What is one sure way to repair lagging ticket sales? How about alienating one half of your audience?
Hollywood has no shortage of social ills that it is involved with as an industry. They also love to complain about societal issues while ignoring their own problems. For a group of pampered and famous millionaires, they sure seem to find a lot to complain about from their 1%-perch.
They carp about racism while exposed with “Oscars So White” hypocrisy. They rail against sexism while coddling predators like Harvey Weinstein and Roman Polanski for years. They claim to want to keep jobs in the U.S. while farming out production work to Canada and the Orient. They even laughably were complaining about free speech and being silenced, while lecturing from an Academy Awards podium to an audience of millions.
It is amazing how people who spend so much time staring in a mirror can at the same time be so un-self-aware.
The latest complaint arrives courtesy of Deadline.com, and it may be the best. There are way too many films with men in the cast! According to writer Michael Cieply, “The Movie Man-Wave is Here”! This will undoubtedly come as a shock to anyone…who has never seen a film.
“Heads-up,” warns Mr. Cieply, “the long-expected man-wave is breaking in and around the film awards season.” This was expected to happen? An industry dominated by men for generations was “suddenly” expected to — have more men in film?? Apparent Mike saw a billboard the other day, and he, as a man (male) was triggered.
Those who keep an eye on film festivals and release schedules could see the weather buoys bobbing months ago. Still, it was a jolt to spot that Ford v Ferrari billboard on Lincoln Blvd. the other day, with its tanned, taut images of Matt Damon and Christian Bale, jaws set, dark glasses in place, staring down from a place that not so long ago was inhabited by Brie Larson and her Unicorn Store.
Now, I’m no mathematician, but a billboard that once had a female property now displaying a male-centric film is working a 50/50 split, which hews pretty close to the norm for those of us who still adhere to biological binary designations.
What has Mr. Cieply so distraught are two particular films set to be released. The first, as mentioned, is “Ford v. Ferrari”, set in the world of Formula-1 racing. The other is “Midway”, the retelling of the famous World War 2 attack, directed by Roland Emmerich. (My stars, ANOTHER male!) That these films are set on real-life events, thus reflecting real-life environments that were/are dominated by men, is seemingly lost on this concerned writer.
Also brought up is another Oscar contender, ‘’Once Upon A Time in Hollywood’’, another period piece with a story actually centered on men. Of course Cieply, as a writer in the entertainment industry, has to overlook many facts inside the industry he covers. For one, ‘’Ford v. Ferrari’’ has been in the making for at least a decade, well ahead of the current woke attitude towards more women in the business.
The other detail Cieply misses; there is a slew of female-driven titles out, or about to be released. How about the newest telling of ‘’Little Women’’? Care to hazard a guess what the film is about? “Bombshell” will be detailing the sex abuse scandal that rocked Fox News, and all of the hype is how great the actresses perform in that biopic.
Then there is Rene Zelwegger in “Judy”, about the life of Judy Garland. “Harriet” finally gives due to the life of Harriet Tubman. While not Oscar bait, there is the reboot of “Charlie’s Angels”, and if we are reaching back to “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” then you have to ignore the raved-about hit “Hustlers”, with an all-female star turn. Even the new “Star Wars” and “Terminator” titles have females at the top of the cast list.
Look, no one is pretending that the sausage factory that is the Hollywood studio system is completely repaired, but to pretend the current crop of films and awards-season hopefuls are uniquely male-driven at the moment is ignorant of the actual landscape.
Dare I say it, it seems the assessment of an entertainment writer who is being quite melodramatic.