Get woke, go broke they said, but Hollywood didn’t listen.
Progressive project after progressive project fizzled, but studio bean counters kept their cool.
- An uber-feminist “Charlie’s Angels?” Eh, the ‘70s aren’t hip anymore.
- A girl-power “Terminator: Dark Fate?” Hasta la vista, baby.
- A “Party of One” reboot with a side order of ICE demonization? Once was enough, apparently.
- An all-female “Ghostbusters?” Toxic fans brought it down.
Suddenly, woke Hollywood is concerned about its bottom line, and progressive messaging is getting in the way.
The irony of all ironies? The same industry that promoted Joe Biden’s candidacy is feeling the sting of his recession. And it spells trouble for the industry’s woke revolution.
Major players are tightening their belts, canceling shows that might otherwise get longer leashes on life and erasing projects brimming with woke flourishes.
Show business is back, baby.
The first sign of trouble came from Netflix, the undisputed streaming king. Earlier this year, the platform experienced its first subscriber downgrade following a flurry of woke projects.
- “He’s Expecting”
- “Dear White People”
- “The Break with Michelle Wolf”
- “Knock Down the House”
- Hannah Gadsby specials
- Chelsea Handler specials
The ramifications of Netflix’s bad news kicked in immediately.
Team Netflix doubled down on its commitment to free speech, embraced “problematic” comedy from Ricky Gervais for the sake of more eyeballs and told woke employees to pound sand, in so many words. Belt tightening commenced, including the recent cancellation of the lesbian vampire thriller “First Kill.”
The usual woke subjects kicked and screamed online over that news, but Netflix claimed the numbers don’t have the show’s back.
SAVE FIRST KILL.
There’s literally no reason to cancel a profitable show with record-setting numbers and a dedicated fanbase. Especially when it has fantastic representation that makes so many people feel seen.#SaveFirstKill #RenewFirstKill pic.twitter.com/RNZE2myX9Q
— Marisa (@Hot4Haught) August 3, 2022
The platform even nixed upcoming projects tied to uber-woke Meghan Markle (“Pearl”) and Ibram X. Kendi (“Antiracism Baby”).
A company with a “Stay Woke” art installation in one of its corporate buildings now has little patience for the woke mob. The bottom line matters.
Netflix is hardly the only company worried about its financial status.
Warner Bros. Discovery just did the unthinkable, dumping a nearly finished HBO Max movie with a price tag somewhere between $70 – 90 million, depending on which news outlet you trust.
“Batgirl” won’t see the light of day, becoming a super tax write off instead of the next DC franchise.
The move outraged the progressive Left. The film’s star, Leslie Grace, is Latina. Her co-stars include trans actor Ivory Aquino. The script came from Christina Hodson, who previously penned the feminist flop “Birds of Prey.”
None of that mattered to Warner Bros. Discovery suits. They sensed a clunker and acted swiftly, understanding how comic book fans and social justice types might react to these matters.
They made the hard call anyway.
Once upon a time – say, a year ago – a woke backlash could coax Hollywood to reverse course. The “Batgirl” cancellation, starring a Latina actress and directed by two men of color (Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah), would have sparked enough outrage to make Warner Bros. do an about face.
The studio might apologize by guaranteeing sequels for all the key players as a form of restitution.
It hasn’t happened yet, meaning it probably won’t.
It’s the same company that’s standing by “Flash,” the 2023 mega-release starring an actor tied to new, frightening headlines on a regular basis. Ezra Miller, who appears to be a deeply troubled soul, would be canceled under most conditions, along with any projects he had in the hopper.
Stars have been canceled for far less.
Instead, Warner Bros. Discovery has confirmed it plans to release Miller’s “Flash” next year, Cancel Culture be damned. Why? It’s a guaranteed money maker and apparently sets the superhero franchise in motion for years to come, no matter how much bad PR the release generates.
David Zaslav’s confirmed “The Flash” will release in 2023 — two days after news broke that Warner Bros. decided to shelve “Batgirl”, which was produced exclusively for HBO Max and greenlit by the previous corporate regime.
— Doha Madani (Taylor’s Version)🧣 (@DohaMadani) August 4, 2022
The hits keep on coming for Warner Bros. Discovery.
Meanwhile, HBO Max is yanking poorly performing originals like “An American Pickle” from its platform, presumably as another cost-saving move.
TheWrap.com reports HBO Max is mulling a 70 percent reduction in its development staff.
Other woke Hollywood content is getting the heave ho around town.
TBS’s basement-rated “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” finally ran out of woke goodwill. The cable giant canceled Bee’s show after a seven-year run known for endless clapter, vulgarity and progressive outrage.
The show earned a recent renewal despite those embarrassing numbers, but in the Biden recession keeping a woke female host employed wasn’t reason enough to keep the show afloat.
It’s a miracle Hulu’s “Woke” series (yes, that’s its title) made it to season 2 before getting the ax.
The Los Angeles Times is even sounding the alarm over Hollywood’s reaction to Biden’s recession.
Hollywood’s woke obsession won’t end overnight.
We’ll soon see a “National Treasure” reboot with an open borders message.
The upcoming “Andor” from Disney+ promises an anti-Trump narrative addressing America’s so-called reduction in rights, a far-Left talking point that fits the industry’s recent mindset.
Disney seems fixed on woke programming, from children’s fare brimming with sexually aware content to projects like “Lightyear” which shoe-horn in same-sex relationships.”
The Mouse House is shrugging off its stock price fall this year, signaling it’s big enough to survive Biden’s recession and the degradation of its family-friendly brand.
Show business comes with an asterisk in the modern era. Woke Hollywood has been willing to swallow hard and accept a certain amount of losses to send their preferred messages.
Thanks to Biden’s recession, those numbers may no longer add up.
UPDATE: More “woke” programming gets the heave-ho. Ellen DeGeneres’s kiddie show “Little Ellen” just got the hook despite at least 20 episodes were created and ready for distribution. The show featured same-sex couples as part of the regular content.