Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

How Woke Politics Destroyed Movies And Brought Down Hollywood

woke movies
woke movies

Is There A Woke Wave In Cinemas Killing Hollywood Movies?

The term woke movies is something that we hear all the time. In many’s eyes, Wokeness and entertainment are synonymous and have become a box office killer. However, are fans correct? Is this political insertion why many films fail to make strides in Hollywood? Over the last few years, many franchises have replaced beloved heroes in the name of diversity and inclusion. 2016 Ghost Busters saw a beloved franchise led by Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Ivan Reitman, and Harold Ramis replaced by an all-SNL female-led cast. Disney made a big deal about the casting of Daisy Ridley‘s in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

They paraded John Boyega on every poster until China asked them to shrink him. Movies like Lightyear, starring Chris Pratt, were celebrated for featuring a gay kiss. The media loved Terminator: Dark Fate and how it was turned into a female empowerment story. There are worse examples, but these are to name a few. As always, there are two sides to every story. While I will focus on my opinions, it is essential to note that not everyone is against wokeness. Some highlight the importance of social awareness and how it can change the audience’s perspective.

The Woke Movie Outrage Begins.

We can point to many moments when the so-called woke politics in movies began. There is one particular moment that stands out to many. In 2012, Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. At the time, the purchase made sense. It was like George Lucas was done with Indiana Jones and Star Wars. He did everything he could with the characters; it was time for someone new to take over the reins. Enter Kathleen Kennedy. She took Star Wars and decided to put a chick in it, but did not make her gay. In the beginning, the hype was real. Disney released three sequels.

Woke Movies and Star Wars
Woke Movies and Star Wars

First, we saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The movie starred Daisy Ridley but also brought back beloved heroes, Harrison Ford, who played Hans Solo, and Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamil. It was a massive success at the box office, bringing in $2.06 billion. Star Wars: The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker followed. However, it was not long before fans started to call out casting choices, claiming that Disney intentionally used diversity to push an agenda.

Instead of ignoring the backlash, Kathleen Kennedy and others within the media went on the offensive. Anyone who had anything negative to say about the movie was immediately labeled racist and sexist. Just like that, the culture and identity war began. For many, it was the beginning of the end, and fans started to turn on Kathleen Kennedy.

Why The Media Is So Obsessed With Woke Movies

The media’s obsession with woke movies goes back some time. Although I can argue that there has since risen a counter-culture dedicated to calling everything woke, most mainstream outlets still salivate at the thought of a woke movie. Critics have heavily praised TV shows such as Dear White People—the premise of the show centers around the racism that students face daily. While audiences were divided, critics fell over each other to defend the series and the movie. When John Boyega became a stormtrooper with a face, fans quickly called out the plot, stating that it did not make sense.

Woke movies equals Disney Movies
Woke movies equals Disney Movies

The media was even faster to call everyone racist. There, indeed, were racists. This fact does not blind me. Certain people have complete breakdowns at the thought of a woman or black person in a leading role. These people deserve to be called out. It is also not a tiny percentage like many want to claim. However, painting all criticism in this light will hurt your cause. For most mainstream outlets, it comes down to profits. They will do so if they can milk their audience for money. They will pander with a black stormtrooper and shrink him at China’s request.

However, some are obsessed with wokeness. You have political activists who enter entertainment spaces and will push their agenda off on the audience. I would argue that the media is not obsessed with woke content. They go where they feel the money is or where they think it might be.

Why The Audience Dispise Wokeness

For many, wokeness is a narcissistic self-insertion of identity politics. No one likes to be spoken down to. Many movies with Woke themes have a strong social message; even in cases where the intention is good, it can still come across as preaching. There is a wide range of political and social opinions in the world. Covering a topic with a slant in a specific direction is fine. Everyone has the freedom to express themselves in such a way. However, it is not enough to cover these woke politics in most cases. The people who make these movies will also insist that you prescribe to their ideology. If you don’t, it is because you are a terrible person.

Not to be this guy, but it goes both ways. It is not only woke liberals who force their ideology on people. Some are quick to say life and let life go until there is a gay person or woman who wants an abortion. Whoever, these are real-life issues that are complicated. We are talking about movies. The audience will always kick back against political correctness. Most people are not politically or socially inclined. They want to switch off and enjoy a series. While people do not mind thinking, they do mind being preached to by rich Hollywood weirdos who are out of touch.

How Dear White People Divided A Fanbase

Over the years, there have been many movies that have divided fans. Few have ignited as much online debate as Dear White People. Both the series and movie were highly controversial. The film and series explore the complexities of what it is like to be black at university. The series, in particular, covered all of the buzzwords associated with woke television. Cultural appropriation, microaggressions, and systemic racism was the central theme of the series. Dear White People received heavy criticism from both sides. It was accused of playing into stereotypes instead of fighting against it.

Why people Call Dear White People A Woke Movie
Why people Call Dear White People A Woke Movie

In addition to this, the series was also accused of being racist towards white people. I do not believe this to be the case. They chose an intentionally provocative name. If the series were called the opposite, I will admit that it would have never existed. However, this debate was one of the things that made the series so profoundly controversial. The media was front and center during this debate, stoking the fire. They took every opportunity they could, devidingpeople even further. Sites like Forbes, The Verge, and The Guardian highly praised the show.

While they are well within their rights to enjoy it, provocative headlines did nothing to ease the tension. It is worth pointing out that this is what progame creator Justin Simien had in mind.

How Wokeness Can Destroy Their Agenda

When wokeness is done correctly, it can highlight important issues and quickly end in disaster. It is effortless to go from wokeness to tokenism. Diversity and inclusion can easily lead to one-dimensional characters that fail to represent important causes authentically. Wokeness in movies is designed to convey complex issues such as LGBTQ+ rights, sexism, and racism. In the wrong hands, however, these issues can become oversimplified. This leads to an unintentional downplay of essential causes. These types of woke reasons can quickly also become nothing but preaching.

While an existing audience might enjoy your preaching or pandering, a new audience who disagrees with your worldview will find it offputting. For meaningful change to happen, you must reach out to the other side and understand their perspective. While the intention behind wokeness might be genuine, the movement has long since been hijacked by bad actors solely using it for profit. Movies can shape perception. However, it does not take much to turn off an audience.

Disney Movies
Disney Movies

When your entire movie revolves around the racial or sexual identity of your lead character, you can end up hurting the group you claim to represent.

The Woke Failure Of Disney

Disney has been at the forefront of wokeness for the last few years. While many think their wokeness started with the remakes, it predates that and can be linked to LucasFilm and Star Wars. However, Disney remakes have forced this debate into overdrive. Halle Bailey’s casting as The Little Mermaid sparked mass outrage. Disney dismissed all of this as simply racists. While there were some racists, let’s not pretend that this casting fit the description of a red-headed Ariel. From there, things only got worse. However, there were also a few examples that I felt did not meet the definition of woke.

One example was the Disney Movie Strange World starring Jaboukie Young-White, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Francesca Reale. The most significant criticism of Disney is race swapping. The most prominent critics always say we do not mind diversity, but it has to be organic. If you want to make a movie underlining themes, do not destroy existing characters create new ones. This is exactly what Disney did; it was still labeled as Woke.

I have been covering the term wokeness for a while now. I will continue to do so as I think this cultural shift is fascinating. While a mass infiltration of wokeness and media outlets is playing into it, an over-correction at the other end has also occurred. The recent theme is calling everything woke and complaining about even the most minor things. Both these ends have reached an extreme, and we, as fans, are caught in the middle.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Disney Movies?Disney Movies refer to films produced by The Walt Disney Studios, encompassing various genres, including animation, live-action, and fantasy.
When did Disney start making movies?Disney started making movies with the release of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” in 1937, considered the first full-length cel-animated feature film.
Iconic Disney Animated Classics?Disney’s animated classics include timeless films like “The Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” “Cinderella,” “Frozen,” and “The Little Mermaid,” among others.
Are all Disney movies animated?No, Disney produces both animated and live-action movies, featuring blockbuster live-action films such as the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series and “Mary Poppins.”
What is the Disney Renaissance?The Disney Renaissance refers to a period from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s when Disney produced highly successful animated films, revitalizing the animation genre with movies like “The Little Mermaid” and “The Lion King.”

Table Of Information

What is Disney?The Walt Disney Company, commonly known as Disney, is a diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate.
Founding YearFounded on October 16, 1923, by Walt Disney and Roy O. Disney.
Key Divisions– Media Networks – Parks, Experiences and Products – Studio Entertainment – Direct-to-Consumer & International
Iconic Brands– Disney – Pixar – Marvel – Star Wars – National Geographic
Disney Parks Locations– Disneyland Resort (California) – Walt Disney World Resort (Florida) – Tokyo Disney Resort – Disneyland Paris – Hong Kong Disneyland Resort – Shanghai Disney Resort
Notable Animated Classics– “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” – “The Lion King” – “Beauty and the Beast” – “Aladdin” – “Frozen”
Acquired Studios– Pixar Animation Studios – Marvel Entertainment – Lucasfilm (Star Wars)
Streaming Services– Disney+ – Hulu – ESPN+
Corporate HeadquartersBurbank, California, United States
Current CEOBob Chapek (as of my last knowledge update in January 2022)
Mission Statement“To entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the iconic brands, creative minds, and innovative technologies that make ours the world’s premier entertainment company.”
Official WebsiteDisney Official Website

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