Once upon a time being a liberal entertainer meant something.
For starters, your voice got amplified and cheered on via various media outlets. Consider the praise Jon Stewart receives whenever he surfaces from his “Daily Show” retirement.
Progressive stars also sported a cultural armor, of sorts, the kind right-leaning stars lack. Just ask Tim Allen, right-leaning comic who admitted he didn’t know a card game popular in black culture earlier this week. That led to him being branded as a racist.
The avowed liberal Alec Baldwin, by comparison, allegedly demeaned a black photographer in 2013 in ways that could end some stars’ careers.
According to the Post, Baldwin allegedly launched a verbal tirade of racially-charged insults against the photographer, who is black, including the words “coon,” “crackhead” and “drug dealer.” He was out walking his dogs when reporter Tara Palmeri for the New York tabloid approached him for comment on a lawsuit against Thomas, a yoga instructor, from a former customer.
The “Saturday Night Live” star denied the incident. Still, the headlines never stuck to him. Today, he’s still the toast of Hollywood following those allegations and other violent episodes.
That progressive armor is showing signs of rust.
Two years ago, Amy Schumer’s failed comedy “Snatched” got pummeled by critics because the villains were people of color. Few comics are as woke as Schumer, but that didn’t protect her from the cultural brickbats.
She got crushed, again, for her 2018 comedy “I Feel Pretty.” This time, the “offense” was her skin color.
More recently, two huge stars got walloped by social justice scolds despite years, even decades, of progressive posturing.
Leonardo DiCaprio may be an enviro-hypocrite, but he’s spent serious coin bringing climate change alarmism to the masses. He even used his precious Best Actor podium time to push the issue. His latest film, HBO’s “Ice on Fire,” features him as both narrator and producer.
It’s one of several documentaries he’s spearheaded on the issue.
And it wasn’t enough to stave off a vicious attack this week from his fellow progressives. The Rowan Institute, a group dedicated to providing the “leadership and communication skills leaders need to change the direction of policies and outcomes for institutions, businesses, and communities,” fired off this salvo against the “Revenant” star.
We stand in solidarity together to uphold an anti-colonial and anti-racist vision of climate leadership. Please join us. pic.twitter.com/82hvOiOotE
— Rowan Institute (@rowan_institute) June 12, 2019
The film, released June 11, is deeply racist because of the “narratives of climate solutions that repeat the erasure of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color,” according to the Institute.
It gets worse.
The recent release of the film ‘Ice on Fire’ demonstrates that white supremacy and western colonialism continues to dominate the mainstream environmental movement’s narratives and framing of climate solutions. The film does not highlight the leadership or scholarship of a single Black, Indigenous, or other women of color despite the fact that such women of color are leading the global frontlines of climate justice movements.”
The group savaged the climate change movement’s biggest name outside of “Inconvenient Truth” star Al Gore.
Another woke superstar got slammed this week for something that singers have been doing for decades.
Madonna’s new album, “Madame X” got pounded by The Hollywood Reporter. The review shreds the album on a host of levels, and to the casual observer the record does, indeed, sound like a misfire.
Happens to the best of us, even Material Women. That’s only part of the critic’s evisceration.
The icon’s new album finds her appropriating a variety of cultures and influences to fatally clunky — and musically unappealing — effect….
The net experience is like hanging out with your aunt who’s trying to impress you by doing ecstasy, telling you about her sex life and pretending she’s woke. Basically: what no human wants to hear right now.
Remember, no matter how woke you try to be, you’re never, ever woke enough.
Who is this album for? It feels like another piece of Madonna’s journey of cultural appropriation, tailored to satisfy her own fleeting interests above all.
Musicians have incorporated a variety of sounds and influences for decades. It’s called art. Or, at least it used to be dubbed that. Now, that practice is off-limits, or at least opens one up to serious scrutiny.
It’s interesting to note how today’s culture would greet Paul Simon’s “Graceland.” That iconic 1986 album found Simon embracing a host of African sounds and musicians, to glorious, Grammy winning effect.
Simon, despite his richly deserved status as a musical legend, would get pummeled for a similar album today. Three years ago, Rolling Stone wrestled with the album’s legacy while tip-toeing around the emerging “cultural appropriation” canard.
Terms like “cultural appropriation” barely existed when Graceland was recorded. Whether you call it “borrowing,” “paying homage to,” “riffing on” or “stealing,” white artists had been incorporating traditionally black music into their work for most of the 20th century. But Graceland was groundbreaking for wearing its influence for all to see. South African musicians and singers were invited to share the spotlight with Simon, giving many of them mainstream international exposure for the first time. Still, some elements of the project remain problematic (emphasis added). Famed South African trombonist and anti-apartheid activist Jonas Gwangwa summed up the thoughts of countless black artists when confronted with Graceland‘s success: “So, it has taken another white man to discover my people?” Simon’s insistence that the album was a true collaboration is arguable, but at the very least Graceland provided a platform to a group who were legally prohibited from participating on an international stage.
Now, that final argument is often cast aside. Artists aren’t encouraged to stretch, grow and incorporate sounds that fuel their passions.
She’s woke, darn it … but not woke enough.
Who’s the next progressive superstar to get thrown under the woke bus?