Hollywood’s War on Success Teaches Youth All the Wrong Lessons

Young audiences hit by barrage of TV and movie negativity about businesses, corporate ethics, capitalism.
  • Children and young adults are spending more than 100 hours each month watching video, many in front of their TVs. This is why, from fake news shows to prime time dramas, the liberal biases presented on TV about work ethic, companies, industries, business people and capitalism matter.
  • Some of the most popular shows of the fall 2014 TV season included attacks on business, including “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Scandal,” “The Blacklist” and “Scorpion.”
  • Eight of the 30 top-grossing films of 2013 included anti-business or anti-capitalism themes, including the huge hits “Frozen” and “Ironman 3,” which were both marketed toward young or family audiences.

SPOILER ALERT: Article does contain spoilers from recent films and some television shows between 2013-2015.


“Show me the money,” Jerry Maguire famously shouted in the 1996 film.

Hollywood wants everyone to show it the money. Hollywood wouldn’t have glitz and glamour if people weren’t plunking down their credit cards at the local theater or watching their home DVRs or streaming new episodes to other devices. Ironically, for a multibillion industry, TV and film frequently depict the individuals and businesses trying to make money as corrupt, immoral and even murderous. American teens and young adults are very likely to be influenced by soaking up those views.

Health and Human Services (HHS) estimated in late 2013 that 12-17 year olds consume 112 hours of video per month, the vast majority of those in front of a TV. 18-24 years olds were watching even more: 133 hours per month. For much of that screen time, they were being bombarded by left-wing views about companies and businesspeople.

Studies have found correlations between what young people watch and what they do. An article in Pediatrics, surveyed adolescents yearly and found that watching sex on TV could “contribute to precocious adolescent sex,” although it was not a clear cause and effect. Other studies have looked at correlations between violent content and behavior.

If watching violent and sexual content could influence younger audiences, it is absurd to think a constant barrage of anti-business themes wouldn’t impact children, teens and young adults.

That’s why Hollywood’s continued assault on free market capitalism and business owners matters, especially in the films and TV shows they marketed to younger audiences, which have included “Frozen,” “The Muppets” and “The Lorax” in recent years. In 2013 alone, at least eight of the 30 highest-grossing films included anti-business or anti-capitalism themes. “Frozen” was one of the films, which made more than $1.6 billion combined in the U.S.

In 2014, “The LEGO Movie” was a box office smash aimed at kids and adults alike. CNBC.com pointed out the irony of its “not-so-subtly named ‘Lord Business’” villain and anti-consumerism message in a “movie inspired by a consumer toy product.”

At home, young viewers could find similar anti-corporate, anti-capitalism messages on network programming as well as basic and pay cable channels. What they would have difficulty spotting were good business role models – characters worth emulating.

Two people young adults definitely shouldn’t model themselves after were the cupcake entrepreneurs of CBS’s comedy “2 Broke Girls.” On that show Max and Caroline, played by Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs, were selfish and insolent and always making fun of their boss or refusing to do the work he told them to do. They weren’t even close to the self-sacrificing, hard workers people often need to be to get a business off the ground. In real life, they would have been fired for their unprofessional behavior.

During the 2013 and 2014 TV seasons there was a character who embraced capitalism, but global criminal mastermind Raymond “Red” Reddington of NBC’s “The Blacklist” was no role model.

Although he freely admitted, “I happen to believe in capitalism. I like money,” Reddington, played by James Spader, was not a good guy. He was an FBI “most wanted” criminal who made a fortune selling secrets “to the highest bidder.” He agreed to help the FBI catch some of the worst criminals in the world, but continued to operate as a criminal all while enjoying the finer things in life like tailored suits, expensive dining. He also committed murder in at least two episodes so far.

Unfortunately, depictions of capitalists and businesses as criminal, immoral or ruthless were an all too common Hollywood theme dating back as far as silent films. It is sure to surface again during the spring television season, which began the first week of January 2015.

Fake News, Really Anti-Business

Fiction wasn’t the only place youth learned that CEOs and businesses were the bad guys. The same themes were routinely delivered by liberal comedian Jon Stewart. The only difference was that he attacked real companies and business people by name.

Stewart is a funny guy whose media criticism is often spot on. But just like the liberal news media, Stewart also spun the “fake” news the way he wanted to. That means his Comedy Central show had plenty of angry, humorous rants directed at companies and CEOs he disagreed with.

In an attack on the practice of tax inversion, Stewart lashed out at Mylan, a pharmaceutical company, and bashed them by name July 30, 2014. He also mocked Republicans for complaining about the high corporate tax rate that was the rationale for inversion. He called companies and CEOs using inversions several names including “toddlers,” “bastards” and “fiduch-bags.”

“But tonight I’d like to talk to you about corporations. Corporations. They’re a lot like us. Immortal. Shielded from liability, accountable only to shareholders. Oh, wait. That’s the opposite of us. But there is one thing corporations do have in common with the rest of us. They don’t like paying taxes. Hate it. Fortunately, they rarely have to,” Stewart said.

On July 22 and 29, Stewart attacked Rupert Murdoch, the CEO and founder of News Corp. and FOX broadcasting. On July 22, seguing from a slam on John McCain to the Murdoch story, Stewart said, “Turning from an angry old man who’s absolutely wrongness has wrought great damage on this world to an angry old man whose brilliant acumen wrought great damage to this world.”

Reacting the media’s outcry over Murdoch’s “wish” to buy Time Warner, Stewart ranted that “if he buys Time Warner news will just be BLEEP Rupert Murdoch thinks” and after showing news clips about Murdoch not taking no for an answer, Stewart said “He’s like the date rapist of media barons, with all due respect.”

Stewart then launched a fake Kickstarter campaign to buy CNN, since it would be divested if Murdoch bought Time Warner. Murdoch ended up dropping the attempt to buy the media company, which was attacked by Hollywood celebrities, Stewart and liberal news sites.

This slant of “fake news” shows was significant because Stewart and others like him were gaining influence as young people abandoned television news. A Pew Research study found that 18-29 year olds were about 40 percent of the audience of “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show,” according to The Atlantic. This style of show has become so popular that comic John Oliver who used to work on “The Daily Show,” now has his very own fake news show on HBO called “Last Week Tonight.”

How to Succeed in Business: Lie, Cheat, Steal and Kill if Necessary

Professional ethics often didn’t exist in the businesses created by Hollywood writers. It didn’t matter if they were depicting Ewing Global, an oil and gas company, on “Dallas,” defendants on “How to Get Away with Murder,” or the consulting firms of “Scandal” and “House of Lies.” On all those shows, standard business practices included lying and backstabbing, adultery, and either not caring at all about clients (“House of Lies”) or caring so much about them they would keep their terrible secrets (“Scandal”).

The writers of “Dallas” said outright, through one character, that money and morality are opposing forces and only one can win.

Cable channel TNT’s “Dallas” was much like the old “Dallas,” and included familiar faces like Patrick Duffy as Bobby Ewing. It was still a soap opera about one Big Oil family and the Ewing’s feuds with each other and rival companies that sent a clear message that wealthy people are immoral at best and criminal at worst.

In June 2012, The New York Times said it was “one of the most popular scripted shows on basic cable,” although it struggled with a winter season placement in 2013, according to My San Antonio. The show returned to TNT for its the mid-season premiere on Aug. 18, 2014, which was watched by almost 2 million people.

As far as left-wing, anti-business views go, “Dallas” was a two-fer because it sent the message that the rich don’t don’t get rich through hard work and good sense, rather through stealing, cheating, adultery and more. And these immoral, ruthless rich folk were in the business the left despises the most: oil and gas.

The behavior of many members of the Ewing family was disgraceful. A dying J.R. Ewing had his assistant kill him and frame Cliff Barnes of Barnes Global for his murder. J.R. also supposedly switched the deeds of land between himself and Elena Ramos’ father, giving himself the oil wealthy land and leaving her father with “worthless” property. Elena grew up at Southfork since her mother was the cook for the Ewing ranch.

J.R.’s son, John Ross, resembled his father in many ways. He wanted to flaunt the family’s wealth, he cheated on his wife and he said and did anything necessary to get what he wanted for himself or the company. In season three, he continued his philandering in order to secure favors for Ewing Global with the CEO of Ryland Transport, Emma Ryland. She had put her father in prison to take over the CEO role.

Meanwhile Elena was persuaded by Barnes to seek revenge on the Ewings. But to her, it wasn’t revenge: “They kicked me out of a company I helped start. They took away my oil leases. They accused me of helping when they would have done the same to help their own and now all this. I’ll find the strength, ‘cause I’m not thinking of this as revenge. I’m thinking of this as justice.”

But the writers’ overarching message about making money was delivered so clearly by a newly introduced character. Harris Ryland’s mother, Judith, showed up unexpectedly after her granddaughter sprung her from a hospital for the insane. She came back to assert control over the company and told her son, “Your grandfather had a saying. Money and morality are like two cars on a one-lane road. When they meet, morality’s gonna end up in the ditch.”

Big oil companies weren’t Hollywood’s only targets. Consulting companies were some of the worst businesses out there, according to network and cable television. ABC’s “Scandal” focused on a political crisis management company, Olivia Pope & Associates, in the nation’s capital. “House of Lies” on Showtime was about a management consulting company called Kaan & Associates.

Pope was a “fixer,” which really meant she was great at making sure the truth doesn’t come out. She had worked as director of communications for the president before leaving to start her own company. She also had an affair with the president. Spin and deception was her business, and according to one character on the show, she “could sell a dual ticket with Hitler and Bin Laden.”

Politics can be a dirty business but on “Scandal” it wasn’t just the politicians but everyone around them too. Presidential candidates were actually murderers, secret agents ran a paper company called ACME Limited as a cover, and deception was the rule, rather than the exception. And Pope & Associates was just one company making it all happen.

The fictional management consultants on “House of Lies” were equally duplicitous although they weren’t covering up murders committed by people living in the White House. Run by Marty Kaan (pronounced con), even Forbes.com said the show was based on a former employee’s account of how “powerhouse consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton” does business. Showtime based its series on a 2005 book by Martin Kihn, who worked for the company in 2001.

Tom Van Riper at Forbes wrote in 2012, “Your main goal if you’re a consultant: selling the client on the value of keeping you on board for months or years, to help implement all of your brilliant recommendations. It’s called ‘after work’ in industry jargon, and it’s where the money is. For a management consultant, ‘The point is not to solve the problem, but to get the after work,’ Kihn says.”

Although Van Riper found “House of Lies” “funny,” he admitted “the show serves up the usual entertainment industry fare of corporations as houses of evil.”

But it looked like all of Kaan’s ill treatment of his clients might have finally caught up with him in the finale of Season three. In the finale the FBI searched the company top to bottom after Kaan’s secretary and lover, Jeannie, offered to sell out a client in exchange for a lucrative contract with the Department of Justice. The DOJ contact went after Kaan & Associates after Jeannie changed her mind. When clients got wind of the federal investigation one by one they fired the consulting firm.

Just before Kaan was arrested Jeannie told him, “I’ve never been an honest person, Marty. It’s. I just – never seemed like a viable option.” He replied, “Me either.”

Kaan’s lawyer told him the only way to save the company was to leave it and he tells her, “I guess I taught you well, huh, Jeannie? You out Marty-ed Marty Kaan. The keys to the kingdom are yours.”

Good Cops vs. Bad Business

Crime shows were one of the most common ways Hollywood bashed businessmen. A look at primetime television in 2005 found that businessmen were 21 times more likely kidnap or kill than the mob and committed five times as much crime as terrorists, and four times as much as gangs.

That trend continued as television programs showing business people as corporate “scumbags” and would be murderers, whose crimes were discovered by hardworking, good public servants. Programming also showed everyday businesses being used as fronts for backroom deals between spies, terrorists or criminals.

On CBS’s “Hawaii Five-O,” many episodes pronounced business people guilty. In the episode “Kupu ‘eu” a man, John Cutler, was murdered. The Honolulu Police Department set out to solve the case and learned Cutler was stealing company secrets from his wife’s computer. A “trio of private companies” was the most likely the employers of Cutler’s corporate espionage.

Later, it turned out that one of them, Himmel Aerospace and Defense, had hired him and used a real estate subsidiary company to keep it a secret. Although it turned out they had not killed Cutler, they did obstruct justice when they “scrubbed the crime scene” after he was murdered.

In another episode, an arcade was run by a former KGB agent and sales of dangerous secrets took place in the back room.

But one of the worst episode plots attacking business was “Makani ‘olu a Holo Malie.” In that episode, a chemical company’s top executives resorted to organ theft in order to creatively kill an attorney who was suing them. The attorney, Jason Helani, was suing Attis Chemical for poisoning a community’s water supply and causing cancer. He also happened to need a liver transplant.

The Five-O team realized “we’ve been looking at this all wrong” and figured out that the liver was stolen “so that opposing counsel would die of natural causes.” They arrested Attis Chemicals’ CEO and CFO for “conspiracy to commit murder” after finding a wire transfer paying for the organ theft.

NBC’s “The Blacklist” was a different kind of crime show. While it was certainly about crime and the FBI working hard to stop it, it was also part political thriller. Sadly, Reddington (Red), the criminal mastermind of “The Blacklist,” was one of TV’s greatest proponents of free market capitalism.

Red, whose “only allegiance is to the highest bidder,” was a former Naval Academy grad turned traitor and a killer who turned himself into the FBI in order to help them catch a Who’s Who of international criminals and terrorists – all names on his personal blacklist. He was also one of the few TV characters who used words like “free market” and “capitalism.” On the show, legitimate jobs like banker, freelancer and contractor were descriptions of some of the most heinous international criminals.

He freely admitted his bottom line is profit. In the “Wujing” episode, FBI Agent Elizabeth Keene expressed dismay that he’s decoding CIA messages for the Chinese. Red replied, “Now, you see, you make it sound like it treason. So black and white. It’s not. It’s green. The fact is, American secrets are for sale from an assortment of reputable vendors, myself included. If I don’t do this, someone else will.”

In the “Gina Zanetakos” episode, Red told Keene that “multinational corporations and criminals run the world” and explained “corporate terrorist” Gina Zanetakos was someone corporations hire to destroy one another. Even worse than the corporate espionage of “Hawaii 5-0,” in the fictional world of “The Blacklist,” companies didn’t just spy on one another, they hired people to commit acts of terror against other businesses regardless of the ordinary people those acts would harm.

“In 1982, seven people in Chicago were killed by an over-the-counter drug laced with potassium cyanide. The company’s market share went from 35 to 8. It was never determined how the drug was poisoned, but I will tell you someone was hired to do that,” Red said. “Remember those tire recalls? Chernobyl? Deliberate and malevolent actions taken by corporations to protect their vital interests. Nothing happens by chance.”

As it turned out, Zanetakos was working for a company, the Hanar Group, that wanted to blow up the port of Houston, so that business would move to New Orleans. So she hired a bombmaker and shipped the dirty (radioactive) bomb to Houston.

Eight of 30 Top-Grossing Films of 2013 Negatively Portray Business

The silver screen also taught terrible lessons about business, just like television did. In 2006, half the movies that earned Oscar nominations portrayed businessmen committing crimes of all kinds. In 2013 and 2014, anti-business themes were still raking in big bucks for Hollywood at the the box office.

At least eight of the 30 top-grossing films of 2013 (based on Box Office Mojo’s domestic rankings) included negative depictions of bosses, companies, businessmen, or Wall Street. Those films were “Ironman 3,” the children’s movie “Frozen,” “We’re the Millers,” Oscar nominee “American Hustle” and Oscar winner “The Great Gatsby,” “Identity Thief,” “Now You See Me” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Combined, the films made $1,624,235,951 at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo.

“Ironman 3” was the second-highest grossing film that year, making more than $409 million, Box Office Mojo said. Although Ironman, Tony Stark, was a billionaire genius, the villain of this sequel was also a businessman. Aldrich Killian headed the company, Advanced Idea Mechanics, which was working with a formula called Extremis. He wanted Stark Industries to work with them, but Stark Industries refused. As it turned out Killian was using the unstable formula on himself and other soldiers in order to create a fictional terrorist threat, so that he could make money from through government contracts.

The third-biggest money maker for Hollywood, was Disney’s “Frozen” which made more than $400 million, according to Box Office Mojo. One character, a secondary villain, was a businessman who wanted to discover the kingdom of Arendelle’s secrets and “exploit” its riches. Hollywood liberals really need to let it go.

Although “Frozen” taught some good lessons, one bad lesson for kids was that traders like the Duke of Weselton – whose name was mispronounced more than once as weasel-ton – were set on exploiting others or worse. Weselton also sent his henchmen with Prince Hans, giving them orders to stop Queen Elsa at any cost. At the end of the film Weselton was thrown out of Arendelle and the queen proclaimed that the kingdom would not do business with him. A store owner was also called a “crook” by Kristoff the ice seller. The movie was the third highest grossing film that year.

The 16th highest grossing film of 2013 was, “We’re the Millers.” The raunchy comedy about a drug dealer who created a fake family to pick up drugs in Mexico and smuggle them back to the U.S. included a depiction of a terrible boss. Jennifer Aniston played a stripper, Rose O’Reilly, who quit her job after the strip club owner announced some “minor policy changes” for the club.

“Rose O'Reilly: Like what?

Todd - Strip Club Owner: Like, I want you to start having sex with the customers for money.

Rose O'Reilly: What? That's totally illegal, Todd.

Todd - Strip Club Owner: Come on. What are you gonna do? Besides, I gotta stay competitive with those F---- who just opened up across the street.

Rose O'Reilly: You mean the Apple store?

Todd - Strip Club Owner: Yeah! And they're killing us!”

“We’re the Millers,” made more than $150 million, Box Office Mojo reported.

Making slightly less than “We’re the Millers” was Sony’s “American Hustle.” Loosely based on the ABSCAM scandal of the 1970s, “American Hustle” was the 17th biggest movie at the box office, grossing $150,117,807. The movie got a lot of hype, due to 10 Oscar nominations, although it was ultimately snubbed at the awards.

Its message was that people get rich by conning other people, not by working hard at their legitimate businesses.

In the movie, which noted “some of this actually happened,” Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale’s character) became a con man because he didn’t want to be like his dad who was always getting “taken.” His dad owned a glass business, which he later ran. Even as a kid, Irving drummed up business by breaking windows himself.

As an adult, Rosenfeld owned several dry cleaning businesses in addition to the glass business. But in narration he told the audience his cons were how he made real money. He sold forged art and created a fake loan business always promising to make loans to people who were high risk, but never succeeding, all while pocketing a hefty $5,000 fee. After being caught in an FBI sting operation,along with his lover and accomplice Sydney Prosser (played by Amy Adams), the pair were forced to work with the agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) to entrap politicians.

Right behind it in the rankings, was the dazzling cinematic version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” that made more than $144 million. The film showed the stark contrast between rich and poor as well as the animosity between new and old money. It depicted the lavish excess of the lives of the wealthy and the criminal lengths men like Jay Gatsby would go to secure a fortune in order to try to win back a lost love like Daisy Buchanan. Leonardo DiCaprio played Gatsby.

Nick Carraway, the narrator and cousin of Daisy, said of Daisy and husband Tom “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy. They smashed up things and people, and then retreated back into their money and their vast carelessness.”

From adaptations of classic novels, to classless and crude comedies, Hollywood’s hit jobs on businesses continued with “Identity Thief.” Although the primary villain was the thief herself, Jason Bateman’s character Sandy Patterson also had a boss who treated everyone disrespectfully and who gave himself bonuses while employees like Patterson eke out their middle class life.

Patterson worked for PFG, a bank, run by Harold Cornish. In one conversation, Cornish claimed that Patterson’s job is so insignificant it was what his wife does with Quicken and he could be replaced by a baboon. Cornish was so cruel to his employees, several of them decided to start their own firm, taking Patterson with them, at least before the woman in Florida who stole his identity turned his life upside down.

Later, Patterson wrongly decided to get even with Cornish by creating a fake credit card in his name after Diana, the identity thief, said she can’t believe he can’t think of anyone “who deserves the wrath of Sandy Patterson."

Revenge was also an intricate part of the plot of “Now You See Me.” That was one of three films released in May 2013, that played on Occupy Wall Street-style, class warfare themes. It was by far the most mainstream and successful, putting it in the 27th spot for highest grossing films that year. It made roughly $117 million at the box office.

“Now You See Me,” was a cat and mouse game between four bank-robbing illusionists and the FBI. They were taking orders from an unknown person who it turned out was seeking revenge against the companies he blamed for his father’s death.

The illusionists were known as “the Four Horsemen” and each target they hit was a business: first a bank where they stole 3.2 million Euros, then they robbed an insurance magnate of $140 million, then hit a private security firm for untold millions.

Class warfare themes were evident from the trailer. In it, Isla Fisher, the actress who played one of the illusionists, told an audience: “Everyone in this room was a victim of hard times.” Another horseman, played by liberal Woody Harrelson, then said “Some of you lost your homes, your car.” So, Fisher said “We’re gonna return some of that money back to you,” as money begins raining from the ceiling and the crowd roars with applause. The movie also starred OWS supporter Mark Ruffalo.

The eighth film of the 30 top-grossing films of 2013 to portray business as bad, was “The Wolf of Wall Street.” DiCaprio starred as stockbroker and con man Jordan Belfort in the movie, based on Belfort’s book of the same name.

Belfort’s sleazy exploits perpetuated the stereotype that everyone who works on Wall Street was a liar, that the entire financial industry was a sham and all the people in it were con men like him. Early in the film, Belfort was told by a senior stockbroker not to care about his clients. "F--- the clients. Your only responsibility it to put meat on the table." He also told Belfort, the "name of the game” was to “move the money from the clients pocket to your pocket.”

The Martin Scorsese film made more than $116 million, according to Box Office Mojo. It was the 28th highest grossing film in 2013.

2014 Films Continue To Bash Business

The hostility of Hollywood toward companies and individuals trying to make money continued in 2014 with lower budget productions and art-house flicks like “Snowpiercer” and “Veronica Mars” as well as blockbusters.

Superhero movies like “X-Men Days of Future Past” and “Amazing Spiderman 2” both had bad corporations. In X-men, a company stole mutant Mystique’s DNA, while Oscorp continued to be responsible for the many villains Spiderman must fight to keep New York safe.

Lower middle class teenager Veronica Mars was the heroine of the “Veronica Mars” television series. A movie version about grown up Veronica Mars was made possible because of Kickstarter, a website that helps people raise capital for projects they want to make. In this case, the motion picture studio would only greenlight the project if $2 million could be raised from the public – proving that there would be demand for the product. Thanks to the “marshmallows” who loved the three-season long television show “Veronica Mars,” the Kickstarter campaign raised more than twice that and broke records for the crowdfunding site.

Yet, the neo-noir show was always a story about class warfare: haves vs. the have-nots. The haves, known as 09ers were snobs and jerks for the most part, who treated the have-nots like dirt. Although the cases teenage private eye Veronica solved didn’t always have rich bad guys – many did.

Politics of envy was always an undercurrent of the show, which was set in fictional Neptune, Calif., “a town without a middle class.” The leader of the local motorcycle gang was a more lovable character than some of the CEOs and trust fund kids Veronica busted on the show including the founder of Kane Software and the college kids running a scam for start-up capital to create the next great video game.

Box office smash, “The LEGO Movie,” made headlines over its message, some critical and others defensive.

But one Boston Globe columnist thought children should see it anyway even as she acknowledged the impact entertainment was having saying, “Yet if Hollywood is indoctrinating our children with anti-corporate messages, then shouldn’t our children be growing up to be mini-Marxists? Indeed, multiple surveys tell us millennials are more likely to approve of socialism and that they are more embracing of racial, social, and cultural difference. On the other hand, millennials also love to buy stuff, think highly of entrepreneurs, and rank ‘being financially well off’ as their number one concern. So breathe easy, Fox News. Capitalism is still safe.”

Millennials may like to buy stuff and want to be rich, but the lessons they’re learning from Hollywood movies and television weren’t teaching them how to do that ethically. In addition to the shows and movies already mentioned there were many more shows with similar anti-business messages including “White Collar,” “Halt and Catch Fire,” “Law & Order” and other crime shows, “Suits,” documentaries like “Food Inc.,” and “Blackfish” as well as most of the movies made by Michael Moore.

It was particularly troubling that many of the movies and TV shows appealing to youth failed to encourage sound economic thinking, strong work ethic and entrepreneurship and also demonized profit-makers by repeatedly showing them as conmen, addicts and criminals.

Not even the hit show “2 Broke Girls,” which was about millennials trying to start a business, taught the right lessons. Rather than being a show that embodied entrepreneurial spirit and showed viewers how hard work could lead to financial success, both the girls acted in a consistently selfish manner and were openly hostile toward their boss and customers. The pair were an embodiment of everything millennials are criticized for being: self-absorbed, lazy and unprofessional.

Early episodes of the show drew 13.4 million viewers according to Nielsen ratings, The New York Times said in 2012. That Times article said, “younger performers [like Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs] help draw the younger viewers that Madison Avenue pays a premium to reach: ‘2 Broke Girls’ attracts the youngest audience of any CBS show except for ‘How I Met Your Mother’.”

It’s obvious that movies and television are an industry. Hollywood relies on capitalism. Yet, film and TV makers rarely seem willing to portray business in a positive light and instead let their liberalism take over. The constant attack on business isn’t an accident, its indoctrination that has already had an impact. Young people camped out in droves at Occupy Wall Street gatherings across the country only a few years ago. In recent weeks, anti-capitalists showed up at climate change rallies and the Flood Wall Street protests where some actually called for socialist revolution.

But Hollywood hasn’t always made capitalism the enemy. Certainly there have been movies with compassionate rich people, explanations of how capitalism benefits the poor and an individual rising out of poverty through hard work.

Think of Daddy Warbucks in “Annie,” or Linus Larabee in Billy Wilder’s 1954 film, “Sabrina.” The Larabees were Long Island millionaires, titans of industry, and when the younger Larabee brother David was confused about the purpose of business Linus set him straight.

“Linus: If making money were all there was to business it would hardly be worthwhile going to the office. Money is a byproduct.”

David: Well, what’s the main objective? Power.

Linus: (Groaning) That’s become a dirty word.

David: Well then what’s the urge?”

Then Linus explained how invention and production is good for the world.

“New product has been found. Something of use to the world. So a new industry moves into an undeveloped area. Factories go up, machines are brought in, a harbor is dug and you’re in business,” Linus said. “It’s purely coincidence of course that people who never saw a dime before suddenly have a dollar and barefooted kids wear shoes and have their teeth fixed and their faces washed. What’s wrong with the kind of urge that gives people libraries, hospitals, baseball diamonds and movies on a Saturday night?”

Hollywood hasn’t always been at war with success and it shouldn’t be now. Because by being at war with success it is ultimately at war with the American Dream and it sows the seed for its own demise. Teenagers and young adults need to see more characters like Linus Larabee and more movies like “The Pursuit of Happyness” and far fewer corporate “scumbags” headed to the slammer.

— Julia A. Seymour is Assistant Managing Editor for MRC Business at the Media Research Center. Follow Julia A. Seymour on Twitter.