If Hollywood dies…it dies.
If it does die, then it will have no one to blame but itself.
Politics has so invaded America’s primary source of entertainment that it’s become a sad shadow of its former self. For the establishment, the art of filmmaking has taken a backseat to messaging and political activism. Award shows are so dosed with ideological grandstanding and virtue signaling that they’ve become ignorable events when they were once nights that people cleared their schedules to watch.
It’s not just gotten too political for the viewer. Even the artist has become somewhat disillusioned. American Sniper star Bradley Cooper noted that he became wiser to the nature of those doling out awards after he lost “Best Director” for the movie “A Star Is Born.”
Now, the same academy that tells cast and crew that they did an excellent job have told the cast and crew of Hollywood films that all of their artistic vision and talent mean nothing unless their films were made with inclusion in mind.
According to the LA Times, the academy will send out monitors to make sure the film you’re making has representation of every kind. If not, it won’t be considered for on Oscar:
Developed over the past few months by a special task force as part of the organization’s Academy Aperture 2025 initiative, the standards encompass both representation onscreen — in the types of stories being told and the actors involved — as well as behind the scenes in the makeup of the crew and in the inclusivity of the companies involved.
To be eligible for best picture, a film must meet at least two standards across four categories: “Onscreen Representation, Themes and Narratives,” “Creative Leadership and Project Team,” “Industry Access and Opportunities” and “Audience Development.” Within each category are a variety of criteria involving the inclusion of people in underrepresented groups, including women, people of color, LGBTQ+ people and those with cognitive or physical disabilities. (Other Oscar categories will not be held to these same standards, but the contenders for best picture typically filter down to other feature-length categories.)
Previously, the only standards to qualify for best picture involved a film’s running time (over 40 minutes) and specifics about how, where and when it’s screened in a public venue.
The new standards will not go into effect until the 96th Oscars in 2024. But at a time of racial reckoning both for Hollywood and the nation as a whole, the academy believes the requirements provide a road map for how the industry can ensure that at least those films that compete for its highest honor reflect the diversity of the moviegoing audience and the wider world.
This isn’t a focus on art, talent, and storytelling. This is a focus on creating propaganda.
What’s the point of Hollywood if all it’s going to create is propaganda that only a small amount of people are truly going to appreciate? Trust me when I say that these small groups of people are just the political ideologues looking for this kind of thing in their films.
People of every stripe want good storytelling, talent, and entertainment value. A white man is going to look at a film for its entertainment value just as much as a black woman is, and to assume the black woman will like a movie better just because a black woman was in it, or helped make it, is a bit off the mark…by a lot.
I think Hollywood needs to find itself in the same position our media did. I think independent companies, actors, and crew members should begin doing what citizen journalists did to CNN and MSNBC.
The importance of creativity has clearly been abandoned by the establishment but there are still people out there who want to tell a good story. Special effects and camera work is now something that someone can do from home if they’re dedicated enough.
Hollywood’s time has passed. Let the age of the independent filmmaker begin.