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

davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic Field Marshall
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.
Actually I think the sharks in Deep Blue Sea were supposed to be Mako's:)
 
Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
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.
I only say this because historically, I've always considered myself something of a lefty with Libertarian leanings. I'm unaccustomed to taking the side of the "right". But the older I get... I think the Overton Window has shifted on what constitutes left/right. The most alarming thing about this New Left is the authoritarian bent it seems to have. Like you pointed out, debate is healthy, if someone sees a "grey area" in any issue those concerns are valid and should be treated to respectful debate. I know abortion is a classic hot-button issue, but the ethics of the New Left seems to want to squelch any debate by invalidating any diversion in opinion. To be against abortion in any form, whether we're splitting hairs over the number of months or the classic "rape/incest", any of it, can now be branded "hate speech" or some other authoritarian tool to prevent any thoughtful debate.
 
Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
Just a swing of the ol' pendulum....
And therein lies the problem. I thought we were working on a revolution. I signed on to destroy the traditional, social-power structures. Not to simply re-arrange its actors.

If giving voice to the marginalized is nothing more than a pendulum swing, and they take their 15-minutes of momentum to simply rearrange who gets to be the aggressor, and who gets to be the victims... the same old social power structures remain unscathed. It's just tribalism.
 
Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
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.
That may be. Like I say, I hope I'm wrong.
Big-Media is still a business and nothing with a budget is created without some market research into who will buy the tickets and who will pay to download/stream. I'm simply dismayed that "diversity" has, only mostly I think, become another flashy style, a flavour of the day with obligatory hooks in the service of communicating "wokeness" rather than actually telling the stories of real struggles and real injustice in our world.

I'm disappointed in the new Twilight Zone, I like the previous work of Jordan Peele. I get that his TZ is meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek with its exaggerated characters. But it would have been nice to see a story that hooks you in, where the viewer thinks their cheering for the right characters, but a subconscious bias in the viewer is exposed in the twist ending. That would be clever writing. Perhaps impossible.
 
Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
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”.
I think that's a huge point! I've been trying to express this in a way, with my thought that diversity in Hollywood, honestly isn't going far enough because it often seems content to simply rejig the genders, while the role remains the same. But, as you said... in the end, it is a business.

That said there are original stories being told and there is progress. I guess it's naive to think it will be demonstrated in the flashy, pop-entertainment.
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Field Marshall
I think that's a huge point! I've been trying to express this in a way, with my thought that diversity in Hollywood, honestly isn't going far enough because it often seems content to simply rejig the genders, while the role remains the same. But, as you said... in the end, it is a business.

That said there are original stories being told and there is progress. I guess it's naive to think it will be demonstrated in the flashy, pop-entertainment.
Yep, I just don't see it as diversity, but quite the opposite; both men and women are acting like men. Perhaps I'm wrong, maybe it will do some good... maybe after a phase, women will depart on some journey of their own, doing something completely fresh and different. I just don't see it anywhere... I can't find it for the love of me. And I simply don't see something positive in molding one thing into another.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
The fourth option

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.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------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.

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.

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,
I broke this into separate sections, mainly because these are the points I'm more interested in for my reply.

WRT Hollywood's 'output', I haven't seen much more than remakes with new people and bigger, louder, more specialer special effects. If that's the best they can do, I would rather watch a live concert video or some kind of series on Amazon Prime. Some classics have been remade four times, with different names.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As to your comment about women being in the kitchen and at home- my thoughts are not from any desire to prevent anyone from doing anything, but even now, kids who have a stay-at-home mom often turn out better than kids who are passed around like a hot potato from parents to day care to nanny, to playground, to gang to constant time alone or wherever they end up. Regardless of who raises the kids, it's up to the parents to teach them how to act, give them a set of moral standards and actually participate in the kids' growth. So many times, we see that kids go off the rails and nobody saw it coming. If they had grown up with parents who were involved, and this can mean having a stay at home mom, it's likely that the events wouldn't have happened. I know some of these moms- they stay at home because they want the best for their kids but the sticky point- they do it because they can afford to and that's not possible for most because the cost of living has risen so much. However, let's look at why that cost has risen so much- want. The word 'want' has been replaced by the word 'need'. People say they need things, but it's simple want, because they see others with whatever it is that they want. Some would prefer to get it for themselves, some want life to give it to them though government mandate. Some have given up trying to make the effort to get things honestly, so they resort to "other means". The kids who have been raised by their stay at home moms are all excelling in school and are taught to be good citizens. This doesn't mean they're like some of the moms when I was a kid- they were often frustrated, abusive, some drank a lot, some didn't seem to care and most didn't get any instruction from their moms, for various reasons but they all seemed to change as soon as we were old enough to handle some amount of independence and they were able to get a job. I don't remember many who were in business, engineering/technical/medical (unless they were nurses) and having a long career wasn't in their mindset.

I think more moms could stay at home so they can prevent the problems that will come from their kids being raised by other kids and strangers but they need to reconcile their lives with/without kids or with/without that career. It would be tragic to give up on one and regret it later but it needs to be their choice, not someone at school or by society.

On a similar angle, I think schools have a lot to answer for WRT career choices- it has been known for a long time that girls do better than boys in some areas of math and science, but around puberty, the girls have been steered away from STEM and toward more domestic pursuits. Let them do what they do well and what interests them!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The best way to stop people imagining that something came from a man is to read it without knowing whose thoughts they are. Sure, some writing styles can show feminism/masculinity, but it can be a surprise to those who want to superimpose their thinking on what they read.

I know an electrical engineer who has been a stay at home mom and an architect who's a woman and has no interest in kids. Their social classes as children were very different.

IMO, women who want to act like men, like some of the ones in Congress and government in general are giving men a run for their money. It's not in their nature, but they can raise 'bad attitudes' and 'bad behavior' to unexpected heights.

People need to be more aware of their own behavior.

Who would care if Trump will like it and why?
 
Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
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.
The whole point of my article is that, what we've seen of "wokenss" trend in Hollywood *is* one-dimensional. I'm concerned that we're seeing conspicuous communications of intent, rather than substantive original stories that reveal anything unique about the struggle of any marginalized people. But perhaps that's just showbiz.

But if you'd prefer to see me as a whiny guy, that's your prerogative. Personally, I'm more concerned with listening, understanding and communicating, as opposed to insulting others. The binary tribalism of modern social & political discourse isn't for me. Sorry.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
And therein lies the problem. I thought we were working on a revolution. I signed on to destroy the traditional, social-power structures. Not to simply re-arrange its actors.

If giving voice to the marginalized is nothing more than a pendulum swing, and they take their 15-minutes of momentum to simply rearrange who gets to be the aggressor, and who gets to be the victims... the same old social power structures remain unscathed. It's just tribalism.
What revolution?
 
Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
Yep, I just don't see it as diversity, but quite the opposite;
Dude... I'm your choir over here. That is exactly what I was getting at. The trouble is that even addressing this gets you branded some kind of Incel, or displaying my white male fragility for disbelieving that anything unique or interesting is going on in the Batwoman show.

I used an analog of the Bechtel Test, the famous measure of the roles of women in fiction. While the existence of a Batwoman show may not technically fail the Bechtel Test, when the main character is re-gendered male-brand, it's not real diversity.

Now, if they would have explored Catwoman or Harley Quinn, I'd believe they were actually, perhaps being the fictional character into a feminist icon. This has been done well in the comics. However, it *is* "just a DC comics show, designed for mass consumption. But I'm buying that it's revolutionarily inclusive.

We're on pretty much the same page, killdozzer.
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Field Marshall
@highfigh I'd just rephrase that into; one good and devoted parent staying at home can make a world of a difference. I don't think it has to be the mom. I don' think women should choose between a career and parenthood and men can have it both ways. Perhaps some women would like to have a career and children and think that if we would make it more socially acceptable to see stay-at-home dads, women could have career and children.

That is my option/opinion as well.

Still, I don't see the need to make women into men or to promote that as desirable let alone the only desirable type of women.

The whole point of my article is that, what we've seen of "wokenss" trend in Hollywood *is* one-dimensional.
Yes, very one-dimensional. I find my self in trouble when people ask for some movie recommendation (and my PhD was in Theory of Cinema) even when I find some shreds of interesting script, I have a hard time recommending something where you have almost Western-like division; black and white, bad and good, men and women.

It even made me laugh once; I was watching Counterpart (TV-series), in short it's a parallel worlds thing, so all characters you get to see in two renditions - decisions and choices in one universe that made them somewhat different from the other one, and all male characters are at least tainted IN BOTH WORLDS :D:D:D if not completely bad, and all the female character are somehow exculpated and justified and that is if they're even portrayed bad to start with.

Why I'm saying this; Counterpart is not a bad idea for a TV show, but for me it is impossible for this black and white character division not to reflect upon the script and the whole idea. It ruins the whole deal.
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Field Marshall
Dude... I'm your choir over here. That is exactly what I was getting at. The trouble is that even addressing this gets you branded some kind of Incel, or displaying my white male fragility for disbelieving that anything unique or interesting is going on in the Batwoman show.

I used an analog of the Bechtel Test, the famous measure of the roles of women in fiction. While the existence of a Batwoman show may not technically fail the Bechtel Test, when the main character is re-gendered male-brand, it's not real diversity.

Now, if they would have explored Catwoman or Harley Quinn, I'd believe they were actually, perhaps being the fictional character into a feminist icon. This has been done well in the comics. However, it *is* "just a DC comics show, designed for mass consumption. But I'm buying that it's revolutionarily inclusive.

We're on pretty much the same page, killdozzer.
I find female action characters so easy to write that I don't even know why would you choose to do it with a former male character. Check Soderbergs Haywire for a genuine female action character. AND they hired a lady that trains in martial arts, she is convincing beyond most of what I saw.

And then there's the legendary Lt. Ripley; one of the best action heroes (heroines, pardon) in the mainstream cinema.

I really don't see the problem.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
I find female action characters so easy to write that I don't even know why would you choose to do it with a former male character. Check Soderbergs Haywire for a genuine female action character. AND they hired a lady that trains in martial arts, she is convincing beyond most of what I saw.

And then there's the legendary Lt. Ripley; one of the best action heroes (heroines, pardon) in the mainstream cinema.

I really don't see the problem.
Yeah, Gina Carano is a badass! Might have to try Haywire, missed that one....
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Field Marshall
Yeah, Gina Carano is a badass! Might have to try Haywire, missed that one....
It is a good movie. It does suffer from the same strict gender division; man=bad ; woman=good. But at least in this one the casting rectified a lot of those typical Hollywood movies with pretty, pretty models being cast for badass roles. If you put Haywire next to Colombiana, I think it speakes for itself.

I appreciate a lot of what Soderberg makes, so I can hardly miss anything of his. From time to time I check him out on IMDB for new titles and make sure I see them.
 
Wayde Robson

Wayde Robson

Audioholics Anchorman
Someone asked about something I might have written about female leads in the past.

This is an excerpt of something I wrote after seeing the Wonder Woman movie and how they succeeded in making her a strong female character without devolving into the "wokeness" narrative. By not doing so it is, perhaps ironically, exactly what makes the strong female lead character a legitimate standalone icon of strength unto herself. Of course, within the context of an "action movie", which is unavoidably founded in traditional male archetypes.

(June 2017)
"Case in point: There was a scene at the front during WWI, soldiers are telling her she cannot go "over the top", from the safety of the trench (yes, that's actually where the phrase "over the top" comes from) because it's "no man's land" out there which is instant death by machine gun fire.
Wonder Woman could have dealt a snarky line like ... "I am no man" or whatever, which would have been symptomatic of a story saying: "I'm female lead in a superhero movie instead of a male lead"... which would have only made the scene about "men" again. I'm so glad they didn't go there.
Instead, the story found strength in humanism and satisfactory character-building for its genre."

That's one of the common errors I see when they build "action heroes" as feminist icons, it's a mistake to deal hostile or snarky lines about their male counterpart characters in an effort to establish their individuality, which the Batwoman trailer does more than once, they only prove they're not really free from the "male" shadow.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
Here's my opinion on this. I don't really go into any movie thinking that maybe it could be "woke" or taking subtle digs at our current administration (I don't think Captain Marvel did btw, to them Earth is a poop hole compared to what they're used to).

What I want to see is what some have already said. If you want to make a bad ass female lead, just make her that and be done with it. Don't call attention to it, just make the story good. I thought Atomic Blonde did this pretty well.

Funny thing is that we watched Captain Marvel yesterday and my 5 yo daughter LOVED it. She loved Wonder Woman too. She kept saying "how did she do that" to which I replied "she's a super hero". Simple as that. Doesn't even occur to her to thing male vs. female.

I have tried very hard to not do the whole "this is for boys and this is for girls" bs that other people do. Who cares? If my son wants to dance (he's two and his sisters dance so there it is) then let him. He still wants to be Batman and play with trucks...so does his older sister.

My wife's grandmother told my middle daughter something along the lines of "that's for boys" and she replied "no it's not. Girls can do that too". Makes me thing they are actually getting the message.

The other side of this is that if big movies with white men in the lead make billions then we aren't going to stop getting those any time soon. I have no issue with that just because if it's a good movie, then who cares?

On the flip side making super hero movies about women is fine, unless you change them to women for the sake of doing it to please some odd faction that thinks batman could be a woman (his name is literally batman so I'm not sure how that's confusing). If done correctly it could be very good, but it won't be for reasons laid out in the article. They're trying too hard and when it's old white men trying to change typical man roles into woman roles, we get garbage.

Weird that Wonder Woman (see, it's supposed to be a woman, not wonder man) was written by a woman and it was just a good movie that didn't seem to try to push an agenda. Was that so hard?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
Just saw the trailer, wow. May have seen it already as it was a 2011 movie but time to see it again.
At first I thought I'd seen it but looking thru the previews on imdb, it turned out I hadn't....so its now in the Netflix queue (disc).
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Audioholic Slumlord
At first I thought I'd seen it but looking thru the previews on imdb, it turned out I hadn't....so its now in the Netflix queue (disc).
Yes, saw that but not available to stream. :rolleyes:
 

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