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Hollywoke -- A thread for Tinseltown's Tailspin into Televangelism


Deranged Rhino
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As requested, I'm starting a new thread about the article @B-Man posted in the headline thread,  @Crap Throwing Monkey asked for my comments/thoughts on the topic. Here's a link to the original article: 

 

https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/hollywoods-new-rules?

 

The one constant in my career to date has been my exquisite knack for timing. Specifically, my innate ability to show up just as things implode. It's almost comical at this point, but it does allow me a good view behind the curtain into what's actually happening and where it's likely heading. When I first decided to try my hand at making a living in this business, the industry was a very different beast. It was hollow and vapid, but it was stable with clear ladders to climb throughout your career, and enough money to make a life even in an expensive city like LA. I studied the industry before diving in, plotted my path, honed my skills, then within the first two months of arriving in LA the whole industry was reshaped by the 2007 WGA strike. A strike that remade the entire economic model for creatives, reducing pay, limiting opportunities for new voices -- all in an effort to protect the class of writers and producers who had already broken in at the expense of the next generation. It was lauded as a victory in the industry press, but everyone actually working at the time knew the truth. It was a kill shot across the bow of an entire segment of the industry. 

 

The strike of 2007 was a disaster for the middle and lower class of writers, and it literally destroyed the feature film business as we had come to know it. Ever wonder why every movie is a reboot, a sequel, or a Marvel movie? Thank the 2007 strike and the subsequent restructuring to their economic models the studios did in the aftermath. The upper crust of writers and producers got security and a slice of the streaming pie - but none of that trickled down. And in fact from 2007-20013, there wasn't a single (major) studio movie or show made that wasn't written/created by someone who wasn't a working writer prior to the '07 strike. Meaning for almost a full decade the industry insulated itself from new ideas, voices, and talent. It also gutted the middle class movie, made it extinct, and paved the way for studios to focus solely on existing IP rather than risking millions on unknown and original properties. This in turn forced thousands of writers to turn from the dying feature film market and into TV and streaming which was just trying to find its legs.

 

The thinking at the time was: "this is ultimately a good thing; movies are dying but streaming and TV is growing more than ever. There will be enough jobs for everyone once the streamers get going..." While I mourned not being able to do what I set out to do originally (write and develop feature film projects), I already had my foot in the door of the TV world so it seemed like this swing was going to work in my favor. And, for a time, it did. I never got a job because of who I knew or my gender/color/education. I didn't have any connections when I started out here, no family members who knew so-and-so in Hollywood. Every job I got was through merit or luck, by being clearly better than the other people up for the same gig. Even if the projects I created were stalling out when it came to pick-up season, I was working and finding a way to navigate through the new rules of the industry. 

 

... Then 2016 happened. 

 

The push for diversity in front of and behind the camera pre-dated the '16 election. It was a topic of debate in Hollywood for years prior. And one I supported with more than just words but my own hiring practices when building writing rooms and writing scripts (I was writing gender/race blind character descriptions before it was mandatory - not to virtue signal or fight for a cause, but because I believe in meritocracy and knew that the best actor/actress would win out in the casting process). The acceleration of diversity becoming not just a talking point but the end-all-be-all of a production's merits was a reaction to the fear, hysteria, and nonsense being pumped out 24/7 by the media, Silicon Valley, and every other control center in reaction to 45's administration. This town and industry has always been political, but usually it was ultimately governed by green - not red or blue. In 2016-2017 the studios were so afraid of being pillared on social media by the mob, they bent over backwards to comply, falling back on the illogical thinking "if I appease the mob they won't eat me".  

 

The studios didn't do this alone. The same upper crust class of writers/producers who stuck it to the lower level writers in '07, the ones who became insanely rich off the last WGA deal, once again feared losing their status and place in the business and kowtowed to the mob in every way they could. Not only refusing to hire white men, but publicly applauding one another for doing so on social media, over drinks, at galas and award shows. Their idea of courage was to say, "hey, I'm not the white guy you're looking for -- it's HIM!" And the ones who dared to speak up, to say, "you know, you can't fight racism with more racism" were systematically run out of town, "canceled", or shamed by others in the industry.

 

I moved into more of a development role over the past few years as the woke brigade has charged up the Hollywood Hills, and for a time that was a safer space. No one cared that I was developing projects, because when I develop them they get resold/repackaged with other (non white or male) writers attached as producers or stars. It was the perfect spot to ride out the storm, or so I assumed. Every project took a few years to get off the ground, and I figured that sooner or later this tempest would blow over and some sense of normalcy would resume.

 

... Then Covid happened.

 

And the industry which was still under fire became even more vulnerable. Not only were there now far less jobs to go around, there was more social media/societal pressure than ever to assure that the limited jobs out there were not filled by "white guys telling the same white guy stories". Writing rooms that used to staff 10-12 people (for a full year) were cut to 4-6 people (for 3 months). Jobs that used to pay 150-250k became jobs that paid 50-75k, meaning people now have to get hired on two to three shows in the same year just to cover their old nut. In essence, every writer between 30-50, who are trying to raise families (in LA) and work are being priced out or shamed out. And even those who are trying to make it work with the new pay and new rules are finding themselves denied opportunities just based on their own immutable characteristics. And, as the article rightfully states, people are too afraid to speak out so the problem is only growing larger and more out of touch with reality.

 

Which is going to eventually cause problems Hollywood isn't even considering yet. The article hits on the notion that showrunners are being forced to run rooms with writers they don't even trust -- that's only half the problem. It's not only that these writers are unproven, it's that many are unskilled and unable to deliver a proper story/script on time. So many shows are hitting scheduling problems because the writing staffs are slowing down the pipeline. That costs tons of dough, lessens the quality of the programming produced, and makes audiences less likely to watch... which brings us to the biggest looming problem that no one in this town is talking about, because it scares them to death. Namely, that by stocking the pond with firebrands and revolutionaries (which is what a lot of these younger types are), and mandating only certain stories can be told, Hollywood is once again setting up the snake up to eat its own tale. Audiences by and large don't want to be preached to. They never have - yet now, by mandate and decree, every story, every episode, every show, every movie has to preach woke. 

 

And it's starting to hit their bottom lines. 

 

There's more things to distract audiences than ever before. There aren't 4 channels and 3 movie studios anymore, there are 400,000 channels and hundreds of content creators, meaning the audience has more agency than ever before. And they are tuning out woke stories in droves -- but Hollywood is staying on this path because 1) they lack courage and 2) "they" (the majority of people in positions of power, not all) believe that what they're doing is a necessary political statement. 

 

If you think Hollywood hasn't had an original idea in a decade, just wait until you see what 2022 has in store.

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13 minutes ago, Deranged Rhino said:

The strike of 2007 was a disaster for the middle and lower class of writers, and it literally destroyed the feature film business as we had come to know it. Ever wonder why every movie is a reboot, a sequel, or a Marvel movie? Thank the 2007 strike and the subsequent restructuring to their economic models the studios did in the aftermath. The upper crust of writers and producers got security and a slice of the streaming pie - but none of that trickled down. And in fact from 2007-20013, there wasn't a single (major) studio movie or show made that wasn't written/created by someone who wasn't a working writer prior to the '07 strike. Meaning for almost a full decade the industry insulated itself from new ideas, voices, and talent. It also gutted the middle class movie, made it extinct, and paved the way for studios to focus solely on existing IP rather than risking millions on unknown and original properties. This in turn forced thousands of writers to turn from the dying feature film market and into TV and streaming which was just trying to find its legs.

 

 

I have frequently wondered. Thank you for the explanation.

 

14 minutes ago, Deranged Rhino said:

Which is going to eventually cause problems Hollywood isn't even considering yet. The article hits on the notion that showrunners are being forced to run rooms with writers they don't even trust -- that's only half the problem. It's not only that these writers are unproven, it's that many are unskilled and unable to deliver a proper story/script on time. So many shows are hitting scheduling problems because the writing staffs are slowing down the pipeline. That costs tons of dough, lessens the quality of the programming produced, and makes audiences less likely to watch... which brings us to the biggest looming problem that no one in this town is talking about, because it scares them to death. Namely, that by stocking the pond with firebrands and revolutionaries (which is what a lot of these younger types are), and mandating only certain stories can be told, Hollywood is once again setting up the snake up to eat its own tale. Audiences by and large don't want to be preached to. They never have - yet now, by mandate and decree, every story, every episode, every show, every movie has to preach woke. 

 

And it's starting to hit their bottom lines.

 


People can learn to deliver a proper script, however - assuming someone takes the time to teach them before they get fired. But, that doesn't mean those people are capable of new/good/better ideas and stories.

 

After reading that article, it seems to me what happened to comedy is going to happen in Hollywood. People too afraid to open their mouths at the risk of offending someone, especially someone with power over their jobs.  It is going to make for even less entertaining "entertainment."

 

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Breaking ranks is going to be not only a risky proposition, but one that has to be properly timed.

 

Break too soon and you will be canceled. Break at the right time and you will probably become richer than your wildest dreams and forever be remembered as a pioneer who said, 'damn the torpedo's.'. 

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@Deranged Rhino

Thanks for the article and your description. I read the article first, and thought: why doesn’t someone capitalize on this phenomenon?  Seems ripe for a good on-screen story. An old school, ‘70’s-style character development story. It could be told from any number of perspectives. It could be told about your industry, or any other number of industries as a metaphor.

 

I also thought: art imitates life.  Art shouldn’t craft life. I don’t think Hollywood gets that anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks DR;  that's probably the most informative thing I've ever read about Hollywood.

 

I used to look at the movie listings periodically to see if anything looked interesting.  I stopped doing that several years ago.  While there is still the occasional interesting picture, once you get past the lame remakes and superhero crap, there isn't much to choose from.  It's probably been 4-5 years since I went to a theater for a movie.

 

As for TV, there is soooo much content it's pretty easy to ignore anything that doesn't immediately grab you and keep you entertained (eg., Succession).  Also there is a ton of documentary stuff that is fairly brief and easy to get through quickly so not much investment required.

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18 hours ago, KD in CA said:

Thanks DR;  that's probably the most informative thing I've ever read about Hollywood.

 

I used to look at the movie listings periodically to see if anything looked interesting.  I stopped doing that several years ago.  While there is still the occasional interesting picture, once you get past the lame remakes and superhero crap, there isn't much to choose from.  It's probably been 4-5 years since I went to a theater for a movie.

 

As for TV, there is soooo much content it's pretty easy to ignore anything that doesn't immediately grab you and keep you entertained (eg., Succession).  Also there is a ton of documentary stuff that is fairly brief and easy to get through quickly so not much investment required.

 

Can't recall what the last non-Marvel/ Star Wars movie we saw in the theater was.  Probably Skyfall.  (Which is essentially in the same area code if not genre.)  Expect that last one before that would've been a children's movie.  (And our kids are adults now.)

 

Absolutely can't recall the last OTA network show we watched during the season it came out that wasn't "reality based."  Probably forgetting something, but it could be "My Name is Earl."

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  • 4 weeks later...

 

‘China Has Ghosted Hollywood’: How the Fallout Will Affect the Film Industry

Wall Street Journal reporter Erich Schwartzel's new book "Red Carpet" offers a timely look at increased tensions between two dominant forces in the movie business



https://variety.com/2022/film/news/china-hollywood-film-industry-tensions-red-carpet-book-1235173819

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27 minutes ago, Deranged Rhino said:

 

‘China Has Ghosted Hollywood’: How the Fallout Will Affect the Film Industry

Wall Street Journal reporter Erich Schwartzel's new book "Red Carpet" offers a timely look at increased tensions between two dominant forces in the movie business



https://variety.com/2022/film/news/china-hollywood-film-industry-tensions-red-carpet-book-1235173819


They NEVER should have tried to appease China. Never, ever, ever.

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Just now, Ann said:


They NEVER should have tried to appease China. Never, ever, ever.

 

Let alone built their entire business model around it.

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This is just crazy. I had no idea that AFTER they finished shooting the remake of Red Dawn, the studio went back and changed the enemy from China to North Korea.

 

 

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4 hours ago, IDBillzFan said:

This is just crazy. I had no idea that AFTER they finished shooting the remake of Red Dawn, the studio went back and changed the enemy from China to North Korea.

 

 

 

Oh man, there are so many stories like that it's crazier than you even think.

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2 hours ago, Deranged Rhino said:

 

Oh man, there are so many stories like that it's crazier than you even think.

 

I always wondered how The Great Wall got made with Dafoe and Damon.

 

That was such a &#%$ed-up movie, it really felt like a Chinese studio casting American actors to pander to an American audience.

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21 hours ago, IDBillzFan said:

This is just crazy. I had no idea that AFTER they finished shooting the remake of Red Dawn, the studio went back and changed the enemy from China to North Korea.

 

 

 

Notice how CNN doesn't start reporting on this until they are no longer under the umbrella of ATT/Time Warner?

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1 hour ago, devnull said:

 

Notice how CNN doesn't start reporting on this until they are no longer under the umbrella of ATT/Time Warner?

 

News isn't what you hear, it's what the editorial staff decides you hear.

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PODCAST: FROM HOLLYWEIRD TO HOLLYWOKE—‘VIRTUE BOMBS’ WITH CHRISTIAN TOTO

Screen-Shot-2022-02-11-at-9.03.46-AM.png

 

Hollywood has been liberal to far-left for decades, but in recent years it has become fully Hollywoke. Christian Toto, proprietor of the invaluable Hollywood-in-Toto website, is out with a new book surveying the wreckage of Hollywokeness: Virtue Bombs: How Hollywood Got Woke and Lost Its Soul.

 

I come to the conclusion that wokeism in Hollywood is arguably worse than wokism on the university campus, because it is much less transparent. While Hollywood makes endless movies about the supposed terror of the McCarthy-era “blacklist,” today’s Hollywood blacklisting against anything not fully woke is much more widespread and insidious.

 

We do look for some glimmers of hope, from new independent film production efforts from our friends at the Daily Wire and other enterprises, to rumblings in the Hollywood underground that some studio executives may be starting to get a clue that their relentless wokeness is bad for business.

 

Christian also has an excellent podcast of his own, Right on Hollywood, but of course listen to this one first! Which you can do right here, or wander over to the screening room at Ricochet. (And if you listen to the very end, you’ll get some custom Ghostbusters content.)

 

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2022/02/podcast-from-hollyweird-to-hollywoke-virtue-bombs-with-christian-toto.php

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On 1/14/2022 at 9:13 PM, KD in CA said:

Thanks DR;  that's probably the most informative thing I've ever read about Hollywood.

 

I used to look at the movie listings periodically to see if anything looked interesting.  I stopped doing that several years ago.  While there is still the occasional interesting picture, once you get past the lame remakes and superhero crap, there isn't much to choose from.  It's probably been 4-5 years since I went to a theater for a movie.

 

As for TV, there is soooo much content it's pretty easy to ignore anything that doesn't immediately grab you and keep you entertained (eg., Succession).  Also there is a ton of documentary stuff that is fairly brief and easy to get through quickly so not much investment required.

I agree with all of the above except I think some of the superhero stuff has been ok….at least marginally entertaining.  The documentaries have been pretty good.  Some of the pseudo-docs….like one I just watched called Dopesick….have also been good and at times relevant.

 

@Deranged Rhino what I am left wondering is how talking hamster movies and shows would fail to instantly solve this shit and start to get everything back on track.  Cute and non-threatening at first then they get some attitude.  A rodent version of a Trojan horse for the industry.  Do it.

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11 hours ago, 4merper4mer said:

 

@Deranged Rhino what I am left wondering is how talking hamster movies and shows would fail to instantly solve this shit and start to get everything back on track.  Cute and non-threatening at first then they get some attitude.  A rodent version of a Trojan horse for the industry.  Do it.

 

The studios are reluctant to support hamster movies in the era of #metoo. 

 

Too many potential Richard Gere lawsuits

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