As a Christian and a Hollywood screenwriter who has lived in Los Angeles since the 1970s, Coleman Luck understands both sides of the cultural clashes between evangelicals and Hollywood—and he tries to bridge these unfriendly worlds as he communicates spiritual concepts in his television productions. Luck was co-executive producer for the action/adventure series The Equalizer on CBS from 1985 to 1989, cocreator and executive producer of Gabriel's Fire in 1991-92, and executive producer for the more recent television adventure series The Burning Zone (United Paramount Network). His latest screenplay, The Touch, is based on Charles Williams's concept of Christians bearing one another's burdens. Luck, 52, talked with CHRISTIANITY TODAY's Mary Cagney while attending an ethics conference at Wheaton College in Illinois.
Why is there such a standoff between Hollywood and evangelicals?
Both groups underestimate the importance the other places in its system of faith. Hollywood's faith is in the First Amendment right to free speech. I think evangelicals cannot believe Hollywood is motivated by anything other than money. While money is a factor, most people in Hollywood believe passionately in the films and television they make.
Does Hollywood particularly dislike Christianity? I would rather say Christianity is to some degree feared in Hollywood. The only forms of Christianity Hollywood understands are Catholicism and right-wing conservative politics dressed in religious terminology. Also, there is a large Jewish community in Hollywood, and Christians don't have a spotless record when it comes to anti-Semitism. These Jewish filmmakers have understandable reasons to be afraid of institutionalized Christianity. This fear influences ...1