Categories CineMonster Feature

The Way Hollywood Use Woke as Cash Grab

“Rest in Pieces MCU, you will not be missed but you will be remembered for the great movies you once used to make,” said one commentator in The Marvels (2023) trailer, the new movie in MCU entry. The movie is about three female superheroes that fight a female villain, and from the reactions of people who have seen the trailer, no one really cares about when the movie is coming.

Another flicks that lost the attention of audiences is Velma (2023) that has a 7% audience score in Rotten Tomatoes. This Scooby-Doo remake that aired on HBO Max got bad reviews and backlash because the show changed all the characters’ quirks into something that old fans would not recognize and filled the entire series with woke jokes.

Something is wrong with Hollywood. They choose to embrace the woke-ness instead of making the actual good movies. From what it seems, they make movies not only to show the representation, but also to make fast profit out of it.

Is it really a representation they want to achieve? Or, is it just a new and easy way to gain quick bucks? How does it affect the market, and what people think of it?

Woke demonstration, courtesy The Boston Globe

According to Wikipedia, the word “woke” originally came from the movement of anti discrimination to black people. But nowadays, woke not only about race, it can also refer to feminism and gender in general. 

Nowadays, the term woke has been changed. As stated in Merriam Webster, woke can be described as aware of and actively attentive to important societal facts and issues. Meanwhile, Dasha Burns in a Forbes article said the term woke is “putting merit and achievement behind identity politics, and it’s basically a war on the truth.” 

Urban Dictionary stated that woke is someone as hypocritical and thinks they are the ‘enlightened’ despite the fact that they are extremely close-minded and are unable to accept other people’s criticism, meanwhile similar meaning can also be found in The Mercury. From those, it is fair to say that nowadays Lots of people now believe it as “following an intolerant and moralizing ideology.” Therefore the context of it has become more negative. 

Regardless of the context, you can still find lots of woke people in social media, including Twitter. Because of it, lots of big Hollywood companies like Disney and Warner Brothers see woke culture as an opportunity. 

Lots of their movies start to show different races and genders from their source materials for the remake, and for the new one they even have their characters have romantic feelings toward another character with the same sex and those diverse casting are not because of merits or acting skills but just for the sake of representation. The very entertainment that we used to watch to have fun, now is transformed into a political field of diversity.

Ghostbuster (2016) gender swap casts, courtesy The Guardian

This phenomenon can break the immersion for the audience of movies because of forced diversity. Take for example Ghostbuster (2016) that got a 49% audience score in Rotten Tomatoes, concluded as negative in public view. 

In this remake of the classic 80s flix, they try to replace all the classic characters with females. Not just that, they also try to add more dialog and technobabble when introducing the proton pack that doesn’t make any sense. The purpose is just to make the character look smarter for the audience.

The purpose of gender swap like this is usually to show the audience that women are smarter and much superior than men. However, because of unnecessary dialogue and lots of technobabble that scene makes it look dumb and fails to convince the audience. It makes people who watch it uncomfortable because of how forceful it is toward the audience.

Not only uncomfortable feelings for the audience, the woke trend in Hollywood also causes lots of backlash in social media. People are usually angry because their favorite classic movies have been remade into cheap ways to get cash and pretend to care about the issue, while behind the curtain it’s all about capitalizing the market. Not only that, people are also angry when the story of the movie is changed to fit the wokeness. 

Take example the upcoming Snow White movie that will release in 2025, the actress who play Snow White, Rachel Zegler recently receive backlash because how she doesn’t like the original animation story and say the remake will be about how Snow White become a leader instead of how she become a victim and get rescued by the prince. Not just that, the new Snow White (2025) movie is confirmed to not have seven dwarfs and instead they will be changed into seven normal looking people. It also caused backlash not only to Rachel but also Disney itself.

Rachel Zegler, the actress of Snow White (2025), courtesy NPR

“I just mean that it’s no longer 1937, We absolutely wrote a ‘Snow White’ that she’s not going to be saved by the prince, and she’s not going to be dreaming about true love, she’s going to be dreaming about becoming the leader she knows she can be and that her late father told her that she could be if she was fearless, fair, brave and true.” Said Zegler in the interview.

Since Disney releases a lot of woke movies, a lot of people start to avoid their movies and streaming service. It showed in their share that Disney streaming services loss narrows to $387 million. It shows how woke content affects public view toward the company. 

Modern Disney now is struggling to recover their name. Even movie from Pixar like Elemental (2023) now flop in the theater and only got a good reputation when it releases in Disney+ that also has other woke shows like She-Hulk (2022) that straightly mention how female struggle more than male which in this case Bruce Banner which have lots of struggle as the original hulk from the first Avengers to the recent entry.

But not all woke movies are bad in the eyes of the audience. Take for example Barbie (2023) movies that released recently in theaters that become a big hit on the internet. It did gain $1.3 billion in three weeks of its release in Box Office. 

The story itself really goes full woke, it tries to show us how bad patriarchy is toward both male and females. Even though the ending doesn’t change a thing in Barbieland. The movie gets harsh criticism by Ben Sephiro, an American columnist, author, and conservative political commentator, call this movie as “a flaming dog sh*t”.

In conclusion, woke culture has been part of the Hollywood industry, and the way it takes part is rather negative than positive. Lots of companies only see it as an easy way to gain money and to force a political view toward the audience. Lots of Hollywood companies need to rather manage how to make a good woke movie or just stop making movies that have the same plot and message.

Fidellis Cesare Castro
Discord: fixy_onboard

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This article is written by the team of our junior writers. They are the force behind the steady growth of Monster Journal.
Most of the writers are students in high-school, university, and even fresh graduates.

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