Is Woke Culture Hurting Hollywood: Hollywood is known for being a progressive and liberal industry, but in recent years, it has also become increasingly woke. Woke culture is a term that refers to the awareness and activism around social justice issues, such as racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and more. Woke culture aims to challenge the status quo and promote diversity and inclusion in all aspects of society.
Reasons to think Woke Culture is Hurting Hollywood
Critics argue that woke culture is hurting Hollywood, both creatively and commercially. They claim that woke culture is imposing a rigid and ideological agenda on the entertainment industry, stifling artistic expression and alienating audiences.
- The decline of the Oscars: The Oscars, the most prestigious awards in the film industry, have seen a dramatic drop in viewership and ratings in recent years. Some attribute this to the Oscars becoming too political and preachy, pushing a woke agenda that does not resonate with the majority of the viewers. For instance, the 2020 Oscars had the lowest ratings ever, with only 23.6 million viewers, a 20% decrease from the previous year.
- The backlash of the Star Wars sequel trilogy: The Star Wars franchise, one of the most beloved and successful in cinema history, faced a lot of criticism and controversy for its sequel trilogy, which concluded in 2019 with The Rise of Skywalker. Many fans and critics accused the trilogy of being too woke, pandering to a diverse and feminist audience, and ruining the legacy of the original characters.
- The failure of the woke remakes and reboots: Hollywood has been producing a lot of remakes and reboots of classic movies and shows, often with a woke twist. However, many of these projects have failed to impress the critics and the audiences, and have been accused of being lazy, unoriginal, and agenda-driven. For instance, the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot, which featured an all-female cast, was widely panned for being unfunny, poorly written, and disrespectful to the original.
These are just some of the examples of how woke culture is hurting Hollywood, according to its critics. They argue that Hollywood should focus more on telling good stories, rather than pushing a social justice agenda. They are tired of being lectured and patronized by the woke elites.
How this is helping Hollywood
However, not everyone agrees that woke culture is hurting Hollywood. They claim that woke culture is enriching the entertainment industry, by bringing more diversity and representation.
- The success of the Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians: Two of the most acclaimed and profitable movies of 2018 were Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians, both of which featured predominantly non-white casts and celebrated their respective cultures. Black Panther, the first superhero movie with a black lead, was hailed as a cultural phenomenon and a milestone for representation. It grossed over $1.3 billion worldwide, making it the ninth highest-grossing movie of all time. Crazy Rich Asians, the first Hollywood movie with an all-Asian cast in 25 years, was praised for its romantic comedy and its portrayal of Asian culture. It grossed over $238 million worldwide.
- The popularity of the streaming platforms: The streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Disney+, have been dominating the entertainment industry, especially during the pandemic, when the theaters were closed or limited. The streaming platforms have been offering a wide variety of content, catering to different tastes and preferences, and often featuring diverse and inclusive stories and characters. For example, Netflix has produced and distributed many acclaimed and popular shows and movies, such as The Queen’s Gambit, The Crown, The Irishman, and more, which have attracted millions of viewers and earned numerous awards and nominations.
- The rise of the female and minority filmmakers: Hollywood has been witnessing a surge of female and minority filmmakers, who have been breaking barriers and making history in the industry. For example, in 2020, Chloe Zhao became the first woman of color and the second woman ever to win the Oscar for Best Director, for her movie Nomadland, which also won the Best Picture and the Best Actress awards.
Woke culture is a controversial and divisive topic in Hollywood, with both critics and defenders making their arguments. Whether woke culture is hurting or helping Hollywood is a matter of perspective and opinion, and there is no definitive answer. However, one thing is certain: woke culture is changing Hollywood, and Hollywood is changing the world.