We’ve read all about celebrities melting down over the notion of President-Elect Donald Trump.
Amy Schumer. Michael Shannon. Robert De Niro. David Crosby. The list goes on … and it’s likely not over yet. We’re still waiting for the results of Sally Field’s Twitter reconnaissance mission.
That isn’t how everyone in Hollywood reacted to Trump’s improbable victory.
Vulture.com reports that ABC is taking a long, hard look at its programming slate following the Red State steamroller.
Channing Dungey, the recently installed president of ABC Entertainment, told the Content London media summit on Tuesday that Trump’s election — powered in part by a surge in support among white rural and blue-collar voters — has prompted Alphabet execs to wonder whether the network’s slate of flashy, upscale hour-long series … adequately reflects all parts of America.
“With our dramas, we have a lot of shows that feature very well-to-do, well-educated people, who are driving very nice cars and living in extremely nice places,” Dungey told the conference, according to a report from U.K.-based TV industry trade C21. “There is definitely still room for that, and we absolutely want to continue to tell those stories because wish-fulfillment is a critical part of what we do as entertainers. But in recent history we haven’t paid enough attention to some of the true realities of what life is like for everyday Americans in our dramas.”
Does that mean a new show or two might be set in, dare we say, Pittsburgh or Minneapolis, instead of New York or LA? On a more serious note, it’s Hollywood’s best response yet to President-Elect Trump.
For starters, it lacks the unexpurgated hate seen elsewhere in La La Land. More importantly, it smacks of opportunism in the most pragmatic sense.
Just imagine all the new story ideas that could flow from this thinking. Lower middle class America, the folks who may never see “Hamilton” on Broadway, deserve entertainment that speaks to them, too. After all, ABC wants to drive as many eyeball as it can to the network.
Consider Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing,” a current ABC sitcom that succeeds partly by treating conservatives with respect.
Naturally, the left-leaning Vulture.com immediately poured cold water on the news. The reporter alleges ABC’s sparkling record on diversity could be negatively impacted by a Trump administration.
How? Well, because Trump is a racist/sexist/bigoted/mean-spirited … you get the drill. Why drag in facts here?
Will ABC follow through on its promise? It may take months, or even years, to know for sure. At the moment, it’s a sign that some Hollywood denizens are more interested in their audience than scoring points on the cocktail party circuit.