OTR Interviews

Is ObamaCare too much of a flop for liberal Hollywood to rescue?

Hollywood has been tapped to promote the Affordable Care Act in storylines, but is the disastrous rollout too real for TV?


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," November 4, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Hollywood is taking another shot at promoting ObamaCare The California endowment, a private foundation, is spending $500,000 to teach TV writers and producers about ObamaCare. Why? So they can weave healthcare information into plot lines.

Actress, Janine Turner, joins us. Good evening, Janine.

JANINE TURNER, ACTRESS: Good evening, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what do you think? What do you think about the fact that they are spending $500,000 to weave information about ObamaCare into plot lines?

TURNER: It's not a surprise. It doesn't surprise me at all. I mean, Hollywood is liberal, most of them are very liberal, and anything they can do to promote the agenda, they do within the culture. I mean, the culture has such a huge impact today on politics, and so they are going to use every bit of it.

VAN SUSTEREN: I guess that I would be a little bit more cautious right now. I mean, at least at this stage, rather to put it bluntly, a rather rocky launch. Curious information about whether people are actually get on to the website, number one, if you try to do it by paper you are going to run into the same problem. Try to do it by phone call run into the same problem.

It goes through the same portal of information and you've got the added problem of who is signing up? We are hearing that many people are signing up for Medicaid, but that people who are going to financially support this are not signing up -- rather unfortunate for the whole program. So wouldn't you think that they might want to wait until the program looked a little shinier?

TURNER: Well, first of all, they film about five weeks out. So they may have already put this into motion not realizing what was going to happen. So that could backfire. You are correct. This is going to be a personal issue for people. It's not just a social issue or social agenda that they want to push. This is really going to affect people's lives and pocketbooks and loved ones and medical care and things of that nature so it could back fire.

I don't know that it's going to stop them from doing it, but it might backfire. You know, I think that even Hollywood certainly promotes their agenda, but sometimes when it's so heavy-handed the American people are wiser than I think a lot of times Hollywood gives them credit for.

VAN SUSTEREN: Does cash actually change hands, like if you give something to a writer and you say, Here is 50 bucks, put in a nice line in that sitcom about ObamaCare or whatever, Diet Coke or whatever it is you are promoting?

TURNER: That, I don't know because I have always been in front of the camera. But I think they do it in, like, with this foundation going in and for the arts and saying, we are going to educate you about what you -- so you know when you are writing you can be educated about it. I think they probably do it in a more sly manner than that, not so blatant.

VAN SUSTEREN: And do the actors ever refuse any sort of whatever the agenda obviously something trying to slip in? I mean, ever any -- do you have the right to refuse it?

TURNER: That's a really good question. And having, you know, acted the majority of my life, I think - and will -- at times when you say, you know what? I don't feel comfortable doing this and I would like for you to restructure, rewrite this story line. But you have to be pretty, you know, A-list powerful, to make that happen.

If you are just a day player or someone coming in, you are going to be put in a really difficult position. It doesn't mean they will change it, but you could attempt to. It's very tricky. Look at the flip side, I'm a character. I'm not really this person, but, nevertheless, it's a promotion of propaganda of sorts. I know that there are A-list actors that do sometimes make a stance and say I don't really feel comfortable about this.

VAN SUSTEREN: Janine, thank you.

TURNER: Thank you, Greta.