I debated whether or not to share my thoughts on this issue. However, after the latest box office bomb, Charlie’s Angels, I could no longer hold my tongue. The people have a right to know! Hollywood is sick y’all, like for real. The illness plaguing the industry right now is sociopolitics. Heavy-handed, so-called feminist, wanna-be-woke, exploitative politics. Let me explain.
This first came to my attention in DC’s television series Supergirl. I began hearing lines and plot points that mirrored my reality too closely. In Supergirl S02E16, there’s a scene where a character named Rhea says, “And to find you. So that we might return, now that the atmosphere is hospitable. To make Daxam great again.” Opposite from her Mon-El replies, “Daxam was never great.” I read and watch comics because it is a form of escapism for me. I think that’s why most people go to the theater.
It pisses me off to see our current President spewing hate and tearing families apart. Then I have to turn on my TV just to see an imitation of him doing the same thing. How exhausting! Call me an old man but I miss watching cartoons chase each other down and inflict animated violence on one another. Or even simpler, bad guy does bad thing, good guy stops him. Hooray, the end. Propaganda is no longer subtle but smack dab the central narrative of television and film these days.
Most people have some type of streaming service or know someone who does. There’s a ton of original content out there from Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and even YouTube. As more streaming options become available, these giants have launched initiatives to hire more independent creators, some who are people of color. This is a good thing. This is how you tell stories from new and different perspectives.
Now that we’ve discussed how to properly be inclusive, let’s talk about how you don’t. Let’s expand on our earlier topic of Charlie’s Angels (2019). Written, directed, produced, and starred in by Elizabeth Banks. I knew this thing was going to stink. The trailer was weak, advertised not by the plot but by Ariana Grande’s new hit song Don’t Call Me Angel. My sixth sense was correct as it only made $8.6 million (domestic) opening weekend. The budget to make it is estimated to be $48-58 million budget.
As reported by Complex, Banks said, “Look, people have to buy tickets to this movie, too. This movie has to make money,” she said. “If this movie doesn’t make money it reinforces a stereotype in Hollywood that men don’t go see women do action movies.” She then goes on to criticize comic book movies. Then doubles down by attributing successes like Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel to “male genres.” People did not support Banks’ movie because they knew it was hot doo-doo. It was not because they’re misogynist right-wing supporters or cis-heterosexual males.
Casting female led projects is not feminist. Filling a minority checklist is not being inclusive. Having White writers tell stories of other ethnic groups is not genuine. Rebooting movies to cash in on nostalgia is bogus. Adapting traumatic events is exploitative. STOP doing that. It is sick! The public has proven that they will show up to support new things.
There was an agenda to portray Joker as a sympathy film for Incels that would incite a theater shooting. Nothing happened. It went on to become the highest grossing comic book film with over $1 billion world-wide. Meanwhile, JoJo Rabbit, a movie about a Nazi kid with Adolph Hitler as an imaginary friend receives critical acclaim and awards. There’s something wrong with this picture. Hollywood needs to produce new content. Nothing is gained by shaming fans. It only pushes them away.