Modern entertainment is essentially Soviet “socialist realism” repackaged for the age of wokery -- it is not meant primarily to entertain but to proselytize the virtues of revolutionary thought. The reason woke entertainment tends to fail at the box office is that a character’s race or sexuality is generally not relevant to the plot of a general-interest movie. So when every progressive trope has to be shoehorned in, the movie or show becomes paint by numbers dreck as the focus on race, sexuality etc. rather than universal themes actually makes it unentertaining.

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For me it’s not that there’s a woman or black person there. It’s the fact that you know the reason why the women or blacks person is there is because they want to preach to you. There’s always been women and people of color in cinema during my adult years. But the idea that you MUST have female leads or people of color - with the white male leads now almost totally drifting toward the hapless or evil character - seems to be overly obvious and preachy. There can’t possibly be enough characters for every single asshole in the world. But it’s going that way.

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"A better option, to me, seems to be to focus on creating new, quality content rather than constantly chasing progressive bona fides or seeking relevancy by swapping the identity characteristics of time-honored and beloved characters." I agree, 100%. The trouble is, Hollywood has focused almost exclusively on pre-existing properties in recent decades. They want some assurance that someone, somewhere has heard of the property and the film/show will therefore have an audience. The problem is, when they change the characters and use the show as a platform for identity politics, all they do is annoy that audience, and then they act surprised when people don't like it. Part of the reason for the success of Black Panther and Wonder Woman was because the characters were true to the original concepts. Though I do think that the recent Sandman series was true to the original source material despite race and gender swaps. Leaving off the condescension goes a long way. The Doctor could manifest in any form, so it's not necessarily untrue to the character for them to be black and/or gay. If the character is The Doctor, and incidentally black and gay, I think fans will go with it. But I suspect the writers will make the idpol the focus of the character and will sneer at anyone who finds this annoying. Fans will hate that and the showrunners will pretend to be confused and call everyone racist again.

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I agree with a lot of what you say here. I think the most difficult aspect you mention is having a legitimate criticism of something when that thing has recently donned a more 'progressive' mantle...or even just a different mantle in some cases.

For one thing, some fans tend to think that popular stories are their own to remake however they wish, often with a distinct tilt towards modernity in mind. They aren't. Setting aside legal ownership laws, the stories are birthed and realistically 'owned' by the author(s) alone. It's their baby, not ours. As such, it should ultimately be up to the author as to what, if any, changes should be made to a popular story. This may not be feasible for older stories, but you get the idea.

Secondly, whenever criticism of a new iteration of a popular story appears, and the story has at least some 'progressive' elements added, it is nearly impossible for that criticism to escape being labeled wholly anti-<insert identitarian ideal here> as a result. It's like the presumption of 'hate' automatically becomes fact, and there is little anyone can do to roll that back. It's quite illiberal and puritanical.

I recently watched a great show called "Narcos: Mexico" on Netflix. It was an outstanding portrayal of the various factions involved in the drug trade in the late 20th century Mexico. It was until the 3rd season at least. The 3rd season, while continuing the narrative of the drug cartels, introduces a completely new storyline: the femicide scourge in Juarez during that time. I believe the connection was that the rampant corruption caused by the drug trade allowed this to happen, but the show itself makes no attempt to explain that. We're simply presented with a completely different issue that seems to have little or nothing to do with the drug cartels. I remember watching it thinking: "I had no idea about this and it deserves to have its own series, but why is it tacked on to a show about Mexican drug cartels?"

The answer is simple: things deemed to be a social imperative, large or small, get bumping rights nowadays. It's a bit like the mantra "voices heard" we hear all the time now. Everything deemed important or relevant to modern social mores needs to "be heard", because that's the only way to guarantee that people will see it. And people 'need to see it' even if they didn't sign up for it, because to deny that is to also say that you are somehow a bad person. I mean, not wanting to hear about the murder of hundreds of innocent Mexican women must mean you're a horrible person right?

It's a not-so-soft coercive mechanism to both get people on board for what is considered the 'right' amount and type of social outrage, while also serving to single-out those who resist such coercion. Having something like that Mexican femicide be made into its own series sounds like a great idea, and would go a long way towards bringing to light these horrific murders. But it shouldn't just be forcibly injected into another story that has little to nothing to with it, simply because it's deemed an important story that everyone has to hear. No matter how dire the cause, people should still be able to choose what they want to watch.

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Christopher, although I agree with much of what you say, let me add this from what I consider the middle of the road. By that, I mean I don't give a crap who you sleep with, how much you "feel" about anything. See I have a family and a life so I am concentrated on that.

I do question - The traditionally red-headed Little Mermaid will be played by black actress named Halle Bailey -- isn't this cultural appropriation? I mean if KK wearing dreads is cultural appropriation, isn't the red and blond wigs the same? Or does that just work one way?

Disney’s “don’t be a racist” scolding can come across as a bit rich coming from a company, I agree, this is a company like Lebron who isn't bashing China since they make their crap merchandise with who knows what kind of labor and standards? I think Hypocrites is the term.

Sure, there are real bigots out there, yeah but that's just an excuse to kind of say, someway you are right. If you are living your life in fear of some bigot, then you must stay home for fear of being robbed, mugged, or raped. Besides, bigot goes both ways for all of these issues. Social justice warriors are some of the biggest bigots anywhere.

In many ways, it’s easier to create new content than it is to retrofit old content, absolutely not true. The movie industry is absolutely bankrupt on new ideas or the ability to create anything worthwhile. Why else would so many old shows have new updated culturally acceptable casts and storylines? Not arguing the need for Native Americans to play those roles or other similar situations. I just think when people see an old favorite with so many changes, they just tune it out and that's a receipt for going broke. See most folks just want entertainment and leave the preachy, social, and life style sermons for another place or time. Better yet, leave folks alone and live your life and stop looking for acceptance. A waste of time and effort as someone will always dislike you for something.

Unfortunately, sophisticated economic analyses of the “get woke go broke” concept are lacking. This is because no one likes the truth and if the industries had to tell the truth it would bring more protests and anger at them. See we are afraid of the truth and confrontation. Especially the your a Super MAGA, racists, right wing anarchist, anti-LGBQT+, or something else that because I said so must be true.

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WHO cares? Maybe just the good Dr. We live in an age of limited creativity not to mention one that seems inclined to jettison classic works of art, music and literature, all in the name of WHAT exactly. WHEN will it be over?

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I will watch the new Dr. Who because Russel Davies is returning as showrunner. Mr. Davies who is gay has presented many gay characters in shows like It's a Sin and Torchwood. These shows never seemed woke to me because they had muti-dimensional, interesting characters who were gay, and Mr. Davies always told interesting stories. I really enjoyed both Torchwood and It's a Sin. He is a great writer. I personally did not notice any woke storylines in Dr. Who until Jodie Whitaker became the Doctor so to some extent wokeness in art is somewhat in the eye of the beholder. The downturn in Dr. Who had nothing to do with Jodie Whitaker or a female doctor, it had to do with the second great showrunner Stephen Moffat leaving the franchise and the writing getting really bad. Wokeness in art has nothing to do with diverse casting it has everything to do with bad, lazy writing and the general lack of creativity and originality of the people making the shows.

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I think much of the go woke get broke phenomena comes down to the kind of writer who makes a very big deal about how their star is a minority is usually the kind of writer who isn't that good. It's noticeable that the scripts in the Jodie era were quite bad.

One of the reasons I think Missie worked is that we only learn she's the master after we've been won over. The other two reasons are good scripts and fantastic acting.

I should add that I feel the backlash has become more radicalised. A few years ago it felt like people were pointing to films I felt were legitimately bad like ghostbusters or captain marvel. Now it does seem a vocal set criticise everything with a female protagonist. Ms Marvel has its flaws (add another to the bad MCU villains pile) but it's lead was just perfectly cast, and her family were great too. I enjoyed the show a lot.

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Oct 1, 2022·edited Oct 1, 2022

One of my favorite TV shows is "The Good Place". I love the characters, the comedy, and the unique way it makes philosophy fun. But it wasn't until a media critic praised how racially diverse the cast was that I actually even noticed. It never occurred to me I was supposed to care, that somehow this should be a factor on whether the show was good or not. Because all the reasons I liked the show had nothing to do with that. My point is, if you have a great show with characters you can relate and empathize with, audience members (unless they're actively primed to seek it out) could care less how racially diverse the cast is!

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Completely agree. If things weren't woke, and they cast an actress that didn't look like The Little Mermaid (regardless if they picked a black, a blonde, or an elderly woman, or whatever), I would think to myself, 'why on earth would they do that? She's supposed to be a young redhead.' With wokeism being the cause, the preachiness makes the move a full NO for me. I see a movie to be entertained, not to be preached at by a religion I find repugnant.

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I don’t think the 14th Doctor is the first gay Doctor.

When the show came back in 2005, the 9th Doctor had a fairly fluid sexuality. There was the tree alien that they seemed to imply that he was attracted to. His relationship with Jack Harkness was also somewhat ambiguous, implying that he didn’t mind the sexual innuendos Jack made towards him. The 10th Doctor was also somewhat ambiguous sexually even if he had a thing for Rose.

Jack Harkness is a pretty popular character in the Doctor Who universe. This despite his willingness to sleep with basically anything that was breathing. So I think this is evidence that the show didn’t always have a problem with incorporating more diversity in the show and the fans liked it.

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This quote says it all: “Second, I suspect there’s a perception that these decisions are less organic creative choices than they are pandering to a vocal minority of progressive activists (themselves mostly elite and highly educated).” I would add: And mostly white. The truth is that these corporations mostly don’t give a crap one way or the other; they’re interested in bottom lines. The majority of Americans are in the middle between the two extremes of the fringe left and fringe right. Like the article says: What we have here is a very tiny vocal minority and a lefty agenda-based legacy media complex who act as their megaphone. Personally I think casting tons of non-white people in old roles just to fill quotas is pretty grotesque. It smacks of tokenism and white saviorism. But this all comes down to the same fundamental problem with Wokeism/progressivism/radical leftism (whatever you want to label it): I think the notion of opening up the door to more POC is absolutely a good thing. It’s been a long time coming. That said: HOW we go about doing this ‘opening the door’ matters. But so far it seems there’s only one ‘right’ and ‘moral’ way to do it, and that’s DEI and redoing all films with non-white characters etc. Basically condemning and changing anything ‘inherently white.’ I think merit would still work just fine, but allowing there to be a much more racially diverse pool to give chances to. There are obviously tons of talented non-white actors. The point about the double-standard has truth to it. You can’t fix one historical wrong with a present wrong. Two minus two = zero. An eye for an eye...you get the gist. Many films and shows are sacred and should be left alone I think. In other words, I agree: create new/different content versus redoing old classics. It starts to look beyond cartoonish. What’s next: a black Goodfellas? (I guess you could do the Harlem version?) In a way it reminds of the 1619 Project: the attempt to change history, bending it to our will. If they change all the movies, what then? What does that actually change?

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