Ben Shapiro, whose politics-driven talker The Ben Shapiro Show was the fourth-biggest podcast on Podtrac’s most recent ranking of the most downloaded series, is taking a different path into the entertainment business. Rather than strike a deal to adapt content his The Daily Wire has produced, Shapiro says the company has launched its own entertainment division to create its own film and TV projects that will promote conservative ideals.
“The problem is that Republicans won’t win anybody over by simply disengaging,” he said. “We need those who aren’t political to engage with a different sort of content: content that is edgy and entertaining and awesome, but that doesn’t actively work to undermine the very values that have made this country exceptional. We need to give people options.”
That has led to the investment in scripted entertainment. Shapiro said The Daily Wire will be focused on producing motion pictures and television comedy and dramas that will not promote “Leftist causes” like those that he says have led some conservatives to cancel Netflix subscriptions or stop watching NFL games.
“This is a risky move. It may alienate some people who feel uncomfortable with conservatives making entertainment, and who think that disengagement with the culture is the best strategy,” he wrote in a blog post. “But we believe we need to fight back.”
The Daily Wire’s podcasts are part of the way he sees people on the right “fighting back” against progressives, said Shapiro, but he said conservatives also need to do battle on the culture front. “It’s time to blow up the Death Star that is the Left-wing monopoly on entertainment, and to provide a replacement for your dollars, so that you’re not paying the people who want to see your values disappear,” he told supporters.
The first project that The Daily Wire will undertake is on the film front. Deadline reports it has acquired the North American distribution rights to the movie Run Hide Fight, described as a “high school shooting thriller” about a 17-year-old who must fight for her life and those of her schoolmates against a group of live-streaming terrorists. Shapiro will premiere Run Hide Fight at a livestreamed event on January 14. Daily Wire members will reportedly be able to watch the movie on a dedicated website.
Even as The Daily Wire does more in Hollywood, the company is leaving Los Angeles. It announced plans last year to relocate to Nashville. In a video Shaprio complained about the “crappy governance” of L.A. and said that it has become “unlivable.”
In addition to his podcast that gets 15 million downloads each month, Shapiro hosts a daily radio show that Westwood One distributes to more than 200 stations nationwide.