Friends of Abe, a secretive organization which claimed many hundreds of members in Tinseltown, suddenly dissolved last week.
Despite a prestigious membership which included such heavyweights as Gary Sinise, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jon Voight, Clint Eastwood, Powers Boothe, and Kelsey Grammer, Friends of Abe had reportedly been in decline for years. Nevertheless, the announcement was a surprise to many.
“Effective immediately, we are going to begin to wind down the 501 c3 organization, bring the Sustaining Membership dues to an end, and do away with the costly infrastructure and the abespal.com website,” the executive director, Jeremy Boreing, told members in an email, a copy of which the Guardian has seen.
“Today, because we have been successful in creating a community that extends far beyond our events, people just don’t feel as much of a need to show up for every speaker or bar night, and fewer people pay the dues that help us maintain that large infrastructure.”
Boreing says the group will keep up their mailing list and private events, but will no longer operate as a full-fledged nonprofit with paid staff.
According to the Guardian, rivalry between supporters of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz seems to be the proximate cause of the breakup. Friends of Abe cofounder Lionel Chetwynd recently referred to infighting over the Republican nomination as “a civil war in slow motion.”
“It’s too volatile. I’ve never known an election to be so personal. People don’t really sit around any more and talk about their preferences because it’s a time of inflamed passions. Now I don’t talk much to my Republican friends.”
Instead of unity against a common liberal foe, many rightwing actors, writers, producers and directors are exchanging insults, branding each other Nazis, nuts and cucks, the latter derived from cuckold, and used to demean fathers with adopted children of colour.
Ironically, Friends of Abe received criticism when they held a banquet for Trump last July shortly after his infamous remarks about Mexican immigrants being “rapists.” Now it turns out the event was controversial even within the organization, creating a split which reduced attendance.
Conservatives complain that Hollywood is an unforgiving place for their kind, and that Friends of Abe was a ‘safe space’ in which they could relax and air opinions that would draw horrified gasps and outrage if spoken among the liberals who dominate the film industry.
It is ironic that, divided among themselves, the same people who complained of progressive ‘bullying’ now want a space that is safe from each other.