Playwright David Mamet steered off topic at the New School's auditorium Wednesday night by taking a shot at Democrats in office -- comments that were not met with praise by the liberal-leaning audience.
The Oscar-nominated writer said he was not happy with every “last Democrat who's impoverished this country, impoverished my home state of California.”
“I don't understand why the people of Hollywood continually vote Democratic so it's impossible to make a movie in Hollywood,” said Mamet, explaining how taxes make film costs in California so high. “The people we voted in office do not want us here. Money is being squandered and they keep coming back, asking for more. I don't get it.”
Speaking to students and fans at the New School -- no hotbed for conservatism -- between clips from his films, Mamet detailed his experience as a writer in a discussion sponsored by the Museum of Moving Image.
But in a Q&A session at the end, the event returned to focus on politics when a man asked if the opinionated writer clashes with his mostly liberal colleagues in Hollywood.
“California has the highest taxes in the nation. California has the 48th worst environment in the nation for the small business industry. Where did all the money go?” the playwright asked. “It's an addiction to big government taxation. Just like every other addiction, you can't get off of it.
Thus opened a can of worms and hands began to shoot up. One man shouted, “You should read more!” but Mamet continued to hold his ground.
“That's why we have elections, right? That's why we have elections,” he retorted.
Host and museum film curator David Schwartz tried to steer the conversation back to Mamet's films, which include “Glengarry Glen Ross” and “Wag the Dog,” as the back-and-forth continued to get passionate.
For the remaining minutes of the event, the screenwriter talked about how much he loves actors and said the best advice to aspiring writers is to just start writing.