An irresistible “Plot” pushed Cory Tucek to jump the gun on his new streaming platform.
Movies Plus wasn’t officially ready last summer – Tucek planned to unveil it several months later. Then the entrepreneur learned about a new documentary that faced long odds to reach the public.
“The Plot Against the President,” director Amanda Milius’ powerful deconstruction of the Russia collusion hoax, was ready to roll. But Milius, daughter of famed filmmaker John Milius, faced a problem.
She told Tucek her film would likely face censorship given its pro-Trump positioning.
“If it involves [President Donald] Trump, you can’t touch it with a 10-foot pole,” the Movies Plus CEO says, adding Twitter prohibited his company from advertising a post because it featured part of Trump’s face in it.
He allowed Milius’ documentary to grace Movies Plus in time for Election Day 2020. Yet Tucek isn’t a conservative, nor did he hope to sway the election with the film.
“I’m not political,” Tucek says, adding his bias favors more nuanced political debates. “I am firmly for freedom of speech. Everyone should have their voice be heard.”
So why throw his support behind a conservative documentary?
“The right wing is what is getting censored more now,” he says, adding he’d happily share a left-leaning documentary if the censorious mob targeted it next.
Movies Plus offers a range of film and TV shows to stream like a traditional platform. For $5.99 a month or $29.99 a year (following a free, one-month trial) users can sample documentaries (“Antifa: Rise of the Black Flags”), horror movies (“Breakdown Lane”) and kid’s fare (“A Wizard’s Tale”).
The platform also boasts a “Banned” section, featuring “PATP” and “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words,” among other titles. The latter got removed by Amazon during Black History month, with no explanation.
You’ll also find a documentary on gay marriage among the offerings, hardly a title that would scream, “conservative clickbait.”
Tucek wants filmmakers to have their voices be heard, regardless of ideology.
The concept for the platform came to him after he saw filmmakers getting their movies “purged” from Amazon’s streaming service, he says.
The early “PATP” launch did have its perks for Tucek’s company. Thousands signed up just to see the provocative title.
“It was a huge help to get the ball rolling for us. In this crowded streaming space you have to have something to differentiate yourself,” he says. Embracing the film had its risks, though.
“Am I even comfortable putting myself on the line [for the film?] Even if you wear a red T-shirt people will attack you,” he added, the color forever tied to former President Trump.
Tucek sees another way Movies Plus can serve the public.
“Every other platform is full of boring, woke garbage … it’s becoming so bland,” he says. It’s why he’s planning for Movies Plus to enter the original programming space in the near future.
The company’s creative team “is ready to tell stories you’re not seeing,” in the marketplace, he vows. Consider a planned TV series in the vein of NBC’s “The Office.” Except that show couldn’t be made today due to the woke police. Movies Plus will serve up something similar, with a politically incorrect character at its core.
The key issue for any project like Movies Plus is funding, and Tucek convinced investors “to run the streaming platform on a Bitcoin standard,” he says. Does so offers a “hedge against inflation.”
He’ll still have to do more with less to get new content rolling. The company lacks the buying power of a Hulu or Netflix, but it hopes production efficiencies can level the playing field, he says.
“There’s so much waste and spending on these big-budget projects. That gives us an advantage,” he says of the indie filmmaker approach he’s bringing to Movies Plus. “You can have all that money … but the secret sauce is good stories.”
Tucek predicts Cancel Culture will only get worse in the short term. It’s why he’s planning to add a “Canceled Actors” category to Movies Plus down the road.
“Just because an actor is now a terrible person doesn’t mean the director [of a given film] should be shunned,” he says. It’s why Tucek is firmly against Cancel Culture in general.
“We need to push back against it,” he says.