Over the past few years, there has been much debate about wokeness in film, television, and other forms of entertainment. Indeed, progressives have managed to bring the industry to a point where companies appear to fear the wrath of the Woke Sanhedrin and Cancel Culture Community if they don’t inject the requisite level of far-leftist ideas into their productions.
The result was an abundance of movies, shows, comic books, and other mediums that spent more time preaching at the audience and telling them how horrible they are than actually telling entertaining stories. Left-wing politics became a staple in entertainment.
But it wasn’t just the constant preaching that resulted from this shift. Not content to merely have their values inculcated to the masses through entertainment, progressives also embarked on a full-on campaign to diminish – or even eliminate – voices expressing views of which they did not approve.
Remember their numerous attempts to cancel comedian Dave Chappelle? Despite their constant failures to ruin his career, they persisted in trying to tell the rest of the nation what they should and shouldn’t be allowed to watch instead of just refusing to consume content they found offensive.
But now, the tide is changing.
There is a backlash to the level of wokeness being promoted by the entertainment industry, and people are looking for alternatives. Some companies are beginning to back away from wokeism and realizing they the progressive crowd’s bark is worse than its bite.
To put it simply, the free market is working against the hard left.
Earlier this year, streaming television provider Netflix bucked the progressive crowd during yet another effort to persuade the company to cut ties with Chappelle. In a “culture memo” sent to employees, the organization’s leadership affirmed its relationship with the comedian and even did a corporate version of “if you don’t like it, don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.”
“Not everyone will like – or agree with – everything on our service,” the memo read. “While every title is different, we approach them based on the same set of principles: we support the artistic expression of the creators we choose to work with; we program for a diversity of audiences and tastes. We let viewers decide what’s appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices. As employees, we support the principle that Netflix offers a diversity of stories, even if we find some titles counter to our own personal values.”
“Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful,” the company added. “If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.”
But they did not stop there.
Shortly after, the company fired hundreds of employees who were working on a “woke” project ostensibly intended to prompt conversations on race and LGBTQ issues.
“A total of 150 recruitment workers were fired, as well as another 70 animators, and 70 contractors working on promotional materials for the firm including social media and publishing,” according to The Daily Mail.
Even in the world of comic books, consumers are being given an alternative to the wokeness DC and Marvel are foisting upon their readers. DC recently had to cancel its series featuring a gay Superman. Why? Because nobody wanted to read that preachy progressive schlock. Check out RedState’s Brandon Morse’s take on the matter:
As Morse indicated, the issue was the fact that the comic focused more on lecturing the audience about LGBTQ issues, climate change, and other far-leftist ideas. It’s not as if comics haven’t had characters who are members of the LGBTQ community in the past. The difference is that the focus was their stories, not telling us how homophobic we are.
Libertarian commentator and musician Eric July, having grown weary of the woke agenda in the world of comics, decided to create his own company called the Rippaverse, which released its first issue a few months ago. It flew off the shelves and is now on backorder. They have sold so many copies, I placed my order last week and probably won’t receive it until next month.
To put it simply, there is apparently a market for non-woke comics.
I expect to see more of this in the entertainment industry. The hyperfocus on hard left-wing politics is going to create parallel markets that actually give people what they want: Entertainment instead of commentary.
This means people will have more choices. If an individual likes the woke stuff, they can still buy it – even though it is diminishing, wokeness isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. However, if one wants their movies free of politics, one can choose productions like Top Gun: Maverick, which did an excellent job of creating a diverse set of characters without lecturing us on how racist and sexist we are.
In the end, I believe the non-woke material will win out. Progressive leftists make up a small percentage of the population. Most people are not enthralled with seeing their ideology everywhere. This is a problem that the free market will solve – and it won’t take as long as we might think.