From Batwoman to Twilight Zone — Is Hollywood "Wokeness" Ruining Movies and TV shows?

Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
Ratings
202
#1
It seems too many movies and shows these days are less concerned with telling stories as they are with curating a politically correct world-view.

During the final season of Game of Thrones for instance, I listened to a podcast where two media critics talked about each episode the week after it aired. One of the narrators on that podcast was Joanna Robinson, an entertainment writer for Vanity Fair, and she seems to see entertainment entirely through this lens of political correctness. For example, she took exception to the killing of Missandei on the wall of King's Landing by Cerci's henchmen, because Robinson said she "carries the burden of representation", as the only woman of color on the show. Isn't that, in itself, a racist way to look at entertainment? Will we ever evolve beyond this point?

I did a full article laying out my thoughts after seeing the recent Batwoman trailer.

Batwoman & "Woke" Hollywood — The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

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Hobbit

Full Audioholic
Ratings
132
#3
It seems like too many movies and shows these days are less concerned with telling stories as they are with curating a politically correct world-view.
I couldn't access that link... anyway:

I don't know if I agree about the politically correct world-view part. However, I do agree that a lot of movies lack story telling and are more concerned about imagery, effects, and action. While entertaining, I find a lot of the action/adventure movies are this way; lots of action, imagery, effects, but weak story lines.
 
Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
Ratings
202
#5
I don't know if I agree about the politically correct world-view part. However, I do agree that a lot of movies lack story telling and are more concerned about imagery, effects, and action.
I hope I'm at least partly wrong. I don't mean to come off as a right-wing "culture warrior" who complains about SJWs and the like. There just seems to be an obsession in Hollywood these days to ensure people who are visible minorities are depicted as the "good guys", while every movie villain is an old white guy.

I started noticing it when I watched the Netflix movie Bird Box. All the "bad guy" zombies were white rednecks and every "PoC" in the movie was a noble human who committed bold acts of self-sacrifice to ensure the protagonist gets through the story. Even among the main characters in protagonist's group, every white person was either turned out to be an antagonist or were of dubious moral character and the cause of problems for the group.

I'm not saying it should be the opposite. In the past, we know representation of minorities could be brutal. But it just feels like we've moved to an opposite extreme, which I don't think is any better.
 
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bigkrazy155

Audioholic
Ratings
70 2
#6
The fact that you feel the need to proactively defend yourself against being right wing or a culture warrior (neither of which are inherently bad) really says a lot.

"Hollywood" isn't exactly hiding the ball here. Just yesterday Robert Iger more or less threatened to withdraw business from Georgia if their abortion law goes into effect. Whether or not and to what degree you support abortion, any fair minded person should be able to admit at the very least that it as a morally grey area and can be debated on in good faith.
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
Ratings
6,174 21 51
#7
Nah, it's refreshing change. Old racist/misogynist/stupid white folk just aren't as popular anymore....unless we're talking politics, there's some woke that still needs to happen there.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,872 25 9
#8
Nah, it's refreshing change. Old racist/misogynist/stupid white folk just aren't as popular anymore....unless we're talking politics, there's some woke that still needs to happen there.
Yes so now that's been replaced with young racist misogynist stupid young women, and transgenders.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
2,646 9 20
#10
I haven't had time to read the article yet.

But, Hollywood is stagnant and has been stagnant for a long time!

Any change from the old guard is better than where we sit today.

Maybe there is 1 movie per year that will actually get me to the theaters, there is just so much trash being pushed on us.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Ratings
5,257 35 17
#11
I think it would be worth referring to some media analysis here. Also, look at the protagonists for the top 20 box office movies of 2018, and look at how many of them are white men- the vast majority. I am sure that trend will be the same into 2019. IF there is some kind of diversity compensation is some movies and shows, well guess what: it still ain't making up for how much of a honky-ass sausage fest that mainstream film and television STILL is. The make-up of main characters in mass media still does not reflect the ethnic and gender population of the US, and that isn't even talking about other classes of people such as gay or disabled people. 'Hollywood' has a long way to go before their content accurately reflects the actual diversity of Americans as a percentage of their characters.

Wayde, I get the thrust of your essay here, that is does break immersion when attempts at diversity does become ham-handed, but I think you are missing the bigger picture here.
 
davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
384
#12
It seems too many movies and shows these days are less concerned with telling stories as they are with curating a politically correct world-view.

During the final season of Game of Thrones for instance, I listened to a podcast where two media critics talked about each episode the week after it aired. One of the narrators on that podcast was Joanna Robinson, an entertainment writer for Vanity Fair, and she seems to see entertainment entirely through this lens of political correctness. For example, she took exception to the killing of Missandei on the wall of King's Landing by Cerci's henchmen, because Robinson said she "carries the burden of representation", as the only woman of color on the show. Isn't that, in itself, a racist way to look at entertainment? Will we ever evolve beyond this point?

I did a full article laying out my thoughts after seeing the recent Batwoman trailer.

Batwoman & "Woke" Hollywood — The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

View attachment 29678
I hated the killing of Missandei because she was a great character and then went totally off the charts by saying burn them. So so out of character for her. Hey its a story people and if the writers wanted to kill off anyone then so be it. That said I hated the last episode of GOT almost ruined the entire series for me.
 
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bigkrazy155

Audioholic
Ratings
70 2
#13
Why can't the industry busy itself making the best content and telling the best stories that they can figure out how without quotas? If anything, your cited metric supports a view that honkey-ass sausage fest movies with a white male protagonist dominate the box office. When I go see a movie, I give ZERO thought to the intersectionality of anyone involved (directors, actors, etc). Maybe I'm wrong, but that seems a more healthy mindset to me.
 
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gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,872 25 9
#14
I think it would be worth referring to some media analysis here. Also, look at the protagonists for the top 20 box office movies of 2018, and look at how many of them are white men- the vast majority. I am sure that trend will be the same into 2019. IF there is some kind of diversity compensation is some movies and shows, well guess what: it still ain't making up for how much of a honky-ass sausage fest that mainstream film and television STILL is. The make-up of main characters in mass media still does not reflect the ethnic and gender population of the US, and that isn't even talking about other classes of people such as gay or disabled people. 'Hollywood' has a long way to go before their content accurately reflects the actual diversity of Americans as a percentage of their characters.

Wayde, I get the thrust of your essay here, that is does break immersion when attempts at diversity does become ham-handed, but I think you are missing the bigger picture here.
I'm on the same page as Wayde here. I'm all for more diversity, but NOT at the expense of trashing well established characters just to prove a female version is "better". Wonder Woman was a very good movie and didn't rely on this tactic. Watch the Batwoman trailer and tell me that doesn't just make you cringe. Star Trek Discovery is another example of cringe to the max and again breaks down established characters to bring attention to the "Woke" ones.
 
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Hobbit

Full Audioholic
Ratings
132
#15
Got to read the article. I don't believe Hollywood is doing anything different than it ever has. They have always followed and pushed pop culture. There was a time when a single bed for married people was shocking. A black cop was ground breaking. Kirk kissing Uhura! I'm glad they pushed past that and are still pushing. Call me liberal. Let's also not forget the impact conservatives had and have on film..

The movie industry, like every other industry, main concern is the bottom line. Look at a very recent top grossing movie. So much hype before the movie even came out. People were going crazy about it a month(s) before it came out. It was like game 7 of the World Series was about to happen in your home town! I've come to the conclusion people want simple story lines. I don't mind this type of movie on occasion.

But is this any different than any other era? Just google top blockbusters from any year. Most of the top 10 movies were mindless entertainment. It is what it is and it sells.

There is some good stuff out there. Unfortunately, much of what I find that I like gets cancelled; nothing new. A lot of it you need to actually pay attention to or you lose track of what's happening. I guess it never bothered me one way or another if they had LGBT content or people of different background playing unusual roles we're not used to or whatever type of pop culture. As long as there's a good story line.
 
P

Peter4011

Audiophyte
Ratings
2
#16
If there are posts by the author somewhere about one dimensional portrayal of women in pop culture (which somehow I doubt, but send me a link and I'll read it),this might be interesting. Otherwise, it just comes across as another whiny guy.
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
782 6 13
#17
It seems too many movies and shows these days are less concerned with telling stories as they are with curating a politically correct world-view.

During the final season of Game of Thrones for instance, I listened to a podcast where two media critics talked about each episode the week after it aired. One of the narrators on that podcast was Joanna Robinson, an entertainment writer for Vanity Fair, and she seems to see entertainment entirely through this lens of political correctness. For example, she took exception to the killing of Missandei on the wall of King's Landing by Cerci's henchmen, because Robinson said she "carries the burden of representation", as the only woman of color on the show. Isn't that, in itself, a racist way to look at entertainment? Will we ever evolve beyond this point?

I did a full article laying out my thoughts after seeing the recent Batwoman trailer.

Batwoman & "Woke" Hollywood — The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

View attachment 29678
The fourth option

This is a tough subject to discuss because proponents are sanctioning only the option they preach. Any criticizing and you're immediately demoted to Trump's voter.

OTOH this would be the shortest lived subject in the history; the answer is simply; yes, it is happening and it is negative.

Here’s why it’s a fourth option; I see most of you in these:

  • Yes, but it’s good and I’m in some way liberal
  • Yes, but it’s bad and I’m in some way conservative
  • Nothing new is happening, it’s as it always was
When tackling subjects like this you have to know who you're talking to. If someone opposes because he wants women back in the kitchen just cooking and giving birth, the conversation is useless.

So here's a sentence on me; I come from the tradition of cultural studies, I marched in pride parades, I fought for causes I don't benefit from in any way, simply for the sake of the cause – the cause being people living with no judgement from others as long as they don’t harm others. Underdogs were the only people I ever fought for. It was queer, it was women, it was immigrants, ethnic/national minorities, who ever seemed like he needed help

Also, I’m a big feminist, bordering with militant and often a bigger feminist than some of my lady friends, sadly.

It turns out my feminism is just too radical and not kosher for the system.

When I start talking about subjects like these, I get in trouble with the entire spectre; from white supremacists, via Trump’s voters and Obama’s voters, all the way to woke. Or rather “woke” as there is nothing awoken in this silicon valley/liberal BS and I resent the fact that this is being labelled correct in any context; be it political or otherwise.

I also come from the tradition of media studies and held lectures in media studies, so I very much resent ShadyJ’s maverick effort of “term dropping” in order to justify this harmful trend.

I’ve been piling up material from the beginning of this century and when you say 10 out of 10 mainstream media products have men in any type of positive role, you’re 100% wrong. Until today I’ve piled up so much examples and material for what I’m saying that saying it doesn’t exist, renders you blind. It is almost non-existent this positive male role. The one and only positive role a man can get today is if he’s one of the marginalized like gay (Moonlight, Love Simon etc.) or if he is dying in order to pass the torch to a lady character (Quiet Place, Sicario 2, Star Wars etc.)

The shortest way to present my feminism; stop telling women what to be.

Completely and utterly stop telling them where you want them. Let them freely come up with something that is completely out of anything you might have imagined. Let them develop their own unique voice. And you won’t achieve this by this simple dumb formula; batman > batwoman; superman > supergirl; Mad Max > Furiosa – for this is just stuffing them in your old suits. It is what is known in feminism as a “female masquerade” and yes, you’ve guessed it right, it’s still guys who masturbate to these images like Lara Croft and others. “Give birth to my offspring and shut up” or “Get that leotard deep into your crack and jump around before my eyes” is EQUALLY bad. It’s like the difference between; “do this” and “do that”.

We once told them cook and give birth. Now we’re telling them; when in doubt act like a man. This is the “man-up lady!” era, but it’s literal, it is the eMANciaption era.

It is detrimental and I believe the time is yet to come to dismantle the consequences of this “grafting the imaginary phallus onto women for the peace of the hypocrite liberal mind”.

This is what today’s feminism is; whatever men use to do, women should do now and men should stop.

Why do I claim it’s harmful?

One of the feminist theories says we have a history of 50% percent of the voice (half of the inventions, half of the writers, half of talents) because women were pushed aside. It’s not as bad as that, because some did express themselves, but we still miss a lot.

Today it’s even worse; we’ll listen to women if what’s coming out of their mouth is formerly imagined in men’s heads. Today, it is either be quiet or talk like a man. Womanhood is being treated as something that should be erased completely.

The other reason;

It supports the patriarchal notion of men being right and neutral and the recommended model of living/behaviour. It says; men were there first, all we have to do now is introduce some women to the men’s way of life. Shove a cigar in their mouth, pour them a Scotch, stick them behind the wheel of an air-craft carrier and we won’t look as bad. IT IS NOT AS EASY.

And, guys... let me tell you... most of us here are men and some might hold this against me, but at the end of the day you gotta see we’re not all that right. With us it’s just about what we like to do and what we stubbornly persist upon even when we know we’re wrong. Forwarding the notion that even women are better when they simply act as men is utterly manlike.

This is bad. And even much worse for it is not being recognised as bad by almost anyone; not by men, not by women, or any political option. It’s only the Teabag party for all the wrong reasons.

If you want to do justice to a subject like this in a time like this, you know you’d need 200 pages, 10 years, million examples, and to endure to be despised by those you fight for. I don’t have it in me anymore.

As for the mainstream media and ShadyJ’s notion of men domination (I won’t bore you to death),here’s a small portion of it: every single movie that made some significant nickel gets redone with a woman replacing a man, from Terminator III onward; all the Star Wars, Star Trek, all the superhero movies and rumor has it Lady Bond and Lady Dr. Who are just around the corner. In the entire 21. century you can’t find one male character not being portrayed as weaker then the female character; Darth Vader and the little girl, Batman begging some little girl to spare him, Guardian of the Galaxy being weaker than the female character, Moneypeny being more of a badass in the field and shooting James Bond not to mention “M” (the lady, of course),Jack Reacher 2, Equalizer 2, the one and only role Angela Basset lately gets as a CIA big shot who lets it rip on the, “supposedly” leading male role/character, the X men with the Phoenix, Matrix, Minority Report, the BS of the new Bladerunner having some lady screaming at K’s face “you didn’t think that someone who has a penis can be the chosen one/first born “skin”...

You’ll have to take my word for it, and I know that anyone who doesn’t agree with me will jump at the opportunity to not take my word for it, but this is THE ONLY way we’re telling our stories lately. We have men; bums, useless, dumb, insensitive, failures, not getting with the times, bad fathers, serial killers, weaker, less competent OOOOOR; they’re good if they’re crying, they are gay, they are one of the minorities, somehow marginalised, somehow effeminate etc.

We have women who are; tough, badass, never cry, successful, beautiful unsung mothers, emotionally more mature without exception, who beat their male counterparts at every game, who are better at everything, better detectives, better pilots, better doctors OOOOOOOR; we have the ones whose farts even smell beautifully, who are always noble at being violent or being violent for noble reasons, who are serial killers every now and then just to shove it up your throat that they can do that and better than men, they only make mistakes because men made them make mistakes or it’s their fathers to blame, who are spared by scriptwriters to the extent of just being stupid-obvious.

Now, being serious about this subject; you could tell me why I’m wrong and why, perhaps some of you see how this will all be beneficial in the long run, but please don’t tell me; it’s not there; you’re imagining it; you’re a Trump voter; you’re too conservative; you’re misogynist; you’re afraid; it’s feminism; it freshens up the mainstream etc.
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
782 6 13
#18
Here's an official dare; find one media product (a movie, a series, cartoon, anything) dating from this century where men are not being portrayed as somehow inferior to women but at the same time let it not be something Trump would like. Is there such a thing?
 
Kvn_Walker

Kvn_Walker

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
417
#19
Why can't the industry busy itself making the best content and telling the best stories that they can figure out how without quotas? If anything, your cited metric supports a view that honkey-ass sausage fest movies with a white male protagonist dominate the box office. When I go see a movie, I give ZERO thought to the intersectionality of anyone involved (directors, actors, etc). Maybe I'm wrong, but that seems a more healthy mindset to me.
I really didn't catch the Bird Box casting thing. The movie was too busy being a C- ripoff of "Quiet Place" that its political correctness never reached my analytical regions :D. I usually don't even notice "wokeness" unless:

  • it's a remake with known established characters replaced by a "diversity crew" (2016 Ghostbusters for example)
  • the director/producer throws their politics in your face (Captain Marvel's "Earth is a shithole planet" comment which was directed at Trump)
I'm a minority, I'm liberal (but not progressive),but I watch fictional media as an escape from the real-life world. I don't need the politics of the day thrown in my face, unless I purposely indulge in programming knowing it has a particular bent or message.

The last Jedi drew a lot of ire from folks who felt it was a statement that only women can get poop done, but for me it was annoying because they wasted 1/3 of the film rescuing alien kangaroos.

I haven't even watched season 8 of Game of Thrones yet, but for 7 seasons the show's unofficial motto is "everybody dies." So why the hell is there internet outrage over one character's death? That she even made it to Season 8 is a major accomplishment!

What we're reached, is a era in our society where people actively look for reasons to be offended, and sometimes they find reasons where none actually exist. I see it on the right and the left. No longer can people be content with things they see and hear; some grand conspiracy has to be behind even the smallest of coincidences, and any intentional "statement" made by a public figure causes the whole damn internet to blow up.
 
Kvn_Walker

Kvn_Walker

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
417
#20
I love killdozer's point. There's a lot of things annoying about Hollywood, past and present. My brothers and I used to joke how "the black guy" (was there ever more than one?) always died first in 80's horror movies. So along comes Leviathan, and breaks the trend by letting "the black guy" escape the undersea base, make it to the surface to be rescued along with 2 others...

...and the damn monster swims 25,000 feet to the surface of the ocean to kill him, before being blown up by "the white guy". Ugh. But now, as recompense, we get indestructible rappers in movies, which is somehow viewed as progress. I mean seriously, how often does a rapper die in a film? Shot, blown up, eaten by a great white shark (Deep Blue Sea, really?) and they keep ticking like a Timex.

I feel like modern liberal Hollywood is overcompensating for the sins of yesteryear's "white good, black bad, women wallpaper" Hollywood. But we don't need apologist programming. Just make movies new and original and stop trying to tell the audience what to think.
 

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