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Industries become more politically-driven each year. Our most influential industries — media, Hollywood, education, sports, and social media — have headed only in a leftward direction, causing the demand for alternatives to grow stronger.
The most untouched thus far has been Hollywood, which went as far Left in 2020 as Big Tech and the news. Big Tech has Parler and Rumble. The media has Fox News, The Blaze, The Daily Caller, and Joe Rogan. Entertainment has thus far had no alternatives, but it soon will.
The Daily Wire is getting into the entertainment business in 2021, as company co-founder Ben Shapiro explained Friday. Shapiro and the Daily Wire are going to bring out edgy movies that he says won’t mock values. The company will produce TV shows, both comedies and dramas, that “don’t take advantage of your viewership to promote Leftist causes.” In other words, the exact opposite of the “Coming Soon” section on Netflix.
Shapiro cites his mentor Andrew Breitbart, who correctly said that more people are shaped by the culture that surrounds them than by politics.
“We consume movies and TV shows. We get together and discuss the latest in sports. We join in churches and at universities and at restaurants to discuss our lives,” Shapiro explains. “We swim in a sea of culture. In large part, we’re defined by the culture in which we swim.
“Then, every so often, we’re asked to weigh in on issues surrounding politics — issues like tax rates, or abortion, or religious freedom. We don’t come to those questions as blank slates. We bring all of our feelings, all of our experiences — our culture — to bear. That’s why when I’m asked how to raise a conservative kid, my first two recommendations are cultural rather than political: go to church or synagogue or mosque and regularly attend Fourth of July parades.”
(By the way, I’m curious to see if Fourth of July parades still make it into Hollywood films, given the new hateful view of the holiday that was spread by former backup QB Colin Kaepernick and others.)
Shapiro noted the reach of leading entertainment platforms. Netflix has over 70 million U.S. subscribers. Add in the growing reach of Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video, and now you have most of the newer and future generations all getting fed the same views.
While the options for conservative viewers are slim, the issue is secondary to the influence entertainment has on our country.
Those who routinely consume the news can easily underestimate the power entertainment has on the way Americans think, react, communicate and vote. If you merely consumed President Donald Trump’s presidency through the lens of Hollywood, you probably believe he’s racist, sexist, fat, dumb, and incompetent. Did a single major TV show or film say a nice word about him? If they tried, would the pitch make it past the networks distributing the content?
For eight years, entertainment creators told the same viewers that Barack Obama was cool, smart, likable, and exactly what the country needed. I’m not here to tell you what to think about either Obama or Trump, but like-minded directors and writers shouldn’t be either.
Thus, I give props to Ben Shapiro, Jeremy Boreing and the Daily Wire for taking on this risk. And it is a risk. “It may alienate some people who feel uncomfortable with conservatives making entertainment, and who think that disengagement with the culture is the best strategy,” Shapiro writes. “We get it. But we believe we need to fight back.”
If it doesn’t work and the project’s overhead is not worth the return, it could discourage others from trying. It would also hand Hollywood a win. However, I’m betting it does work, and that it has a profound impact. Shapiro and Boreing are two of the most innovative minds on the internet. They are often several steps ahead of the rest.
“So get ready,” Shapiro warns, “2021 is going to be a wild ride.” We don’t doubt it. And while 2021 won’t replicate 2020 — hopefully — many of the fear-based decisions made last year will carry over.