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Hollywood’s suicidal mission

How Aperture 2025, the Academy’s new set of equality and diversity regulations, will ultimately stifle creativity

Artillery Row

There are times when the lack of reaction to the news is more telling than the news itself.

Take for example famously apolitical Prince William expressing concern over lack of diversity at the BAFTAS, or the announcement that this year’s BAFTA judges undertook Unconscious Bias Training.

Just five years ago these stories would have sent shivers down mainstream media’s spine and set Twitter ablaze but now they go unnoticed. Diversity and Equity ideology is so deeply webbed into our culture that such news merits zero attention. This is unfortunate because it is in fact the diversity and inclusion ethos, that is behind the movie industry’s demise.

Diversity and Equity ideology is so deeply webbed into our culture that such news merits zero attention

Audiences have been shying away from cinemas and switching off movie awards ceremonies long before Covid – they are simply not entertaining anymore. Hollywood’s escapist romance, heroism, adventure and glamour, have given way to drab and preachy identity politics – no one wants to escape to that.

There is nothing wrong with social activism in movies, Hollywood has always had a political streak within it. There is everything wrong however, with an entire industry letting ideological agenda dominate its content, producing PC drenched flops the likes of Ghostbusters (2016) and Charlie’s Angels (2019) among countless others.

The virtue signalling flicks bombed hard but Hollywood’s diversity crusade continued, culminating in the least viewed, worst rated Oscars in history.

The 2021 academy awards saw yesteryear’s glitzy, lavish and fun celebration, turn into a dreary night of gloomy politics. “The most diverse awards ever” failed to show any spectacular movie clips to remind us of the magic of film, and perhaps even entice audiences back to theatres. There was however, plenty of politics, right from the onset – the Oscars opened with Regina King expressing relief at the George Floyd trial verdict, followed by the actress’s appeal to viewers not to “reach for the remote” at the sound of Hollywood’s preaching. Her words fell on deaf ears and the ceremony drew the historic low rating of 10.4 million viewers.

With figures pointing to its rapid decline, you might wonder why Hollywood persists with its march of doom. This is due to the woke mindset which dictates that political correctness overrides business sense, common sense and cinematic excellence. Instead of taking stock, rekindling its cinematic magic and connecting with audiences, the Academy chose to accelerate its Diversity drive through the Aperture 2025 initiative – a Soviet style set of regulations that must be met for a film to be considered for the best picture award. Filmmakers can qualify in several ways but the bottom line is that they need to check the ethnic background, disability status and gender of their cast and crew before ticking the right boxes.

“A film must meet the standards of two of four new inclusion groups” a disgruntled Bill Maher told viewers, “a story line that centers on, or a star that represents an underrepresented identity group, or 30 percent of minor roles from two underrepresented identity groups.” The long and detailed  list of groups includes Asian, hispanic, Latinx, Black and African American, as well as Native American, Alaskan, women, LGBTQ, the deaf, hard of hearing and many more.

Announced several months ago, the regulations are now starting to be implemented within productions that are hoping to qualify for the 2024 Oscars and beyond.

These regulations are a landmark milestone in Hollywood’s suicidal journey. The idea of a director ticking boxes concerning cast and crew’s ethnic background or gender is disturbing. First, because cast and crew want to be hired on merit and talent, not because they filled some quota. But also because they aim to regulate creativity by entering the film’s subject matter into the equation – “it is like telling Picasso what to paint” tweeted Kirsty Ally, who also described the regulations as “dictatorial.”

These regulations are a landmark milestone in Hollywood’s suicidal journey

Even more disturbing is that hardly any players within the industry have objected – one would expect creative spirits to be more protective of their artistic freedom.

One way to explain this is that Hollywood stopped caring about the US market because the bulk of its profit now comes from overseas. A more plausible explanation is that of veteran producer John Duffy who speaks of people afraid to stand against the woke grain for fear of being cancelled. It is the 10 percent of woke social media, mainly Twitter, adds Duffy, that intimidates the rest of the industry – unless people resist the woke tide, he concludes, the industry will die.

The regulations are doomed to fail because they cannot be sustained. Over time, the devastating impact of their  bureaucracy will come to light as smaller production will struggle to survive – red tape is of no significance to large studios but is often a matter of life and death for small operators.

Filmmakers will come to witness and experience the regulation’ stifling impact on creativity. They will resent the way that rules, set by powerful busybodies, taint their artistic, nuanced choice of cast, crew and subject matter.

The regulations will prove impossible to implement as endless, ever morphing identities and disabilities become harder and harder to categorise. Bill Maher may have been joking but raised a valid point when he asked “Cameron Diaz is Cuban on her grandfather’s side, is that Latina enough?” Or Darth Vader is voiced by a black man “but when they took off his helmet the character was white, how many points is that?”

The regulations will prove impossible to implement as endless, ever morphing identities and disabilities become harder and harder to categorise

With these regulations the Academy has opened its door to the hungry, never satisfied woke beast. The academy is mistaken if it believes that those who now cry racism, would be content with “non whites” just being nominated, or that they would be happy winning any awards at all – they will naturally demand even greater representation. There were already voices of discontent on Twitter over that “white old guy” winning this year’s best actor award, referring to Anthony Hopkins who scooped the coveted statuette for The Father.

The regulations are about forced diversity, the ethos viewed by many as the destroyer of the industry’s credibility. The realisation that quotas now rule over cinematic excellence has rendered awards irrelevant, as viewers can no longer determine if an award was won for genuine cinematic craftsmanship, or if it was granted to meet some diversity quota.

The audiences have spoken by shunning movie theatres and switching off awards ceremonies. If Hollywood is to halt its decline and survive, it must put audiences and entertainment ahead of politics. It must rise against the woke beast or it will die.

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