It’s time to get a little real, which is odd when dealing with a subject like Hollywood and its various media connections. It feels as though the city and industry have become synonymous and it is challenging to separate the filmmaking business from urban landscape surrounding it.
Lately there have been plenty of people on social media decrying Hollywood and its various media outlets as “evil.” Recent political and corporate actions taken by many of the studios — most notably Disney — have created chaotic backlash.
Because of certain recent legislation coming out of Florida and Disney’s very specific position on it, many average consumers have decided to fight back against these corporate titans in the only way afforded to a capitalist society: spending their money on other products.
Disney+ subscriptions and trips to the Disney parks in both Florida and California have been cancelled. The company hasn’t been candid about the numbers, but part of this is influenced by the upward trend on social media of #BoycottDisney.
Much of this has been because Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s — and thus the corporation’s — opposition to the Parental Rights in Education bill passed by Florida. Many in the media, Disney included, referred to it as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. However, even a cursory read of the legislation’s wording makes no references to that phrase.
It simply affirms parents have a right to refuse any instructional material in public schools as most parents consider it inappropriate for teachers and school staff to talk to young children about sex, sex acts, and alternative lifestyles.
There is veracity in that sentiment; children are little pudding people who sponge up whatever is modeled for them. Don’t believe it? Drop an F-bomb in front of your toddler after being cut off in traffic and just wait to see how fast your language changes when they repeat it to their teacher at school… or the minister at church.
Not only are kids easily susceptible to what gets modeled for them by the so-called adults in the room, they parrot just about anything they see on TV or in the movies. It was for this very reason the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA, now the MPA) instituted the use of film ratings in 1968.
Even before that we had the Hays system which used G for General, M for Mature, R for Restricted (which is roughly operating with nearly the same restrictions as the modern R-rating), and X which strictly forbid anyone under 16. Most of these carried over to the current system to some degree.
But these ratings seem to be by and large ignored these days. It was disturbing to walk out of a mature film and seeing small children reenacting scenes only to have the parents question why Hollywood makes such films accessible to kids. They didn’t, mama — you did!
What’s worse is when you have a film studio that started out as a kids entertainment and animation studio advocating for the teaching of things that kids have no business being exposed to until they are much older.
This article is not to direct readers towards one side or the other, but rather to inform. Not everything companies like Disney produce are evil, nor wholesome. Ultimately, you as the consumers — and many of you are parents — have the choice about what your kids get exposed to. Choose wisely.
Garrett K. Jones is a local fantasy author. He currently has four books released in his ongoing series, and he produces a vlog on YouTube and the Creator’s Corner podcast (available on Spotify, Google, & Apple). www.archivesofthefivekingdoms.com/ IG/Twitter: @gkj_publishing
Feel free to contact him with title suggestions of films you’d like him to review.