Published February 28, 2012
Hollywood conservatives are worried that HBO’s made-for-TV movie “Game Change” has a very clear agenda to skewer the Republican party since it relies only on excerpts relating to the Republican portion of the 2008 campaign from the book of the same name.
The flick, which debuts on the cable channel on March 10, is based on the best-selling campaign tome by political writers Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, and stars Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin and Ed Harris as John McCain. Trailers for the film show Moore’s uncanny Palin as often confused and on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
“If I was looking at that book and wanted to take out the most interesting and compelling parts to make a good movie I wouldn’t be talking about the parts with McCain and Palin. There is some unbelievably juicy stuff in there about the Clintons and the dynamic between Bill and Hillary and Barack Obama and the Chicago machine. That is some great stuff, but the McCain stuff is the most boring part of the book,” Mark Vafiades, past president of the Hollywood Republicans and political activist told Fox411. “Obviously Hollywood wants to do whatever they can to discredit the right and the Republicans.”
HBO defended their decision to pluck the Palin portion of the story from the original text because they believed that her story is one of the truly great political stories of our time, and the most riveting narratives in a very long book..
“This story is unbelievably unique in that so many people knew very little about Sarah Palin, including the people that picked her. Then, all of a sudden, she is thrust onto the international stage, a woman who has never been in national politics before," an HBO rep told FoxNews.com. "So when you combine all of that together, it is just an extremely rich and extremely dramatic story, and it felt like the best movie the filmmakers could make in a two‑hour version of this event."
HBO claims there was no political motivation to begin airing the film in March in the midst of the very heated Republican primary leading up to the big 2012 Presidential election.
“The subject of the film is such an interesting and historical story, even though McCain and Palin are not currently running for a political office," the HBO rep said. "The film is airing in March because it was recently finished in post-production and our films traditionally perform very well in that month."
But even though Palin and McCain are not running this election cycle, conservatives argue that lampooning them mocks the entire Republican party.
“All arrows point to this being a hit piece and I think the timing is suspect. It is 2012 in the middle of an election cycle. Who beat McCain and Palin in 2008? Obama. Who is up for re-election this time? Obama," said Tim Ross, another former President of the Hollywood Congress of Republicans. "It is a hit piece by association because whoever the nominee will be will be associated with McCain and Palin."
John McCain announced last weekend that he had absolutely no interest in seeing the film.
"This new movie that comes out, (people) ask me if I'm gonna watch it," McCain said on Saturday. "I tell them it'll be a cold day in Gila Bend, Arizona."
Palin’s camp has been even more proactive in opposing the film, despite the release still being over a week away. Current and former aides lashed out during a conference call with reporters last week calling the film’s depictions of Alaska’s former governor “sick” and “inaccurate.” None of those interviewed said they had seen the movie and many claimed they had asked to screen it and been denied.
Meg Stapleton, a former spokeswoman, told the Associated Press that she was not contacted by anyone associated with either the book or the movie.
"They don't want to hear anything good," Stapleton said. “We all know Palin sells and the dramatization of Palin sells even more. This is sick."
Conservatives in Hollywood say they believe bashing Palin is an effort by HBO to cast the entire party in a negative light.
“Love her or hate her they are trying to make Sarah Palin look bad," Vafiades said. "And since she is a conservative figure any attempt at making her look bad makes the Republicans look bad.”