Monday, April 24, 2017
Why Does Hollywood Ignore The Working People Of The Country? Is It That They Elected Trump? Or Does It Mean They Dislike Anyone Who Works With His Or Her Hands?
Chris Pratt Bullied Into Apology After Advocating For 'Voice Of Blue Collar America' In Movies
Our bullying and reactionary elite media always, always, always enforces its
depraved view of our culture, so the moment I read that "Guardians of the
Galaxy" star Chris Pratt had promoted the idea of more movies that tell the
stories of blue collar America, there was no question it could only end with
Pratt backing down with an apology. And it did.
It all started late last week when an interview with Pratt was released by
"Men's Fitness." He told the magazine:
Pratt said he wants to work on a project someday that speaks to the people he feels Hollywood ignores, since the Washington State-native says he rarely sees his upbringing represented.
“I don’t see personal stories that necessarily resonate with me, because they’re not my stories,” Pratt, 37, told the magazine. “I think there’s room for me to tell mine, and probably an audience that would be hungry for them. The voice of the average, blue-collar American isn’t necessarily represented in Hollywood.”
The reaction from the elite was immediate, and the subtext went something
like this: OMG! OMG! OMG! One of the biggest (and few) remaining movie stars in the whole wide world just stood up for those gross people who made Donald Trump president. Burn the witch! BUUUURN HIM!!
The backlash was so intense you would have thought Pratt suggested Hitler
had a "good side" -- which makes sense; after all, the elite in this country do
see Blue Collar America as nothing more than poorly-dressed Nazis.
While it's nice that Chris wants to see more people like himself on-screen, he is a straight, white male. And Hollywood has an *actual* diversity problem at the moment—both in terms of race and gender. So, actually, maybe it's time for there to be less stories like Chris Pratt's, and more stories about, oh, you know, literally any other marginalized community in this country. …
You can make the case that blue collar America does indeed enjoy
representation in Hollywood, starting with Pratt's own roles in "Jurassic
World" and "Passengers." Then there is pretty much every movie starring
Mark Wahlberg, and just last year we saw "Manchester By the Sea"
(handyman), "Fences" (garbage man), and "Hell or High Water"
So, yes, if you are a hardcore literalist, there is plenty of documentation that
allows you to throw a red flag at Mr. Pratt.
Even though every time I turn on my television it is gay, gay, gay, we all know
that if Pratt had said that he would like to see more Hollywood stories about
homosexuals, he would have been hailed as fearless! brave! and ballsy!
for saying … … … the least controversial and most popular thing anyone
in Hollywood can say.
But because I understand nuance, I got what Pratt meant. Most movies with
blue collar characters are, unfortunately, about something else: giant robots,
dinosaurs, natural disasters, man-made disasters, plane crashes, racial issues
("Fences"), grief and family dysfunction ("Manchester")… That is not a
complaint on my part. Oftentimes these everyday men are the heroes of
the story, and that's a wonderful thing.
But where are the movies that portray blue collar America as it is, their
"voice," as Pratt correctly put it? Where are the movies that show the
everyday heroism and dignity in the work that these men and women do,
the contentment of their lives, the importance of their role in our world?
Hollywood was once rife with stories about farmers, oil workers, builders,
coal miners, truck drivers, factory workers -- the working class wasn't just
represented as a means to tell a bigger story, they werethe story in the
same way movies about teachers today celebrate teaching and teachers,
in the same way that movies today about scientists and artists and political
activists and journalists celebrate whothose peopleare and the importance
of what theydo.
When is the last time a movie about blue collar American reminded us that
these are the people who grow and deliver our food, who keep our lights
on, our toilets flushing, our cars on the road, our trash picked up, our
sewage invisible, our meat slaughtered, our roofs repaired and our streets paved?
Name the last movie you saw that told the truth about blue collar America --
that without them our way of life would cease to exist in a matter of days.
Every opportunity I have to make this point, I do: If I went away tomorrow,
some people might miss my work but the world would keep right on turning.
If overnight everyone stopped writing, composing, acting, performing,
punditing… If overnight there were no new movies, books, TV shows,
songs… If overnight, your television disappeared, cable news went dark,
blogs went dark… Yes, we would miss them but the world would keep
right on turning.
Without the working class, however, without the people who wear the blue
collars and the steel-toed boots, without the very people the elites at Marie
Claire and BuzzFeed and CNN would exterminate in Death Camps if they
could, our lives would be unthinkable, miserable…
A world without MSNBC, John Nolte, "Manchester By the Sea," Lady Gaga,
Marvel, "CSI," and poetry is not a Dystopia.
But if all of our plumbers disappear tomorrow, by this time next week our
world will literally be, well, crap.
Unless you are employed by our oh-so benevolent government (police,
fire, etc), our elite culture looks down on blue collar work, portrays it as
something to escape from, sees the rugged individualism and masculinity
inherent in that culture as "toxic."
And now that those blue collars put Trump in the White House, Pratt --
who is already suspect -- must be bullied into silence and contrition.