Hollywood was founded by, and run for generations, by pure showmen who fanatically devoted themselves to giving the public what they wanted. Today, Hollywood’s message is, “Let us entertain you!” But first, a brief lecture on what’s wrong with you, the audience. . .”
Artists and entertainment companies have always been desperate to be taken seriously, hence their need to manufacture respectability via awards from prestigious and august institutions such as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Sciences You create pretty pictures, not cure cancer).
The Oscars originally went to box office giants – brilliant romantic dramas and swaggering historical epics. Then the movie industry split into “awards pictures” and “viewership pictures”. In recent years, even public images have begun to fill with reminders of racism, feminism, immigration, and more. These are important subjects, but people go to the cinema above all to escape.
One of the reasons ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is such a big hit – the biggest movie of Tom Cruise’s career and probably the biggest movie of this year – is that it simply ignores all the real issues. of the real world. “TG:M” merely seeks to entertain, not to persuade you that the people who did it are virtuous.
Meanwhile, Disney’s much-vaunted “Lightyear” came out and did surprisingly poorly after many weeks of discussing the lesbian relationship in film. Gay marriage is a small part of history and no one should be bothered by the existence of gay people, even in a children’s movie, but the shocking underperformance must have Disney wondering if people stayed at away because they thought (albeit wrongly) that “Lightyear” was a movie with a message.
Disney’s decision to spend a few minutes onscreen to remind us that it’s a gay-friendly business may well have cost it millions in ticket sales for what was supposed to be its annual mega blockbuster Pixar. . Disney needs to consider the idea that there might be many Pixar fans who have no problem with same-sex marriage and who would nevertheless prefer the issue to be left out of children’s films. Disney also took sides in the Florida dispute over teaching sexual orientation to small children, and it may have damaged one of the world’s most valuable brands.
James Patterson – the epitome of a popular writer who doesn’t care to send a message – was showered with criticism when he suggested that white male Hollywood writers were victims of ‘just another form of racism’ . It sounds silly at first glance, but every producer in Hollywood loudly proclaims their commitment to inclusivity, which is another way of saying they’re desperate to hire people other than non-disabled straight white men. TV stations proudly advertise new requirements that (eg, CBS) at least 50% of staff writers must be members of minority groups. Once hired, these staff members often request stories about pressing social issues.
Results? A UK TV survey found that 62% of viewers think political correctness has gone too far.
“I’m in a lot of meetings now, where people say to me, ‘It’s never going to work because it’s not awake enough,'” observes British-Egyptian comedy writer and producer Ash Atalla. Polls show TV producers are far more interested in high-profile issues such as transgender rights than UK audiences (who are notably more PC than us Americans). In the United States, a survey of the entertainment industry found that 65% agree that corporate awakening has gone too far.
It’s funny that members of the entertainment industry often call it “the industry,” as if they’ve forgotten the most important word. With Netflix’s stock price crash, Disney’s box office headaches and the revival of ‘Top Gun’, Hollywood executives have to wonder if their progressive politics amount to some sort of tax. of self-imposed awakening.
Kyle Smith is general reviewer for National Review.