Liberal Maureen Dowd, one of the New York Times’ most notable columnists, and major Trump denouncer, recently took to her own allies and friends with a devastating OpEd against the Liberal Hollywood elites, their annual awards celebration, the Oscars, and the rapid decline in worldwide popularity that is sinking America’s once prestigious film industry.
The title of the OpEd, ‘Crushed Dream Factory,’ notes the scant popularity of Hollywood after nearly a decade of sexual assault allegations from studio moguls, the endless virtue-signal from Hollywood elites around identity politics that they themselves do not ascribe by (think ‘college admission scandals and Felicity Huffman), or the still rampant exclusion of women and minorities when it comes to overall screen time. All this coming from an industry where the celebrity performers elevate themselves as beacons of moral authority and high-minded intellectualism.
In the final line of the OpEd, Dowd quotes the contradiction at the heart of Hollywood in the words of one particular elite: “The dominant impulse of filmmakers now,” he concluded, “is to show you stories and truths that Hollywood has obscured.”
Dowd interviews other Hollywood elites who seem to suggest that Hollywood is descending into a pit of avant-gardist quackery. An entertainment industry once known to appeal to universal truths and the American general public, including American values, now spends most of its time celebrating avant-gardist films that receive little popular attention.
These movies, still bastions of racial and gender exclusion, are heralded by an industry that has long lost touch with reality and the wants and needs of the American worker, or for that matter, workers across the world who turn to film for entertainment not moral lessons or virtue-signaling.
I cannot help but recall the infamous treatment of Native American leader Sacheen Littlefeather and Marlon Brando after Brando gave his Oscar acceptance speech in support of Native American on-screen awareness.
Sacheen Littlefeather, President of the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee, at the time, gave a stunning rebuke of Hollywood, and specifically, Hollywood’s negative treatment of Native Americans on-screen. Both Ms. Littlefeather and Brando were blackballed after this speech was made by Littlefeather, a permanent stain on Hollywood’s endless virtue-signals that many prominent actors and actresses still do not fully acknowledge about their industry’s legacy.
These same avant-gardists, who once blackballed one of the greatest actors in American history, Marlon Brando, are now threatening to collapse one of America’s most prominent industries in the face of a Chinese propaganda machine that will not stop until everybody is watching historical ‘biopics’ about Vladimir Lenin or Mao Zedong. We cannot let avant-gardist quacker ruin a once great industry!
Hollywood has been, for too long, a bastion of deviant behavior. It is simple, coinciding with the avant-garde is an industry that has lost site of the popular values of Middle America, and who sees filmmaking success as simply pushing the envelope or making artistic statements, not telling quality stories or showcasing modern filmmaking magic through technology. To succeed in ‘Hollywood’ nowadays simply means to release a provocative piece of content that draws click-bait impressions, not a genuine piece of entertainment that makes all project team members proud.
For example, winning an Oscar now simply implies that a film has virtue-signaled in a louder or more provocative way than their peers. The standards of what defines great filmmaking has been lost, and as Down rightfully showcases, most people do not know anymore what films have been nominated for an Oscar and they certainly do not, like before, rush out to view movies that have been nominated.
The preachy virtue-signaling from Hollywood must end. It seems like each month there is a new Hollywood scandal of systematic abuse being covered up by the same elite liberals that bemoan constantly how Republican values are threatening the United States or the world. Most recently, it was Joss Whedon, who benefited from a network of people who covered up his predation against women, including many male co-stars who never spoke out against the alleged crimes. And, of course, we all remember Harvey Weinstein’s decades long perversions against women.
Why has Hollywood gone so off course?
As Dowd notes, the chasm between Hollywood and Middle America widens more and more each year. Hollywood has become a small community of exceedingly wealthy and privileged celebrities who are losing touch with the values of Middle America. Why has Hollywood not denounced the Chinese Communist Party of China, for example, why has Disney been so reluctant to decouple their entertainment and media supply chains with this genocidal regime when the American general public wants nothing more than to reaffirm American democratic-republicanism in the face of communism?
History bears all-too-often the lessons of corporations who do not heed the political warnings of those defending freedom and democracy against tyranny. For example, Nazi Germany is filled with permanently stained corporations that allied themselves with the Socialist regime of Adolph Hitler. Dowd is very right to question the moral corruption stemming from Hollywood because it is this same moral corruption that leads to entire industries siding with genocidal tyranny.
Dowd writes: “Sex, glamour, excitement and mystery are relics of a bygone era. Hollywood is now focused on worthy, relevant, socially conscious and lugubrious.” For the uninitiated, lugubrious means, “mournful, dismal, or gloomy, especially to an exaggerated or ludicrous degree. Characterized by or expressing mourning or sorrow; mournful; doleful; funereal… .” Yes, funereal is an apt way to describe the death of Hollywood.