WASHINGTON — Mormons are the faith group most likely to say Hollywood threatens their values, followed by Jehovah’s Witnesses and evangelicals, according to a new study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
The survey showed more than two-thirds of Mormons (68 percent) rebuffed the entertainment industry, followed by 54 percent of Jehovah’s Witnesses and 53 percent of evangelicals. Less than half (42 percent) of the general population said Hollywood threatens their values.
In contrast, majorities of all other major religions disagreed that stars and the silver screen are a moral threat.
The study did not delve into causes for the negative perception, but solid majorities of Mormons surveyed are conservative (60 percent) and 88 percent believe in absolute standards of right and wrong.
Adherents to the Mormon faith also showed “exceptionally high levels of religious commitment,” according to the Pew study.
On the small and big screens, a few notable actors have appeared in recent years with Mormon roots; among them, Katherine Heigl, Aaron Eckhart, Rick Schroder, Jon Heder and Amy Adams.
Incidentally, California is not just home to Tinseltown; it also boasts America’s second-largest Mormon population (13 percent), second only to Utah (35 percent). Mormons account for 1.7 percent of American adults, comparable to the nation’s Jewish population.
The current survey was released July 24 to coincide with Pioneer Day, a state holiday in Utah, which commemorates the arrival in 1847 of the first Mormon settlers in Salt Lake Valley.