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Playwright David Mamet Claims Hollywood Diversity Initiatives Are 'Fascist Totalitarianism' In Hot Take

The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright is turning heads after calling DEI initiatives 'garbage' during a panel with 'The Los Angeles Times.'

David Mamet
David Livingston/Getty Images

Pulitzer Prize-winning screenwriter David Mamet undermined the institutionalization efforts of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and chalked it up to "totalitarianism fascism."

DEI are organizational frameworks that aim to promote the fair treatment of all people, especially for underrepresented groups that have historically been subject to discrimination.

Mamet attended a panel discussion for the Los Angeles Times for its annual Festival of Books gathering to promote his memoir, Everywhere an Oink Oink: An Embittered, Dyspeptic, and Accurate Report of Forty Years in Hollywood.

“DEI is garbage," Mamet insisted in his session with Matt Brennan, and he suggested that Hollywood's DEI efforts would lead to “fascist totalitarianism."

The 76-year-old writer of Glengarry Glen Ross, Oleana, and Speed-the-Plow also said of Hollywood, “There’s no room for individual initiative." His comments followed the joint writers' and actors' strike that indefinitely paused the industry for much of 2023.

He likened the experience affected by the strike to "growth, maturity, decay, and death."

A vocal critic of several progressive causes, Mamet opined that Hollywood has “little business improving everybody’s racial understanding.”

He also refused to believe that his children, including his daughter Zosia Mamet—who starred as a leading character in HBO's series Girls—got work for being associated with him.

The father of four from two different marriages said of his children in the industry:

“They earned it by merit … nobody ever gave my kids a job because of who they were related to."

His other daughter, Clara, was featured in Spartan, the 2004 action film he directed.

Mamet ended the discussion by urging Hollywood to push more popcorn on moviegoers instead of focusing on initiatives to improve visibility for marginalized groups.

“Nobody’s going to pay me a lot of money anymore,” he said, adding:

“Nobody’s going to let me have a lot of fun.”

Other issues Mamet vehemently argued against were gun control laws and NFL anthem protests.

Regarding LGBTQ+ legislation, Mamet supported Florida's homophobic "Don't Say Gay Bill" and denounced gender-neutral bathrooms in schools, arguing that it “politicizes the human execratory function” by welcoming “transsexuals"–a term he incorrectly used to refer to transgender people.

Mamet, who is Jewish, also encouraged Jewish people to stop supporting Democratic politicians and sending their kids to “antisemitic colleges."

He asserted that liberals have "never done anything for the Jews" and added that the "only person" who ever did anything for the Jewish people was former Republican President Trump.

Mamet supported Trump's re-election in 2020 and described him as a "great President" in an interview.