The Anti-Defamation League has released the results of a survey of U.S. residents asking their view of how religious and moral values are reflected in Hollywood and in American life. The results show that most Americans think that television and movie companies do not share the values of most Americans and many believe Christian values are “under attack.”
Further, many believe Hollywood is weakening religious influence in an organized fashion.
The poll, conducted in October by the Marttilla Communications Group, reportedly questioned two demographically representative split samples in 500 interviews per group. It claims a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percent on questions answered by all respondents.
The survey results were made public in the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) publication “American Attitudes on Religion, Moral Values and Hollywood.”
According to the results, about 61 percent of respondents agreed that religious values are “under attack” in the U.S. Another 63 percent thought that religion as a whole is losing influence, an increase of more than ten percent since 2005.
Fifty-nine percent agreed that those who run the television networks and the major movie studies do not share the religious and moral values of most Americans. Seventy percent of those who attend church once a week or more agreed, while 63 percent of those who attend church once or twice a month agreed.
Among Catholics, 60 percent of those categorized as “Traditional Catholic” agreed while 55 percent of those in the “Moderate/Liberal” category agreed. Conservative Protestants were most likely to agree, at a rate of 68 percent, while about 45 percent of religiously unaffiliated Americans agreed.
According to its web site, the Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” The ADL report did not include the categories “Jewish” or “Moderate/Liberal Protestant” in its questions.
Meanwhile, 43 percent of all respondents thought Hollywood and the national media are weakening the influence of religious values by means of an “organized campaign.” About 62 percent of those who attended church once a week or more agreed, while those who attend church once or twice a month agreed at a rate of around 54 percent.
Americans in all categories agreed at a rate of about 43 percent. Traditional Catholics, at a rate of 65 percent, comprised the group most likely to agree about the existence of an “organized campaign, while 56 percent of conservative Protestants and 41 percent of moderate or liberal Catholics agreed it exists. Those unaffiliated with a religion agreed at a rate of only 30 percent.
Respondents to the ADL survey were also asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement that the movie and the television industries are “pretty much run by Jews.”
Only 22 percent agreed with the statement, slightly fewer than those who agreed to the same question in 1992 and 1987. The year 2008 respondents disagreed by 63 percent, compared to the 55 percent who disagreed in 1992 and the 30 percent who disagreed in 1987.
In 1964, by contrast, 47 percent agreed with the statement, while only 21 percent disagreed.
About 59 percent of respondents agreed that Christian values are under attack, similar to the number of those who agreed religious values are under attack.
CNA contacted the ADL for comment on the reasons for commissioning the survery but did not receive a response by press time.