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What Everyone Missed About Spielberg’s Anti-Woke Decree

Oscar-winner does more than defend free speech in viral interview

It finally happened and not a moment too soon.

Conservatives and old-school liberals have been waiting, and waiting, for a Hollywood A-lister to defend free speech.

We’ve had comic legends do just that, from John Cleese to Bill Maher. Their comments, and bravery, matter.

New Rule: A Unified Theory of Wokeness | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

Others, like legendary author Judy Blume, approached the subject but only to smite a rising GOP star with a limited grasp of the facts.

Cutting through the pop culture noise demands something extra – the biggest stars in entertainment blasting the freedom-snuffing woke mindset.

Enter Steven Spielberg.

The Oscar-winning director not only mocked efforts to revise classic art, but he also regretted doing just that to one of his most iconic films. The director spoke during a recent master class event at the Time 100 Summit.

The Q&A found him rising to cinema’s defense while admitting his own shortcomings.

Steven Spielberg on Censorship in Films | 2023 TIME100 Summit

Spielberg edited the 1982 smash “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” for its 20th anniversary to remove the guns held by FBI agents chasing the film’s heroic children. The weapons became walkie-talkies with some CGI trickery, a switch Spielberg now sees as wrong.

“That was a mistake,” Spielberg said. “I never should have done that. ‘E.T.’ is a product of its era. No film should be revised based on the lenses we now are, either voluntarily, or being forced to peer through.”

Wait. Stop.

Spielberg specifically said, “or being forced to peer through.” That matters.

News outlets covering Spielberg’s interview focused on the “E.T.” regret, mostly. Others zeroed in, and rightly so, on the director shredding “sensitivity readers” for censoring books by Ian Fleming, Roald Dahl and Agatha Christie.

“For me, it is sacrosanct. It’s our history, it’s our cultural heritage. I do not believe in censorship in that way.”

That matters.

What Spielberg alluded to speaks to the heart of the matter. We’re being “forced” to re-examine classic films, books and TV shows by a tiny minority of woke scolds who want to erase western culture.

  • Change words
  • Tear down statues
  • Shred free speech
  • Limit dissent
  • Alter classic literature
  • Destroy the nuclear family

Said minority wields tremendous power, alas, supported by the mainstream media, timid corporations and radicals who crave a Marxist makeover of the grand American experiment.

Spielberg’s comments hit the press roughly two days ago, and he hasn’t rushed out to apologize or amend his statements.

That matters, too.

Think how quickly Blume rescinded her defense of author J.K. Rowling when the woke mob descended on her virtually.

News travels fast in the Internet age.

None of this erases Spielberg’s political leanings. He’s a rock-ribbed progressive who has written more than a few checks for Democrats over the decades. He also remade “West Side Story” last year, embracing woke “upgrades” along the way.

‘Woke’ West Side Story was ‘quite the flop’

The film proved one of the biggest commercial failures of his illustrious career.

Politics shouldn’t matter when it comes to creative expression, free speech and protecting art. Spielberg proved that this week, even though he should have been speaking out on the matter long before the Time event.

Now, will more A-listers follow his lead?


  1. Call me when Spielberg shoots and inserts the scene in Schindler’s List where the Jews in his factory obtain and train with firearms to resist the NAZIs.

    I won’t be holding my breath.

  2. This was good, but it will take more than words from someone like him. The question, then, isn’t whether or not more A-listers will follow; it’s whether or not Spielberg himself will follow *through*.

    1. @AJ

      Better question: Will conservatives actually support Spielberg’s film or snub it in favor of the latest sequel, remake, or reboot?

      1. What film do conservatives need to support by Spielberg?

        I think people like Spielberg and Bill Maher need to apologize to the American people for ushering in this woke nonsense. Both were blind followers of the Obama far left agenda and were silent when anyone that spoke out against Obama’s policies were called racist.

        In the eight years of Obama’s presidency calling people racists was simply trying to cancel people that disagreed with leftist policies…

        Maher did this over and over on his show…
        While Spielberg was silent about it going on for eight years…

        Now, suddenly, we are supposed to be unconditional in our support of both these jerks? No thanks.

        It’s nice they both are speaking out a bit now…. but, they both avoid the fact that it is the left that has created cancel culture and it is leftists like these two that allowed it to be such a threat to American society.

      2. @James

        A few things,

        First, you’re using woke wrong.

        Second, you are right that you shouldn’t unconditionally support Spielberg or Maher. If they show repentance, then you can support them.

        Finally, I brought up the box office support question because conservatives often don’t put their money where their mouth is. Last year, conservatives like most Americans eagerly supported blockbuster sequels (e.g., Top Gun: Maverick) over original fare like Elvis or various independent Christian films.

      3. Leftism literally means “having empathy and thinking of others’ needs and feelings”.

        Why would you ever be against that?

      4. No one is against that, especially not conservatives. They want to help the poor. Are liberals so thick they can’t see that?

  3. What I appreciated most about what he said was that art has to be judged on the context of the times in which it was produced. It should serve as a historical artifact for how things were at that time. Yes, maybe some of those aspects of society should be jettisoned, but maybe some of them should have been preserved.

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