- Saturday, March 9, 2024

On Sunday evening, Hollywood will do what Hollywood does best: Celebrate itself and push a woke agenda.

The days when cinema extolled faith, family and the flag are gone, along with the five-cent candy bar and the double-feature Saturday matinee.

When you ask ordinary people why they don’t go to movies anymore, the response is usually, “Why should I pay good money to see that crap?”

Except for an occasional throwback (films like “The King’s Speech” and “Darkest Hour”), movies today are salvos in the culture war — political pleading dispersed among the sex and gore.

If a movie needs a villain, it usually finds one in a high-ranking military officer, a cop, a businessman, a member of the clergy (preachers preferred), or a hateful bigot who believes in gender roles. If it needs a hero, a noble scientist, a racial-equity activist, or a feminist will do nicely.

At the 96th Annual Academy Awards, speeches will be laced with attacks on former President Donald Trump, MAGA Republicans, the Supreme Court and the racists who believe in borders.

Try naming a prominent actor on the right now that Charlton Heston and John Wayne are dead. And on the left? Start with Robert Di Niro and Leonardo Di Caprio, then include most of the members of the Screen Actors Guild.

They fly around in private jets, live in 26-room mansions and lecture us on carbon footprints. They travel with private security and tell us not to be paranoid about crime. They have the annual incomes of third-world countries and admonish us to pay our fair share of taxes.

To us, illegal immigrants mean gangs, drugs and sex trafficking. To them, they’re gardeners, cooks and nannies.

Hollywood rarely misses a chance to push a progressive worldview, as reflected in this year’s Oscar nominees, “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer.”

“Oppenheimer” has been nominated for Best Picture and Best Actor. “Barbie” was nominated in four categories.

“Oppenheimer” is about the scientist called the Father of the A-bomb and the red hunters who persecuted the poor fellow traveler. The film also claims Japanese deaths could have been avoided, ignoring the fact that an invasion of the home islands would have resulted in a million casualties.

“Barbie” is a feminist fantasy that indicts the patriarchy and suggests that sex roles are artificial. Think of the generations of little girls indoctrinated by Malibu Barbie and Ballerina Barbie.

Hollywood is run by refugees from reality.

Gone are the days when a carhop or a sales clerk could be discovered. In the 30s and 40s, many stars came from working-class backgrounds.

Ava Gardner was the daughter of sharecroppers. George Raft grew up in Hell’s Kitchen alongside real-life gangsters. President Ronald Reagan’s father was a failed salesman with a fondness for the bottle.

Today, moviemakers are more likely to come from film school than a filling station.

Subconsciously, they feel guilty about their wealth. Liberal politics – which they see as bonding with the masses – is a way to atone for their lives of privilege. In the process, they end up sneering at half the country.

Alyssa Milano and Rosanna Arquette compare the annual Conservative Political Action Conferences to Nuremberg rallies. Mr. De Niro calls former President Donald Trump “evil” and a “wannabe tough guy.”

Producer/actor Rob Reiner sees Trump supporters as “Christian nationalists” who reject democracy – ironic, coming from the side that tried to manipulate the political process to keep Trump off the ballot in blue states.

Leading up to the Oscars, Turner Classic Movies showed a month of past nominees and winners, films like “Sergeant York” and “The Nun’s Story” that could never be made today because their values are anathema to Hollywood of the 21st century.

As America moves to the right, Hollywood becomes more insular. Once, it reflected middle-class virtues. Now, it mocks them.

Studios are losing money faster than electric-cars makers, with subscribers canceling streaming services and box office sales down. Paramount Global – which owns Paramount Pictures, CBS and Nickelodeon — announced last month that it was laying off 800 employees.

Disney seems to be in permanent decline. It lost almost $1 billion on its Summer 2023 releases, including its black Little Mermaid. In the sequel, Ariel probably will be transgendered as well as a mermaid of color.

The entertainment industry will continue to put politics before profits.

Hollywood is still America’s dream factory – except now it’s the dream of the radical left and a nightmare for the rest of us.

• Don Feder is a columnist with The Washington Times.

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