Great post from Quartz writer Sunny Teich detailing how the power of the box office can be used by moviegoers as an agent of change. My favorite passages:
Hollywood would like us to believe that it embodies progressive ideas—but a lot of this is CGI smoke and mirrors. While it may be comforting for liberals to look to the politics that certain films released during awards season represent, there is a wider apathy in Hollywood that speaks to an entirely different set of values.
and these concluding words :
When it comes to liberal campaign donations, there are plenty of Hollywood players who put their money where their mouths are. In terms of the 2016 US presidential election, the list of Hillary Clinton’s biggest Hollywood donors was topped by Universal chairman Haim Saban, Legendary Entertainment chairman Thomas Tull, directors JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg, and producer Jeffrey Katzenberg. There is no reason to think these men don’t actually believe in the politics they support with their considerable donations, but there is also no small irony in the fact that several of these donors have also produced many of the most-watched great-white-savior action films of the past decade. This emerging pattern of behavior sees corporate Hollywood co-opting progressivism while continuing to operate in a way that only serves the bottom line.
But if Hollywood is truly mercenary, perhaps that is where hope can be found. Rather than simply paying lip service to its progressive offerings, if we want to encourage the big production companies to become more truly liberal, we should go and buy tickets to the most overtly political of films. This way, we can collectively show the decision-makers that these are the kinds of stories we are willing to pay for.
And this week is a good time to do just that: [The films]Moonlight and Lion are still being shown in select cinemas. [The film]Hidden Figures, which came out on Christmas Day, tells the true story of NASA’s little-known black female pioneers, and Denzel Washington’s [film] Fences also had a Christmas Day release.
Making a political statement at the box office might seem like a painfully small gesture. But in a world where a reality star has been elected president, it’s hard to deny the significance of trying to influence what Hollywood chooses to show us.