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

R

randyb

Full Audioholic
Ratings
182 1
#42
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.
I think there is a move by the left to a more extreme position, but I think it is a reaction to the the ascension of right wing authoritarian leaders in many countries. I don’t know where it leads but if I wasn’t old, I would be worried. Both sides seem to be moving to more extreme positions. The state I am in (Missouri) just passed (and was signed by the governor) an extreme abortion law like GA. It seems to me you are saying, an extreme law passed on one side can only be met by polite debate on the other. Personally, I see further movement to the right world wide at least for the foreseeable future. We shall see.

As far as Hollywood goes, they don’t make the laws. I personally just don’t get that worked up over it.
 
Last edited:
B

bigkrazy155

Audioholic
Ratings
70 2
#43
I think there is a move by the left to a more extreme position, but I think it is a reaction to the the ascension of right wing authoritarian leaders in many countries. I don’t know where it leads but if I wasn’t old, I would be worried. Both sides seem to be moving to more extreme positions. The state I am in (Missouri) just passed (and was signed by the governor) an extreme abortion law like GA. It seems to me you are saying, an extreme law passed on one side can only be met by polite debate on the other. Personally, I see further movement to the right world wide at least for the foreseeable future. We shall see.

As far as Hollywood goes, they don’t make the laws. I personally just don’t get that worked up over it.
I don't mean to suggest you did so on purpose, but you have conflated the world wide right with the American right. On the world stage, the right does have a tendency toward authoritarianism and in some cases racism. In the US, the right are the conservatives, who seek to conserve founding US constitutional principles. This is why the right in America are not authoritarian.
 
JohnBooty

JohnBooty

Enthusiast
Ratings
18
#44
If you have friends who are female and/or people of color and/or gay you know how freakin' cool and inspiring it is for them to see people on the screen who look like them.

I'm the whitest straightest guy ever, but I've always had a pretty diverse cast of characters as my friends. I'm psyched for them.

Conspicuous displays of a character's sexuality is not the same thing as character development. It is what author John Semley calls "wokeness as preformative", alleging that it is pretentious, didactic and even insulting. This is what woke Hollywood gets wrong, instead of subverting our biases to communicate human truths about diverse characters, it commoditizes their diversity.
You've cited a lot of genre works: superhero shows, superhero movies, horror movies, etc. Are many of the examples you cited artistically lacking in exactly the ways you described? Sure.

But it's not like the exclusively male and heterosexual versions of these same works tended to be artistic masterpieces either. It's not like pre-"woke" versions of Batman, Batwoman, etc were masterpieces. An entire generation of action movie stars (Schwartzeneggar, Stallone, etc.) made decades of movies starring white dudes who didn't do much more than sweat, grunt, blow things up, and spout one-liners. These characters did not exhibit character development, or insightful examinations of what it means to be white or male.

More recently, the Harry Potter franchise is one that managed to devote several thousand pages and close to ten hours of screen time towards a cast of white, hetereosexual (at least in the text, not counting metatext such as JK's tweets) characters who (with one possible exception) did not evolve in any meaningful way, and certainly did not examine their whiteness or anything else besides how to solve the next puzzle.

So why hold these newer and more diversely-cast movies to a different standard?

Many viewers have been alarmed by the implied hostility toward the new hero’s namesake, a consequence of the need to feed from an established brand instead of telling a new story. Based on the trailer, the new Batwoman seems to assume that crime-fighting is a zero-sum game, as if there isn’t room in Gotham for multiple bat-themed costumed crime fighters.
Superheroes have always bickered amongst each other. Next to fighting baddies, it's one of their primary pursuits. Half of the Avengers can't stand Tony Stark half of the time. Ever read a single page of X-Men? It's a soap opera up in Prof. X's mansion. Everybody hates Scott Summers because he's a high-strung alpha male with thin skin! It's high school with spandex and superpowers. Everybody hates and/or is scared of Hulk and Wolverine, at least initially. And so on, and so on. Is any of that "self-brand-hostile?"

Oh, but when Batwoman (who just happens to be female, and black) has a bone to pick with Batman now we're worried about (checks notes) ....uh, this corporation's brand integrity?

Seriously?

Something tells me you didn't have this same level of concern when Batman vs. Superman was released. An entire movie about a superpowered white guy's opposition to Batman. Or at least you didn't feel moved to write an article about it.

it appears Batwoman will be indulging grossly simplistic stereotypes dressed in a costume of edgy social commentary.
That's a *lot* to read into a very short trailer. Can you name any works that would pass this sort of test on their trailers alone?

More importantly, don't listen to me. I'm white and male and straight. My perspective matters, but there are a lot of other perspectives on these works that matter more. For example maybe start by looking into how much the Black Panther movie (to pick a more or less universally-liked example) meant to many in the black community, and why. For a hundred years Hollywood turned out entertainment created almost exclusively from a white, male, heterosexual perspective. Simply getting different faces onscreen in leading roles (and behind the camera, as well) is a very big step. It is not the ultimate step, but it's a necessary one.
 
Last edited:
JohnBooty

JohnBooty

Enthusiast
Ratings
18
#45
One last thing. If anybody ever needs an objective reality check about _________ (fill in the blank: wokeness, blackness, feminism, etc) taking over Hollywood, just check out the box office charts: https://www.imdb.com/chart/boxoffice

Currently, based on my best knowledge of these movies:
  • 80% of the movies have predominantly white stars
  • 90% of the movies have predominantly heterosexual main characters
  • 60% of the movies have predominantly male main characters

    So if you feel Hollywood's getting a little too woke for you, don't worry! It's still super white, straight, and male. I feel confident these percentages will remain roughly the same whether you look at this chart in 2019 or 2029.
 
Last edited:
RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
514 6 1
#46
Woke seems to be a new way to be boring. I think they actually bored my daughters (13 and 15) away from Supergirl.
For the most part, the girls watch what they want on their iPads.

They have also become quite eclectic in their musical tastes.
I think some of the rock and Motown in movies of late has made sunk in.
My oldest daughters favorite song right now is Nina Simone's "Feeling Good". Gotta love that.

As far as woke Hollywood, yawn, never mind, it's not worth the effort.

- Rich
 
Old Onkyo

Old Onkyo

Full Audioholic
Ratings
135 3
#47
I don't mean to suggest you did so on purpose, but you have conflated the world wide right with the American right. On the world stage, the right does have a tendency toward authoritarianism and in some cases racism. In the US, the right are the conservatives, who seek to conserve founding US constitutional principles. This is why the right in America are not authoritarian.
You mean the Constitutional principles that deemed women as second class citizens at best, and blacks sub human?
 
JohnBooty

JohnBooty

Enthusiast
Ratings
18
#48
I think the important thing to note is that much of what Hollywood turns out, no matter how diverse or not-diverse, is not going to be great.

Movies with diverse casts can be bad. They will frequently be bad. Just like movies that cater more or less exclusively to white, heterosexual males. (Full disclosure: I like a lot of those movies)

Woke seems to be a new way to be boring. I think they actually bored my daughters (13 and 15) away from Supergirl.
Great example!

DC's recent Hollywood efforts have been almost universally mediocre or worse. Supergirl was boring, eh? OK. Ever see any of the recent Superman movies? Any big fans of them here?

(crickets chirp)

Yeah, it ain't the presence of a female lead that sunk Supergirl.

They have also become quite eclectic in their musical tastes.
I think some of the rock and Motown in movies of late has made sunk in.
My oldest daughters favorite song right now is Nina Simone's "Feeling Good". Gotta love that.
This is awesome!
 
B

bigkrazy155

Audioholic
Ratings
70 2
#49
You mean the Constitutional principles that deemed women as second class citizens at best, and blacks sub human?
Yep those. The same ones used as rationale to free the slaves and elevate all women to a place of equality. The same ones that produced the freest most prosperous nation in the history of the world.
 
Old Onkyo

Old Onkyo

Full Audioholic
Ratings
135 3
#50
Yep those. The same ones used as rationale to free the slaves and elevate all women to a place of equality. The same ones that produced the freest most prosperous nation in the history of the world.
A work in progress...I guess it’s a matter of perspective.
 
davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
386
#54
Marvels Fantastic Four comics back in the day had team members arguing constantly and even coming to blows with each other. No diversity in the team except for the invisible woman but the FF did introduce the Black Panther character as well as Wyatt Wingfoot a native American. I know not very progressive by todays standards but it seemed to be back in the 60s.
 
O

ohio

Junior Audioholic
Ratings
11
#57
Some new shows and movies are being made that (from your point of view) are *trying* to make you feel bad about being straight, white, and male. Upsetting isn't it? It feels really bad. After all, you aren't a bad person. Being straight white or male doesn't make you a bad person. You know lots of people who are some or all of those things and they are good people too. So it still feels really shitty to have Hollywood portray them so simplistically, right?

Now imagine what the entire history of film and television and 80-90% of the current programming feels like to the portions of the population that aren't straight, white and/or male. The programs that to you were "driven by story" often had a story that made women, people of color, or LGBT characters into jokes and window dressing at best, and evil/stupid/primitive/lazy/lesser quite frequently. Not by design, but definitely explicitly - *if* you were sensitive to that... if you identified more with the window dressing than with the main characters. Were people being too sensitive in watching those shows and films? I don't know, are you being too sensitive now?
 
B

BaronZemo78

Audiophyte
Ratings
1
#59
I'm not a fan of "virtue signaling" and #Woke culture but this article was unnecessary and seems overly sensitive.

Complaints that white men are portrayed negatively causes articles like this yet since the history of film and TV minorities were portrayed as stereotypes. Everyone should just relax and stop being offended.

Audioholics is great site for audio and home theater content. Leave the culture war outrage to other places.
 
RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
514 6 1
#60
This may or may not be related, but it does not get better than the Deadpool opening credits.

- Rich
 

newsletter
  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis