When Hollywood Virtue Signaling Comes To A Screeching Halt

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Celebrities have elevated virtue signaling to a fine art.

They praised Black Lives Matter after George Floyd’s death, sang #MeToo’s praises following Harvey Weinstein’s fall from grace and genuflected to the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month.

Living up to those signals, however, proves more challenging.

We saw the ultimate case-in-point with last year’s high-profile war against Joe Rogan. The Spotify podcaster came under celebrity fire for allegedly sharing misinformation about COVID-19.

Never mind that the CDC and media outlets alike, along with Dr. Anthony Fauci, were accused of doing just that.


Rogan must be stopped, cried Neil Young, the same rocker who fronted the 2006 Freedom of Speech Tour during the Bush years. And Young wasn’t alone in yanking his classic tunes from the streaming giant. Joni Mitchell, a fellow ‘60s songstress, sided with Young. So did the rest of Young’s semi-regular bandmates at Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

“Until real action is taken to show that a concern for humanity must be balanced with commerce, we don’t want our music — or the music we made together — to be on the same platform,” the band declared.


They hoped to either spark a larger protest against Rogan or have his views neutered on the platform.

Neither happened. 

In fact, Rogan emerged stronger than ever, and the protests eventually died down. Just five months after the imbroglio, Crosby, Stills and Nash songs returned to Spotify’s cyber-playlist.

CSN will donate proceeds from streams to COVID-19 charities for at least a month, a source tells Billboard.

Hollywood Reporter

Yes, a whole month. Then, after that period ends, the money will start flowing into the band’s coffers anew.

Virtue signal over.

Meanwhile, another celebrity virtue signal ended up as more hot air than anything else. Many stars railed against the state of Georgia in 2019 when area lawmakers pushed legislation making abortion illegal after six weeks. 

The law didn’t go into effect immediately, but the Roe v. Wade reversal could change that, according to the liberal Variety. And while celebrities vowed to flee the state over the legislation that won’t be happening en masse.

But now that the law is on the verge of going into effect, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, the studios have gone quiet … For Hollywood in particular, Georgia’s $1.2 billion tax credit for film and TV production may be too good to pass up.


Variety notes some individual directors may steer their projects elsewhere, but for most studio productions it’s full steam ahead in the Peach State — it’s show business, after all. And this is the same industry that regularly kowtows to China, including censoring its LGBTQ+ content, to appease the nation’s censors.

Perhaps the most galling virtue signal came during the #MeToo revolution. Oscar-winning producer Harvey Weinstein’s reign of terror came to a crashing halt in October of 2017 thanks, in part, to a searing exposé in The New York Times. 

The news reverberated beyond Hollywood, and suddenly major figures like Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose and Russell Simmons found their careers imploding.

Powerful forces aligned to create the Time’s Up Foundation, a legal resource for female victims to hold their male assailants accountable. The nonprofit gathered a who’s who of Hollywood supporters, some of whom did more than virtue signal. Jennifer Aniston, Taylor Swift and Reese Witherspoon signed massive checks to fund the new organization.

Their peers stuck with Virtue Signal 101, wearing black at the Tony Awards to let their voices be heard sans actual actions.

Yet when Time’s Up betrayed its own cause by aligning with disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo — credibly accused of serial sexual harassment — these virtue signalers went silent.

Former NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo holding a press briefing (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

This reporter reached out to several high-profile starlets seeking comment on Time’s Up plotting with Cuomo to defeat his numerous accusers. They refused to comment directly on the matter.

Celebrities also ignored their own #MeToo mantras when powerful Democrats, like future President Joe Biden, got caught in their own sexual abuse allegations.

And the same stars who promote LGBTQ+ causes and decry the falsely named “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida won’t comment when Hollywood erases gay plot lines to appease foreign censors.

Virtue Signaling, more often than not, is pure Tinseltown theater.

Written by Christian Toto

Christian Toto is an award-winning film critic, journalist and founder of HollywoodInToto.com, the Right Take on Entertainment. He’s the author of “Virtue Bombs: How Hollywood Got Woke and Lost Its Soul” and a lifelong Yankees fan. Toto lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife, two sons and too many chickens.

Follow Christian on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HollywoodInToto


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  1. industries or individual businesses under attack from the virtue-signaling / woke / cancel culture terrorists should learn to simply IGNORE them. ….
    DO NOT knee-jerk respond to their initial attacks. Yes, they can assemble a dozen or a 100 slack-jawed human hairballs with misspelled signs in front of your business … but just along enough for a media photo-op … then they simply “go away”.

  2. It’s 1-3% of the population as lunatic leftists who are causing this mess. Never appease them, do T even acknowledge them. A vast majority of the country realizes they are nuts. Treat them as such

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