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NY Times: Hollywood Is Having Second Thoughts About Going Woke

Tinsel Town insiders fear the 'get woke, go broke' critics may be right after all

The fall of mega-producer Harvey Weinstein did more than usher in Hollywood’s #MeToo era.

The industry embraced a woke revolution catering to the far-Left’s demands regarding diversity, equity and more.

Weinstein’s fate, and the 2020 death of George Floyd following an altercation with Minneapolis police, coaxed the industry to embrace hyper-diverse casting, censorship and Identity Politics run wild.

Now, according to the New York Times, Tinsel Town has some sizable regrets on the matter.

Will Hollywood Ever Abandon Its Woke Crusade?

The blockbuster story couldn’t get many people to speak on the record. There’s still significant fear of betraying the woke mindset in public.

The reporters chatted with more than 24 anonymous insiders — “top studio executives, agents, activists, marketers and producers” — to learn how things have changed since 2017. And, to the paper’s shock, how a return to “normal” may be coming soon.

The far-Left Times frames the changes as a regression. The real story? Woke doesn’t pay the bills or keep the lights on.

RELATED: WOKE BROKE MOVIES: DOES HOLLYWOOD CARE?

We’ve already learned this via Netflix and Warner Bros. Discovery. The powerhouse companies have been canceling woke content and tightening their belts during the Biden recession.

Netflix ditched a project spearheaded by professional victim Meghan Markle and anti-racist author Ibram X. Kendi. Warner Bros. Discovery famously bailed on “Batgirl,” another uber-woke project considered so inferior the company swallowed the project’s $90-plus million price tag.

Batgirl Cancelled - A Sign Of Things To Come?

The New York Times expose shares far more of what’s happening behind the scenes.

One film executive cops to hiring nothing but women and people of color in recent years. That executive admits some of those employees weren’t up to the tasks at hand.

Others worried the woke makeover embraced by Hollywood, Inc. was a financial failure.

They point to terrible ticket sales for films like “Bros,” the first gay rom-com from a major studio, and “Easter Sunday,” a comedy positioned as a watershed moment for Filipino representation. “Ms. Marvel,” a critically adored Disney+ series about a teenage Muslim superhero, was lightly viewed, according to Nielsen’s measurements.

The list of woke flops is considerable. Think:

  • “Charlie’s Angels”
  • “Booksmart”
  • “Terminator: Dark Fate”
  • “Party of Five” (reboot)
  • “Eternals” 
  • “Birds of Prey”
  • “Lightyear”
  • “Ghostbusters” (2016)

Insiders add it didn’t help that Time’s Up, the organization championed by Hollywood’s brightest stars to prevent sexual abuse, imploded following a series of monumental missteps.

The group:

  • Ignored serious allegations against then-Democrat Presidential candidate Joe Biden
  • Counseled Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, on how to deal with serial allegations of sexual misconduct
  • Looked past other Democrats accused of sexual abuse, like Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax

Reality has set in, and “Aladdin” producer Dan Lin says woke “optics” are getting the heave-ho.

“A recession is coming, budgets are tightening and I’m really worried that diversity is going to be the first thing that goes.”

RELATED: ‘VIRTUE BOMBS: HOW HOLLYWOOD GOT WOKE AND LOST ITS SOUL

The story also notes that MeToo targets like Johnny Depp, John Lassiter of Pixar fame and James Franco are finding new gigs after sitting in time out for a spell.

It gets worse for the “enlightened” Hollywood eco-system.

“There is a risk that “go woke, go broke” jokes could calcify into conventional Hollywood wisdom.”

America has no problem with diversity. It lines up for the racially diverse “Fast & Furious” franchise. The upcoming “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is on track to earn up to $175 million on its opening weekend.

Forced diversity, mid-film lectures and an emphasis on finger-wagging over narrative are anathema to modern audiences. Hollywood had to learn that lesson the hard way.

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32 Comments

  1. @Christian Toto

    Why do conservative influencers claim the Batgirl film was “woke”?

    The public never saw the film before it got canned. So, it’s very presumptuous for conservative influencers to assume the film would be woke. The Batgirl film could have easily been conservative in its themes.

    Now, we’ll never know.

    1. Based on what everyone in Hollywood’s been obsessed with in the last few years, what Warners were producing under Hamada, and the fact that they race-swapped the lead character, it’s a safe bet it was gonna be woke.

      1. I don’t know about could have easily been conservative.” Given how Hollywood went overwhelmingly Woke, ” easily” seems a bit of a stretch.

        1. Sort of like Joy Behar in yoga pants. Yeah Batgirl was a supreme tribute to the American dream and conservativism.

    2. Riiiiiiiight… it was gonna be conservative.

      It was going to be a disaster – it will eventually get released as some “long lost relic” and you can come back here to apologize. I’ll wait.

    3. The public never saw the film, but plenty of insiders did, and plenty of reports of the content leaked.

      If it was just a bad movie, they’d still release it and get *something.* The only reason to kill it and eat $90 million is that it would cause enduring damage to the brand. There were multiple reports that the film killed Batman and replaced him with a trans chick.

      1. @eddie

        The Venom films and Suicide Squad 1 were blockbusters despite being deemed “bad” by critics.

        The bottom line is that films that studios and news media predicted will flop can be well received by the public. The reverse is also true.

        1. One only need look at the Oscars to see the ability of critics to predict profit making films. What the public likes and wants and what Hollyweird produces has been wildly out of sync for years.

    4. Just say you didn’t pay any attention to the casting and comments made by the cast and crew. They were openly celebrating how woke it is

    5. Because it was laden with Woke tropes starting with Tokenism. Batgirl has been around for 60 years. But they decided to cast a black actress to play a white character.
      That’s just as stupid as when Marvel cast a Korean actor to play Gilgamesh- an Iraqi character.
      Stupid is stupid and people don’t pay to have their intelligence insulted.

  2. @Tom

    No one had an issue with Aquaman being played by Jason Mamoa, who clearly is not a blonde White guy. The reason is that the film captures the pulpy sci-fi thrills of the comics. Hence, the movie raked in $1 B globally.

    Meanwhile, the recent Superman films haven’t come close to matching Aquaman’s success. The Man of Steel being played by White male actors wasn’t enough to prevent audiences from noticing that the films lacked the sense of wonder and idealism of the comics.

    Bottom line, the Batgirl film would have done well so long as it was good. The race of the lead is irrelevant.

    1. Perhaps the lead just wasn’t THAT good…

      “Affirmative Action” is a real thing…
      and You KNOW its FLAWED…

    2. Wrong. Captain Marvel had stellar production values and an attractive blond white girl as a star. It still sucked.

      You desperately want to contradict the woke politics as the underlying reason why projects like “Eternals” and “Bros” have been relative failures. Your evidence does not stack up.

      Imagine you have a throbbing, aching in your head. You believe it’s a headache. Then the guy next to you spends 15 hours trying to convince you it COULD ACTUALLY BE A BRAIN TUMOR! While, technically, yes, it could be a tumor… it’s far more likely it’s just a headache.

      This is what you’re doing. Woke caused the issue. And a headache is just a headache no matter how much you’re rooting for that tumor.

      1. @Brian

        Captain Marvel made over $400 M domestically and over $1 B globally. Clearly, someone enjoyed the film, which is getting a sequel next year.

        And that’s what studios ultimately care about. Oscar wins are fine, but profits keep the lights on.

    3. Jason Momoa is half -irish. Most people had no idea he wasn’t 100% white till he started talking about his ancestry. He played Conan – a Celtic character too. Cut his hair, dye it blonde and he’d look just like thevcomics character.

  3. Hey Chris:

    Despite this sort-of admission from The Times, Hollywood, like the Left in general, is never going to change. They are true believers in what is essentially a cult. It is going to take at least a generation and absolute victory in the real war – the classroom – before our cultural institutions like the rest of society can be effectively deprogrammed.

    1. I taught high school English and Creative Writing for twenty three years and made some some serious dents in what was basically a curriculum that had mainly novels, poetry and drama by white writers only., with half of them from England. the curriculum had work from mainly ONE Country- England and we kicked them out of here over two hundred years ago. Sio I brought in terrific books by African American writers such as RAichard Wright, Ernest Gai nes, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, James Alan McPherson ( lead teacher of the famed Iowa Writers Workshop for over twenty years), John Edgar Wideman, and others. I also brought in Latino and Chicano writers such as Martin Espada recent winner of the National Book Award for poetry. And I brought in a bunch of works by Asian American writers and such amazingly gifted Native Amercan writers as Sherman Alexie and Louise Erdriich. I even showed my many Irish-American students how high school Engllsh curricuums had commandeered and relabled as ‘English’ authors such Irish authors as Jonathan Swift, the poets Alfred Tennyson and William Butler Yeats and James Joyce. THIS IS WHAT AMERICA LOOKS LIKE. For decades America in books tv and film has mostly offered a white and whitewqshed view of the world. You can be a person of color and not SEE yourself – its been that way for yeart ts and has only started to change because of the 1960s antiracist civil rights movement. Yes, my baby boomer generation picked up after the preceding generation that won unions and a decent ecconoic living with good steady union jobs which have been eroded by rampaging and ruthlesssly greedy Republicans. And some of you have no clue of the incredible contributions our fellow Americans have made, are making, and will be making if we are allowed to vote, learn, make our own decisions about our bodiies and partners. if you dont like it, move to Russia or luxembourg, but stop being so disrespectful because you are so afraid.

      1. …and that’s got nothing to do with Wokesterism. IE Censorship, Fascism, judging people by the color of their skin instead of the content of their character. Wokesterism in general – like current Hard Left American politics more closely resembles 1940s style National Socialism than anything else.
        What the Wokester calls “inclusivity” is just racism. Calling it something pretty doesn’t improve what it is.
        To paraphrase Shakespeare- a turd by any other name would smell just as foul.

  4. The entertainment industry hasn’t produced anything original or of quality in a long time.
    Actors, producers should STFU and do their jobs, same for athletes.

    1. @Deserttrek

      Here are some 2022 hit films based on Original ideas: Dog, The Lost City, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Elvis, Bullet Train, Barbarian, and Smile.

      Nope broke even at the box office. The Woman King and Ticket to Paradise are more recent releases so we’ll see how they fare.

      So, let’s put to death this myth that you can’t find original fare at the movie theater.

      1. Orginal fare. Every movie is based on comic books, which reflects the education and worldview of the Hollywood establishment. The mentality and tastes of a retarded 14 year old boy who is now in his forties. Please the movies made today are trite, without substance and will be forgotten within three years.

  5. My family and I are actually boycotting going to the movies. First of all, there is no original movies just remakes of prior films or movies containing liberal messages. Second, Hollywood should stick to entertaining as opposed to lecturing us on political issues.
    Movies and comedians in the past were fun to watch. Nowadays they are extremely boring. With the cost of taking a family to the movies, I have better ways of spending my money.

    1. @Ernie Padilla

      Here are some 2022 hit films based on Original ideas: Dog, The Lost City, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Elvis, Bullet Train, Barbarian, and Smile.

      Nope broke even at the box office. The Woman King and Ticket to Paradise are more recent releases so we’ll see how they fare.

      So, let’s put to death this myth that you can’t find original fare at the movie theater.

  6. I do not consider Easter Sunday to be a woke film. It is merely the exploration and celebration of a particular ethnic community and culture. In that sense it is very similar to My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Which, by the way, my Filipino family totally enjoyed and related to.

  7. hollywood writing consists of a copier. no writing or creativity. no acting, politically correct doesn’t correlate with talent, just choosing the right color or gender. will not stream anything connected to disney, netflix, paramount, apple. for what, I can actually still watch some good tv in reruns from the 60’s 70’s and 80’s

  8. I don’t know what you people are complaining about. I love to get scolded and lectured about what a rotten person I am when I go to the flickers.

  9. I actually appreciate the change, I mean before all this I was a big movie and tv series enthusiast through and through spending hours upon hours watching and waiting for the next big action movie, sci-fi movie, or comedy stuff — I was basically raised on this stuff… but now I don’t anymore… They were once great to watch and relax, but now I’d instead go out for a walk, cook or even read a book LOL…… movies & films were once relaxing and relatable but now they suck and the magic is gone…. *shrug – I don’t even bother to follow a lot of the stuff any more – most of my friends have also just let it go…. also woke people telling us that we are the problem because we stopped watching didn’t help much… reminds me of transgenders calling straight men homophobes for not dating them and black ex-pats who come to Asia and call Asian women racist cause they were rejected… shows how far the world has gone down the crapper.

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