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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Discussion of...     General Chat  ›  The Oscars Moderators: bert
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Robert Timsah
Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 12:33pm Report to Moderator
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The Oscars are plummeting for two simple reasons. The church of social justice has destroyed the films and shows it give awards for and thus, the show itself.  Most of the actors are chosen not because they can act, but you know why. We all do. It's a cult and a creepy one.

It's done horrific damage to film and story. And it's mandatory we speak out against it.


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bert
Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 6:03pm Report to Moderator
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Some of you are getting a bit out over your skis on this one, IMO.

Oscar ratings were crappy this year because there were, like, 10 films released last year and pretty much nobody saw any of them.

All of this agenda-mongering is simply the tired flip-side of the already exhausted culture war coin.


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eldave1
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Quoted from bert
Some of you are getting a bit out over your skis on this one, IMO.

Oscar ratings were crappy this year because there were, like, 10 films released last year and pretty much nobody saw any of them.

All of this agenda-mongering is simply the tired flip-side of the already exhausted culture war coin.


Yup


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Andrew
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Quoted from bert
Some of you are getting a bit out over your skis on this one, IMO.

Oscar ratings were crappy this year because there were, like, 10 films released last year and pretty much nobody saw any of them.

All of this agenda-mongering is simply the tired flip-side of the already exhausted culture war coin.


Got to disagree with you on this one, berty bert.

Surely we can all agree the awards have been overtly political in an unprecedented manner, and analysis of film includes a breakdown of representation like never before.

We can agree to disagree if it's good or bad to see film and awards go that route, and whether or not it has impacted ratings, but surely we can agree on the existence of the phenomena?


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bert
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Quoted from Andrew


Got to disagree with you on this one, berty bert.

Surely we can all agree the awards have been overtly political in an unprecedented manner, and analysis of film includes a breakdown of representation like never before.

We can agree to disagree if it's good or bad to see film and awards go that route, and whether or not it has impacted ratings, but surely we can agree on the existence of the phenomena?


Hey Andrew, we mostly do agree.  I just don't think it is anything new.

Film and art has always been this way.  You can find plenty of political stuff at Oscars past if you care to look; Brando, Chayefsky, Moore, and others.

Actors have a huge platform, and many have chosen to use it throughout the years.  I would.  And if anybody told me to shut up and act, I would politely tell them to go fuck themselves.

What is new is the former guy taking huge public offense -- treating any public declaration of decency as some kind of personal attack -- and then by extension his supporters adopt a similar stance.  So now instead of the usual background noise it is supposed to be some huge part of the cultural landscape and people have one more thing to get worked up about.

That, and "he" is the only reason "awful ratings" are a even thing. And getting into a twitter war with the vastly over-rated Meryl Streep lmao.

Now, I do think the "representation" standards are just weird, but would wager the vast majority of film watchers do not know or even care. I am still unsure what to make of this one, tbh.

But mainly, I go back to the original video. Attacking the culture warriors just makes you a different type of warrior. And all of the outrage feels as manufactured as any Hollywood offering to me.


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bert  -  May 3rd, 2021, 8:17am
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eldave1
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Quoted from Andrew


Got to disagree with you on this one, berty bert.

Surely we can all agree the awards have been overtly political in an unprecedented manner, and analysis of film includes a breakdown of representation like never before.

We can agree to disagree if it's good or bad to see film and awards go that route, and whether or not it has impacted ratings, but surely we can agree on the existence of the phenomena?


I don't think it is so much the "existence" or non-existence of the phenomenon. It's the level of angst and importance attached to it and the proposed solutions to counter it.

FOX News, right-wing radio, Breitbart, etc have been waging a culture war against the Left for decades. Ironically, most of the people getting in a tither because Actor A said Black Live Matter or because a 2nd tier quarterback dare take a knee at a football game are the same people that didn't raise an eyebrow when these same people called Obama a Kenyan born, Muslim, said our elections were rigged, labeled supporters of universal healthcare as communists, etc., etc - effing etc.

And yes - Left-wing media is guilty of the same thing.

I agree that cancel culture is bad (although on the scale of things that really matter in life - way, WAY down on the list). But what I simply cannot understand is how forbidding Actors and filmmakers from incorporating their political views in their work is not the very definition of cancel culture.  What I don't understand is why the same people who want to silence these folks are not just as concerned that Holly Hobby and Chick- Fil A are donating millions to suppress gay rights nd birth control (why can't they just effing sell crafts and chicken and keep their money to themselves!!!! How dare they screw with my arts and lunch!)

Dudes like the one making that video don't want us solving problems - they want to build their tribes. They are the type that are horrified that Clinton got a BJ but not bothered by Trump paying off a hooker. Conversely,  those horrified by Trump's dalliances are not bothered a bit by JFK's.  

Yes, we can all agree that political and social elements incorporated into filmmaking and awards shows. I think that has always been the case (somehow Jane Fonda and the anti-Viernam war activism didn't destroy the Oscars).... But your video dude was not arguing that - he was arguing that they should just shut up.  And that is where his video moves from information to just one more destructive piece of propaganda.





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Grandma Bear
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I still think my explanation of why the viewing numbers are down explains it all.  


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eldave1
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Quoted from Grandma Bear
I still think my explanation of why the viewing numbers are down explains it all.  


Indeed.


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Zack
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Quoted from eldave1


Dudes like the one making that video don't want us solving problems - they want to build their tribes.



You could make the argument that this "dude" is actually calling attention to a tribe that has already been formed.

Different perspectives.  




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Andrew
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Quoted from bert


Hey Andrew, we mostly do agree.  I just don't think it is anything new.

Film and art has always been this way.  You can find plenty of political stuff at Oscars past if you care to look; Brando, Chayefsky, Moore, and others.

Actors have a huge platform, and many have chosen to use it throughout the years.  I would.  And if anybody told me to shut up and act, I would politely tell them to go fuck themselves.

What is new is the former guy taking huge public offense -- treating any public declaration of decency as some kind of personal attack -- and then by extension his supporters adopt a similar stance.  So now instead of the usual background noise it is supposed to be some huge part of the cultural landscape and people have one more thing to get worked up about.

That, and "he" is the only reason "awful ratings" are a even thing. And getting into a twitter war with the vastly over-rated Meryl Streep lmao.

Now, I do think the "representation" standards are just weird, but would wager the vast majority of film watchers do not know or even care. I am still unsure what to make of this one, tbh.

But mainly, I go back to the original video. Attacking the culture warriors just makes you a different type of warrior. And all of the outrage feels as manufactured as any Hollywood offering to me.


Yeah, I'd say the three of us would be broadly on the same page politically, and would likely all pull the same lever at the ballot box.

I do agree that political statements at the Oscars are nothing new per se - in that they have occurred previously - but what has changed is the volume, intensity and arena. So now rather than an isolated actor coming on stage and vomiting their unsolicited opinion on a subject with peers rolling their eyes, we now have multiple winners doing it, political statements in their garments, pre-awards interviews, and wall-to-wall coverage policing for language use and presenters losing the gig for tweets years old.

That's quite different. Both in intensity and volume. I just don't think it's necessarily controversial to agree that the tone of the show is very, very different to, let's say, 5-10 years ago. And it's happened rapidly.

I don't think we get anywhere on the debate as to whether or not that has caused the ratings drop, but it's important to agree on that basic tenet so any discussion happens with a common reality. That lack of base is what hampers much political debate today: people are not even agreeing on basic facts before debating outcomes and policies.

Glad we agree on representation guidelines. It's begging for ignorant stereotypes to be written, which means bland, boring scripts. To enshrine x and y in diversity is forcing writers to clearly define a 'minority', meaning we get cookie cutters of a 'minority' (and reinforce ignorant, ironically racist belief 'minorities' are monoliths, yet whites can be diverse of thought and action), rather than fluid writing that encapsulates the actual rich diversity of individuals who happen to have a certain skin hue. Unless there are specific cultural baselines in the scripts, we should be writing compelling characters, and with the 360 degree nature of the individual, it can be played by any race.

These guidelines will give way to the absurdity that writers only write for their race and gender, and then gives way for further debasing of acting with only straight people playing straight people, etc. We have already seen this silliness, and giving people pushing these ideas an inch and they'll definitely take a mile.

It's crucial to protect the art, which we all agree on!


Quoted from eldave1


I don't think it is so much the "existence" or non-existence of the phenomenon. It's the level of angst and importance attached to it and the proposed solutions to counter it.

FOX News, right-wing radio, Breitbart, etc have been waging a culture war against the Left for decades. Ironically, most of the people getting in a tither because Actor A said Black Live Matter or because a 2nd tier quarterback dare take a knee at a football game are the same people that didn't raise an eyebrow when these same people called Obama a Kenyan born, Muslim, said our elections were rigged, labeled supporters of universal healthcare as communists, etc., etc - effing etc.

And yes - Left-wing media is guilty of the same thing.

I agree that cancel culture is bad (although on the scale of things that really matter in life - way, WAY down on the list). But what I simply cannot understand is how forbidding Actors and filmmakers from incorporating their political views in their work is not the very definition of cancel culture.  What I don't understand is why the same people who want to silence these folks are not just as concerned that Holly Hobby and Chick- Fil A are donating millions to suppress gay rights nd birth control (why can't they just effing sell crafts and chicken and keep their money to themselves!!!! How dare they screw with my arts and lunch!)

Dudes like the one making that video don't want us solving problems - they want to build their tribes. They are the type that are horrified that Clinton got a BJ but not bothered by Trump paying off a hooker. Conversely,  those horrified by Trump's dalliances are not bothered a bit by JFK's.  

Yes, we can all agree that political and social elements incorporated into filmmaking and awards shows. I think that has always been the case (somehow Jane Fonda and the anti-Viernam war activism didn't destroy the Oscars).... But your video dude was not arguing that - he was arguing that they should just shut up.  And that is where his video moves from information to just one more destructive piece of propaganda.



As I just wrote to bert, there are two discussons here:

1) Can we agree on increased politicisation and focus on representation; it's a rapid spike in politics versus years gone by
2) The merits of that and the merits of the video.

On 1) my feeling is you're reluctant to agree on it fully because it is like giving ground to the Breitbart types. I don't think agreement on obvious and in front of our eyes developments is anything but recognising reality. It's not tacit agreement with the position of another to say, yes, there's obviously an increase in politics and a focus on representation.

As for 2), The Academy is producing a show where politics is at the centre of it. The awards nominations and winners are clearly influenced by it (hence the sudden spike in diversity in winners - not bad in and of itself, but clearly an outgrowth of the social pressure, which serves to embolden and intensify the pressure further).

It doesn't sound like we will ever agree on point 2, and what has caused the catastrophic ratings drop. I do feel you're misrepresenting the guy's video, though. He isn't arguing for artists to silence themselves politically, he is arguing against the shoehorning of trite political statements in every movie, and especially so when it's superfluous to the plot. He is arguing against the awards ceremonies making statements that alienate huge swathes of its audience, and he is warning of the blowback for the industry.

Much of his ire is actually against the shoehorning of politicial messaging in popcorn flicks, and highlights how muh of it is corporate $ focused anyway. Saying and ticking the right boxes to bask in the glow of the social media echo chamber. And he is arguing that this shifted focus moves away from the principal goal of entertaining the audience, and the result is poorer moviemaking. Much of this is directed towards popcorn flicks.

As for freedom of speech, we all know that if an actor had the audacity to be so public with Republican views (let's say anti-abortion), they'd be drowned in negativity, and calls for their cancellation. I don't agree with the pro-life stance, but appreciate it's an opinion, and someone should be allowed to voice that opinion, but that I really don't want to see it at the Oscars.

Ditto for calling the US - and West by extension - a racist, white supremacist patriarchy. Again, that's an opinion, but it's an opinion treated as fact by its adherents and they are forcing this opinion on people at awards and through film. Many disagree with that opinion, and dislike being told they're morally defective for disagreeing with this opinion, and don't want to watch a three hour show that riffs on that opinion.

So there is a double standard, and it ruins the show. As for the white supremacist narrative being weaved into film itself, it just makes for shitty work. Why? Because the filmmakers are making the 'message' primary and the entertainment secondary. Great filmmakers don't do that. They are focused on story religiously, and tease out complexities and nuance through story, not with on the nose dialogue and narrative to lash out at political foes.

It's not right wing to hold the view that the white supremacist narrative is BS. I think we need to recognise that, and try to disentangle the politics from the ideas whilst amplifying the need for moderation and reason.

I'd recommend watching more of his videos, because viewed in isolation, that video can be seen as purely political (it is in part political itself), but his broader work reveals the nuance.

And it also comes down to a simple question: if film is clearly corrupted by an ideologial moral panic, at what point is criticism of that fighting for film rather than engaging in the flip side of politics?


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Andrew
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Quoted from Grandma Bear
I still think my explanation of why the viewing numbers are down explains it all.  




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bert
Posted: May 3rd, 2021, 2:25pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Andrew
And it also comes down to a simple question: if film is clearly corrupted by an ideological moral panic, at what point is criticism of that fighting for film rather than engaging in the flip side of politics?


I think, briefly, this stabs at the heart of what I also see and what I was trying to say.  Though I might argue that "clearly" feels like too strong a word in this context.

This seems largely a debate for those who follow film a bit closer than most -- artists arguing in circles amongst themselves -- while the general public that just likes to watch movies remains blissfully unaware of all this hand-wringing behind the scenes.

What has changed, I also agree, is the intensity and volume of opinions -- facilitated by the brave new world of social media in which any crackpot espousing virtually any opinion can now find a broad audience. I doubt I have to tell you who I am primarily looking at here.

So now it serves as one more wedge amongst "the tribes" to entrench themselves in pools of outrage they would have little noticed or even cared about in the past.

Save the Seuss and Potato-Head über alles.

It's exhausting.  I've no more answers than anybody else.  It is just the place where we find ourselves now.



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eldave1
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Quoted Text
1) Can we agree on increased politicisation and focus on representation; it's a rapid spike in politics versus years gone by


Yep


Quoted Text
2) The merits of that and the merits of the video.


The video was trash - more later.


Quoted Text
On 1) my feeling is you're reluctant to agree on it fully because it is like giving ground to the Breitbart types. I don't think agreement on obvious and in front of our eyes developments is anything but recognising reality. It's not tacit agreement with the position of another to say, yes, there's obviously an increase in politics and a focus on representation.


You're wrong. I am not reluctant to agree on it. It has zero to do with my point.

As for 2), The Academy is producing a show where politics is at the centre of it. The awards nominations and winners are clearly influenced by it (hence the sudden spike in diversity in winners - not bad in and of itself, but clearly an outgrowth of the social pressure, which serves to embolden and intensify the pressure further).

Who the fuck knows. At this point total conjecture on your part as to the outcome. That is unless you can tell me which specific nomination or win was the result of this evil? What you are concluding here is that the diversity of nominations is the direct result of people ignoring talent and instead making nominations and winners based on the actor's race. Could it not be possible as well that the nominations are now more diverse because race is not a disqualifying factor???


Quoted Text
It doesn't sound like we will ever agree on point 2, and what has caused the catastrophic ratings drop.


No - we won't. I don't know. You don't know. Video dude doesn't know.


Quoted Text
I do feel you're misrepresenting the guy's video, though. He isn't arguing for artists to silence themselves politically, he is arguing against the shoehorning of trite political statements in every movie, and especially so when it's superfluous to the plot. He is arguing against the awards ceremonies making statements that alienate huge swathes of its audience, and he is warning of the blowback for the industry.

Much of his ire is actually against the shoehorning of politicial messaging in popcorn flicks, and highlights how muh of it is corporate $ focused anyway. Saying and ticking the right boxes to bask in the glow of the social media echo chamber. And he is arguing that this shifted focus moves away from the principal goal of entertaining the audience, and the result is poorer moviemaking. Much of this is directed towards popcorn flicks.


Totally wrong - read the transcript of the video. Here is just the starting gem.

More and more people used their time on the podium to push their hastily concocted political opinions. comment on the social issues of the day and of course rail against the orange man for some cheap applause.


So, it is not just actors expressing political views.  They are illegitimate views.  They are hastily concocted and only done for cheap applause and to attack Trump.

this kind of unwelcome political diarrhea all went hand in hand with demands for nominees to be picked based on their demographic makeup rather than the quality of their work


So, it's not legitimate views - it's diarrhea. Got it. And their goal is to solely pick nominees based on their race. No room there for thinking - to not exclude nominees based on their race???

I goes on and on - read the actual transcript. It's not that they are just expressing political views - it is that they are expressing illegitimate ones.


Quoted Text
As for freedom of speech, we all know that if an actor had the audacity to be so public with Republican views (let's say anti-abortion), they'd be drowned in negativity, and calls for their cancellation. I don't agree with the pro-life stance, but appreciate it's an opinion, and someone should be allowed to voice that opinion, but that I really don't want to see it at the Oscars.


So what if you don't? Then don't watch. And yes the industry is heavily left leaning. So??? You don;t think that Wall Street and the energy industries are heavily right leaning???  You don't think the evangelicals on TV aren't? Should we tell them to go away? My view is that regardless if they are 100% Birch Society or 100% Marxist - it doesn't change their right to be.  Is there some grand list somewhere that shows which industries must be neutral??? Is is just movie making?? Please, what are the ones that are to remain silent?

This kinds video is just one more tired version of just shut up and dribble.


Quoted Text
Ditto for calling the US - and West by extension - a racist, white supremacist patriarchy. Again, that's an opinion, but it's an opinion treated as fact by its adherents and they are forcing this opinion on people at awards and through film.


You meant they're expressing the opinions - not forcing them - right??? Was there someone forced to read some diatribe at gun point that I was not aware of?  


Quoted Text
Many disagree with that opinion and dislike being told they're morally defective for disagreeing with this opinion, and don't want to watch a three hour show that riffs on that opinion.


Then.... they can turn it off.  That is the solution. What is not the solution is to demand that Actors and Producers shut-up so video guy can enjoy his awards show.  


Quoted Text
So there is a double standard, and it ruins the show. As for the white supremacist narrative being weaved into film itself, it just makes for shitty work. Why? Because the filmmakers are making the 'message' primary and the entertainment secondary. Great filmmakers don't do that. They are focused on story religiously, and tease out complexities and nuance through story, not with on the nose dialogue and narrative to lash out at political foes.


First - again - turn it off. And second what films were not made because of this evil??? Again - just check the top box office films of 2019 - ya really think those were left-wing agenda films - or were they merely,, as always - what Hollywood thought they could make money off.


Quoted Text
It's not right wing to hold the view that the white supremacist narrative is BS. I think we need to recognise that, and try to disentangle the politics from the ideas whilst amplifying the need for moderation and reason.


Nor is it left-wing to believe that the white supremacist narrative is legitimate - right?


Quoted Text
I'd recommend watching more of his videos, because viewed in isolation, that video can be seen as purely political (it is in part political itself), but his broader work reveals the nuance.


No. I watched it. I read every line. IMO it's horsehit. I don't need to listen to more.


Quoted Text
And it also comes down to a simple question: if film is clearly corrupted by an ideologial moral panic, at what point is criticism of that fighting for film rather than engaging in the flip side of politics?


Is it?? Which films were corrupted by a moral panic?? Again - please look at the top 100 box office from 2019  and let me know which one or more that were - than I'll assess that film.  

It ain't all that complicated to me.

Actors and Producers are people.
People have a right to an opinion
People have a right to express that opinion - right or wrong
Perople have a right to not listen to them.

What this dude wants is for his entertainers to shut up and dribble. And I highly expect from his diatribe, he doesn't share that view when it's on the flip side.  That makes him just more toxic noise.






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Andrew
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Quoted from eldave1


Yep



The video was trash - more later.



You're wrong. I am not reluctant to agree on it. It has zero to do with my point.

As for 2), The Academy is producing a show where politics is at the centre of it. The awards nominations and winners are clearly influenced by it (hence the sudden spike in diversity in winners - not bad in and of itself, but clearly an outgrowth of the social pressure, which serves to embolden and intensify the pressure further).

Who the fuck knows. At this point total conjecture on your part as to the outcome. That is unless you can tell me which specific nomination or win was the result of this evil? What you are concluding here is that the diversity of nominations is the direct result of people ignoring talent and instead making nominations and winners based on the actor's race. Could it not be possible as well that the nominations are now more diverse because race is not a disqualifying factor???



No - we won't. I don't know. You don't know. Video dude doesn't know.



Totally wrong - read the transcript of the video. Here is just the starting gem.

More and more people used their time on the podium to push their hastily concocted political opinions. comment on the social issues of the day and of course rail against the orange man for some cheap applause.


So, it is not just actors expressing political views.  They are illegitimate views.  They are hastily concocted and only done for cheap applause and to attack Trump.

this kind of unwelcome political diarrhea all went hand in hand with demands for nominees to be picked based on their demographic makeup rather than the quality of their work


So, it's not legitimate views - it's diarrhea. Got it. And their goal is to solely pick nominees based on their race. No room there for thinking - to not exclude nominees based on their race???

I goes on and on - read the actual transcript. It's not that they are just expressing political views - it is that they are expressing illegitimate ones.



So what if you don't? Then don't watch. And yes the industry is heavily left leaning. So??? You don;t think that Wall Street and the energy industries are heavily right leaning???  You don't think the evangelicals on TV aren't? Should we tell them to go away? My view is that regardless if they are 100% Birch Society or 100% Marxist - it doesn't change their right to be.  Is there some grand list somewhere that shows which industries must be neutral??? Is is just movie making?? Please, what are the ones that are to remain silent?

This kinds video is just one more tired version of just shut up and dribble.



You meant they're expressing the opinions - not forcing them - right??? Was there someone forced to read some diatribe at gun point that I was not aware of?  



Then.... they can turn it off.  That is the solution. What is not the solution is to demand that Actors and Producers shut-up so video guy can enjoy his awards show.  



First - again - turn it off. And second what films were not made because of this evil??? Again - just check the top box office films of 2019 - ya really think those were left-wing agenda films - or were they merely,, as always - what Hollywood thought they could make money off.



Nor is it left-wing to believe that the white supremacist narrative is legitimate - right?



No. I watched it. I read every line. IMO it's horsehit. I don't need to listen to more.



Is it?? Which films were corrupted by a moral panic?? Again - please look at the top 100 box office from 2019  and let me know which one or more that were - than I'll assess that film.  

It ain't all that complicated to me.

Actors and Producers are people.
People have a right to an opinion
People have a right to express that opinion - right or wrong
Perople have a right to not listen to them.

What this dude wants is for his entertainers to shut up and dribble. And I highly expect from his diatribe, he doesn't share that view when it's on the flip side.  That makes him just more toxic noise.






This is no longer productive.

Have a good one, mate


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Andrew
Posted: May 3rd, 2021, 3:33pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from bert


I think, briefly, this stabs at the heart of what I also see and what I was trying to say.  Though I might argue that "clearly" feels like too strong a word in this context.

This seems largely a debate for those who follow film a bit closer than most -- artists arguing in circles amongst themselves -- while the general public that just likes to watch movies remains blissfully unaware of all this hand-wringing behind the scenes.

What has changed, I also agree, is the intensity and volume of opinions -- facilitated by the brave new world of social media in which any crackpot espousing virtually any opinion can now find a broad audience. I doubt I have to tell you who I am primarily looking at here.

So now it serves as one more wedge amongst "the tribes" to entrench themselves in pools of outrage they would have little noticed or even cared about in the past.

Save the Seuss and Potato-Head über alles.

It's exhausting.  I've no more answers than anybody else.  It is just the place where we find ourselves now.



Yeah, that's it. We don't really know the answers (and the answers are many shades of grey if they even do exist), and sensible dialogue stripped of emotion is hard to find. And the media profits off that sweet spot of emotion > reason. There is also a burgeoning industry profiting off the media being lazy and rejecting nuance by complaining about it (which is where The Critical Drinker likely sits). All the while we get no closer to making progress on anything of note.

Agree that the public at large are less engaged, but do think there's increasing recognition of a change in tone in output and awards. And most have very little time for politics in day-to-day and don't want to have to discuss it and face it relentessly. That's where I personally believe the Oscars have overegged it, and we are seeing a decline in interest. Made worse by the messaging coming from people who preen as morally superior but lack the bona fides to justify it.

Anyway, I myself am now guilty of being overly political, so will dive in and read some scripts!


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