The CIA and Pentagon are using their power in Hollywood to normalize US military operations abroad, attract more volunteers, and promote guns in movies.
The Los Angeles Times, in a report by University of Georgia communications professor Roger Stahl, reveals the direct involvement of the Pentagon and the CIA in the Hollywood film industry to justify US military action around the world.
Roger Stahl also directed the documentary Threats of War: How the Pentagon and the CIA take Hollywood. He and his team accessed 30,000 pages of secret internal records of the Department of Defense under the Freedom of Information Act and found that the Department of Defense’s Entertainment Media Office only gave action filmmakers permission to use military equipment and weapons in exchange for full script control.
2500 films influenced by the CIA and the Pentagon
It was once believed that only a few hundred films were involved, but after Roger Stahl and his team gained access to classified CIA and Pentagon information, it was discovered that over 2,500 films and TV shows were involved. According to the documents, some scenes are banned from such films, including images of war atrocities, torture, nuclear arsenal safety, soldier suicide, sexual harassment and racial prejudice among soldiers. Also, the CIA and Pentagon are using their power in Hollywood to normalize US military operations abroad, attract more volunteers, and promote guns in movies.
In addition, many films could not receive government funding because the Pentagon disapproved of their content, and thus never made it to the production stage.
Make a movie to join the army
Top Gun, Paramount’s first film, was released after the Vietnam War, at a time when the American public was ashamed of the country’s actions in Vietnam, and the film served as a response to that feeling, encouraging more people to join the military to connect. The film was also described by the Department of Defense Media Office as “a film that repaired the distorted image of the US military after the Vietnam War.”
According to Roger Stall’s report, the Pentagon has also been involved in the production of hundreds of other films, including Godzilla and Fast and Furious 8.
As Stahl said, the American public has a right to know how much influence the Pentagon has over the making of films people are paying to see. He believes that publishing the progress of discussions of each script in the media is one way to clarify the issue, and Congress should pass legislation requiring filmmakers to disclose the extent to which the Pentagon and CIA released each film influence before its publication.
He went on to say that regardless of the financial benefits of working with the Pentagon, filmmakers could play a key role in clarifying the Pentagon’s position on the production of any film and refuse to give them control of the scripts.