In speculating about why moviegoing is down this summer insiders are starting to ask if there’s a disconnect between the public and Hollywood over politics and social issues.
Studio executives have already cited weaker product, pre-show commercials, high ticket prices and DVD competition as contributing to the summer slide. What’s even more troubling is the possibility that audiences are being turned off by their general perception of Hollywood’s morality and politics. To some observers it seems that as more and more movie stars go public with their personal views on national and international issues, people across the country are starting to take offense.
As I wrote a couple of weeks ago:
I wouldn’t have as much of a problem with any of the post-9/11 films, if there was some balance. Nobody begrudged Hollywood producing anti-war films like Paths of Glory or All Quiet On The Western Front (both superb pictures of course, especially the former), as long as we were also getting Casablanca and 30 Seconds Over Tokyo. Even as late as the 1980s, Hollywood could gave its audiences both Platoon and Rambo.
A while back, Mark Steyn noted that the leftwing fetish for multiculturalism has had the perverse effect of making Hollywood movies less ethnocentric than ever before.
And just as with newspapers, an industry that obsesses over cultural diversity is writing more and more of its stories from the exact same homogenized cookie-cutter template, even as they wonder why they keep losing audience share.
To paraphrase something I wrote in that post, after the November election, a couple of commentators went on TV and literally said that the news media should send their foreign correspondents(!) out to understand the red states. Considering the distance in opinions and beliefs that now exists between folks like Michael Moore and Tom “Xenu” Cruise who live in Planet Hollywood and those who live in flyover country, maybe Hollywood should send Ambassador Sarek to try and bridge the gap.