So, we’ve been seeing evidence of the Hollywood dysfunction for a while now. The entertainment industry all around has been in a struggle. Look at the digital music fight. Labels were too slow to adapt to the demand, often stubbornly hanging on to the old methods.
This left them at a loss when Napster exploded. Publishing houses have had similar problems, now jumping on the Indie publishing bandwagon while overall looking down on the indie creators. now, we see a big shift in another industry.
Hollywood dysfunction: Where wokeness went wrong
Let’s start with the biggest mistake a lot of entertainers and studios have made. While it’s everyone’s right to have an opinion about issues, whether social or political, Hollywood seemed to take on a role of society savers.
It really started with awards shows becoming more about political/social statements than celebrating art. Over the years, we’ve seen awards shows ratings steadily decline, while some who took the “unpopular” opinion found a sudden surge of support from those who felt like them.
Overall, it seemed consumers sent a clear message. They were here for the entertainment. Not the messaging. Sports have seen a sharp decline in viewership since their returns following Corona Virus restrictions.
People stuck at home apparently chose to tune out for the most part, rather than be preached to. It’s interesting to note Hockey, which hasn’t had a huge political/social message focus, isn’t as affected. Again, this tells us that a weary populous is just tired of hearing about these same topics everywhere they go. But it gets worse.
Hollywood dysfunction: This sounds familiar
In another sign of Hollywood dysfunction, we have remakes. Despite a huge outcry over them, especially when certain franchises are targeted, Hollywood kept making more. They’d often change characters to claim diversity instead of creating new characters to add to the universes they were co-opting for an easy payday.
And let’s not kid ourselves. There is a built-in audience that will go, simply based on the established name. However, with Star Wars, we saw that the old school fans that came along for the ride decided to tune out. Later films saw a sharp decrease in ticket buyers. In particular, the stand alone character films didn’t do near what was expected.
As such, most of the plans for the universe went on hold. Meanwhile, a series fans do believe is staying true to the genre and characters, The Mandalorian, is experiencing a huge wave of popularity and awards success. It also happens to be the set George Lucas was on, while his creative imput in the rest of the Star Wars universe went ignored. There’s just one problem.
Hollywood dysfunction: On the attack
The biggest sign of Hollywood dysfunction is the way some responded to this. When the new Ghostbusters came out, it quickly met with huge backlash. Partially because of confusing messaging and what was seen as a slap in the face to the original.
In promotional materials, they made a reference that seemed to talk about the original. However, they’d later make it clear that the other movies didn’t happen in this version. Not what the long-time fans who gave the franchise an attractive name wanted to hear. And people associated with the new movie (as well as others associated with other properties brought back) went on the attack.
Some Ghostbusters fans were basically called losers who live in their parents’ basements. Not a good way to win over the fans you obviously were counting on, as you took an existing popular property and remade it. But there’s even more!
Hollywood Dysfunction: Across the Pond
This isn’t limited to America. In England, we saw iconic franchise Doctor Who put out some of the worst scripts of its many years on air, full of overt social messaging and very little in the way of memorable, surprising moments.
Fans took note and the ratings have sharply declined in the last couple of seasons. However, sources have reported several times that the BBC doesn’t care. They’ve heard the complains, for sure. They just made it very clear that they like the direction of the show and that’s it.
This was particularly troubling to fans who took issue with the series essentially re-writing the entire history of the show and taking away the importance of William Hartnell’s version of The Doctor by saying the character we’d been watching all these years actually had many more incarnations before his. And is not even from Gallifrey originally. This was such a massive change, the outcry was huge. But again, don’t expect that to mean anything.
Hollywood dysfunction: The bright side
There is a bright side to this whole thing. We’re seeing a lot of small, independent creators coming up and bringing their original stories and music to people looking for entertainment. We believe eventually, the establishment that’s been implicated in different things and essentially been making their money off high-jacking previous projects will become more and more irrelevant as time goes on.
We’ll see a huge wave of fresh ideas from people who will embody the creative spirit of the ‘80s, finding ways to make things look great on very little. In other words, substance over style. Fun. And an energy that’s far less divisive and combative.
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