HOLLYWOOD LIBERAL: Affirmative Reaction

“The widespread conviction that equality itself has some basic value as an independently important moral ideal is not only mistaken. It is an impediment to the identification of what...
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“The widespread conviction that equality itself has some basic value as an independently important moral ideal is not only mistaken. It is an impediment to the identification of what is truly of fundamental moral and social worth.” – Harry G. Frankfurt, On Inequality

In a 2015 interview with David Hochman for Playboy, Vince Vaughn had the balls to go where few in Hollywood have gone before:

DH: So you’re not a fan of affirmative action?

VV: I’ll answer that with a question. Do you believe that using race as a factor in evaluating a person is a good way to operate?

DH: The idea is that those who have been at a disadvantage because of race deserve a leg up when it comes to landing opportunities.

VV: But then you’re evaluating someone based on race, which is racism. Rights don’t come to you because you’re a man or a woman or African American or European or Jewish. And I certainly don’t think the federal government should be in the business of deciding things or handing out money based on factors like these. It’s the same with same-sex marriage. Who cares what people feel about each other? Let people decide for themselves who they can marry. It’s not the government’s job. It’s between you and your partner and your church or synagogue or whatever you believe in. I think history has proven without a doubt that the proper role of government is to protect individuals’ rights and liberties. That has always been the most prosperous, freest society for people to live in. And when government gets too involved, society turns into a place that gets very, very ugly.

This atypical truth telling is what I like to call “Affirmative Reaction.” It occurs when a freethinking individual offers a reactionary view using common sense (or fact), in turn challenging an existing progressive notion (gasp!) by highlighting its intrinsic hypocrisy.

Suffice to say, this non-controversial dialogue sent shockwaves across a town so out of touch that its cultural elites think Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween, Twelve Years A Slave, Roots, and The Birth of A Nation are pushing the culture forward. The mere suggestion that perhaps real progress means judging one on merit rather than skin color, gender, or sexual orientation was simply too much to bare, a philosophy only a ‘rich white man…jerk…doofus’ could subscribe to.

 

MadeaThere is no irony left, ironically, on the left.

For progressives locked into their “prison of belief,” a mirrorless house of bullshit that can’t shut the fuck up about how racist and sexist Trump is, self-awareness and logic are the true enemies. In Hollywood, where cognitive dissonance is not only highly revered but also celebrated, this regressive groupthink has become endemic to the culture.

Consider Hollywood’s recent love affair with diversity, an identity politics catchall that just means only non-heterosexual white males should be up for potential inclusion:

Diversity is nowadays defined broadly by…underrepresented demographics — chiefly minorities, women and LGBT individuals.

Hollywood liberals have developed their own not-at-all-clever and divisive method of categorizing these ‘minorities, women and LGBT individuals’ in television writing rooms, simply referring to them as diversity hires:

[A] diversity hire is a minority scribe who occupies a staff-writer position that is fully network-subsidized. Showrunners are thus incentivized to take on an unfamiliar face since his or her salary isn’t coming out of the show’s budget. There’s no limit to the number of times a writer can be the diversity hire, provided he or she is fine with staying at entry-level pay.

In the construction of their “Diversity Wall” (like I said, zero irony), Hollywood liberals have (in their minds) killed two birds with one stone. Not only does this wall prevent pesky white hetero” men from the crossing the industry border, but it also ensures that diversity hire pets never step out of line with radical thoughts like advancing beyond ‘entry-level pay’:

Like college scholarships for minorities, [this wall is] all about removing as many barriers to entry as possible, including financial ones. But with every good intention can come inadvertent side effects, from writers of color who are perceived as less qualified to the subsidization of first-season salaries that can lead to a “freebie” mentality among showrunners toward those scribes.

Unlike ‘college scholarships for minorities,’ however, there are no ‘good intention(s)’ here. This is strictly a virtue-signaling front for an exploitation racket. In the end, everyone inside and outside the border wall, save for the authoritarian cultural authoritarian elite, loses.

On episode 251 of the Scriptnotes podcast, the aptly titled “They Won’t Even Read You,” Anonymous writes the following to established screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin:

I’m an aspiring writer in Los Angeles and I’ve been trying to land a TV writing assistant job. These are actual quotes I’ve been getting. ‘We love your resume and you’d be a great fit for this job, but the higher ups told us we have to hire a girl.’ Or, ‘It’s going to be extremely hard for you as a white male to get into a writer’s room.’ Additionally, there are competitions or fellowships that are not advertised as diversity programs, but every year the winners will be …female, African American, [or] ex-Marine. Let’s say there were 20 winners, there might be one or two white people…however it is statistically impossible for so few white people to win in competitions where race supposedly doesn’t matter.

Having experienced this first hand, this doesn’t surprise me (and the ‘one or two white people’? LGBTQ). What does, however, is the fact that this has become the new accepted norm.

August goes on to inform Anonymous that he, as a white male, is a pariah, and, as such, he should give up:

Look for the next thing…that may be the next industry, the next wave, the next thing that is just looking for great writers and hasn’t even really kind of thought about sort of how to diversify it.

Meanwhile, female directors have joined forces with the ACLU and pressured the Feds into opening up an official investigation into Hollywood’s “gender issues.” According to Director Maria Giese (who apparently has never seen a movie that depicts the general level of contempt usually reserved for rats), this wasn’t just prompted by “sexism…but nepotism, as well.” Of course.

 

Everyone knows that ‘nepotism’ and ‘sexism’ only effect women!

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 9.16.44 PM

Great. More government.

Melissa Goodman, Director of the ACLU SoCal LGBTQ, Gender & Reproductive Justice Project, the Al Sharpton of third-wave feminism, is currently leading the charge to also get the U.S. Civil Rights Commission involved. In a recent statement, she expressed her discontent with what should clearly be the government’s number one priority at the moment:

There has been much lip-service paid to furthering opportunities for women, but few definitive steps and no serious movement in the number of women directors hired…We are confident that the government will corroborate our work and push industry leaders to address the ongoing violations of the legal and civil rights of these directors and of all women in the film and television industries.

This past May, after nearly five hundred film and TV writers sent letters to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo calling for legislators to pass a bill that would make the state the first to grant financial incentives to shows that hire women and minority writers and directors, Goodman of course hopped aboard, stating:

Discrimination in the television industry is a serious civil rights problem that affects us all.

Does this really affect ‘us all,’ though? I mean, is this really a ‘serious civil rights problem?’

 

Of course not.

No one is curing cancer here. Still, as a result of “victim ideology trumping aesthetics” in the culture, Goodman’s brand of intersectional delusion is more than an exception – it’s the new rule. She continues:

Excluding the voices of women and people of color from one of our most powerful cultural products reinforces stereotypes and bias people experience in their everyday lives. It’s clear that the industry needs the incentives called for in this bill, along with external pressure from civil rights enforcement agencies, to finally fix this long-running, entrenched problem.

Shockingly, this grievance industry-driven diversity-over-merit form of egalitarianism isn’t leading to spectacular results in film. According to The Hollywood Reporter, AMC Entertainment, soon to the country’s biggest movie exhibition company, reported quarterly financial results that fell shy of expectations:

The theater chain blamed weak films for the disappointing earnings…The[se] disappointing financial results come…after Regal Cinemas reported lackluster earnings, also citing a weak slate of films.

In spite of everything, the Hollywood cultural elite isn’t backing down from what is currently the politically correct message it has for all white hetero males (sans Leo or literally anyone else who throws a huge fundraiser for Hillary): Fuck you!

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David Ross Spielman is a writer, host of the "Hollywood Liberal" podcast, social commentator, and curator of all things badass. A Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop finalist and a recipient the R. Breen Graduate Scholarship at The Loyola Marymount University’s Writing & Producing for Television & Film program. David cut his teeth at The Weinstein Company in New York City and at The Mark Gordon Company in Los Angeles. In addition to his extensive portfolio of articles, screenplays, and teleplays, David has written for Reel Movie Critic, been a spokesperson for Sharpie’s “Write Your Own Movie Review Contest,” and curated music libraries for GoGurt, Schick, Mead, and Quaker. As a cultural libertarian and a classical liberal, David promotes freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and individual autonomy. He believes that pushing the culture forward in Western society begins with getting past antiquated, humorless, and regressive concepts such as political correctness, identity politics, outrage culture, and the grievance industry. Hit David up at [email protected] with all of your questions and stories involving your own experiences with Hollywood Liberal snowflakes. Follow David on Twitter @DavidRossSpiel for all of his latest politically incorrect ramblings and on Instagram @DavidRossSpielman for all of his badass film, television, podcast, book, and music picks.
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