! The section she represents looks terrible. By encouraging confrontation she was inviting violence. It does matter how Mr. Wood got fired. I am so tired of people comparing Trump to the Nazi’s. It actually belittles what the Jewish people went through. Maxine Waters is making herself look like a fool. All this is going to do is help the Republicans win again. Melissa

  5. JP,
    I think you may have erred. The agent didn’t tweet the message, he emailed it. Mr Woods is the one who tweeted it. It’s Mr Woods that took a private matter and made it public.
    Love reading your posts
    Ken from Dallas.

  6. I really like James Wood. I hope he is able to find more acting jobs. Remember how he flew in the plane with the Muslims doing the dry run next to him. Melissa

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