Recently, many in the West have used the phrase, “Get woke, go broke” to describe the phenomenon of Hollywood celebrities and production corporations obnoxiously rushing into the realm of “identity politics” and “social justice,” losing their hold on good storytelling, then losing money, fans, and respect as a result. But what often gets overlooked in the term “go broke” is the loss of expertise and achievement that can result from castigating and eschewing merit itself.
In the latest turn away from merit and toward leftist racial separatism, yet another “woke” celluloid hero just “stood tall” against racism by…
...promoting the idea of race-based employment, racial prejudice, stereotyping, and, of course, “identity politics.”
John F. Trent reports for BoundingIntoComics that DC Films’ “New Gods” director, Ava DuVernay, recently threatened to intentionally not hire white men for films.
Which is her prerogative. People should be able to hire whomever they want, for whatever reasons they want. And, rather than being punished by government, they should answer to society and allow us to show each of our own values.
But that’s not really what this is about.
As Trent explains, DuVernay’s threat came as a response to Twitter posts from “woke” actress Nichole French, who initially noted:
Today, a black film editor posted in a Facebook group for Hollywood editors looking to connect w/other black editors, as there is severe underrepresentation in post-production & they can be hard to find. What ensued is a slew of white editors who immediately objected(…)
Which presents some questions.
First, what does she mean by "black film editor?” Does that mean a person who edits film that is black in color, or a person who cuts "Black" genre films, whatever that could be, or is this is a film editor who is black?
Second, what is underrepresentation? How much representation is enough? What if this so-called "underrepresentation" is not caused by the actions of nefarious people, but is a result of the different interests of different individuals? Is there such a thing as a self-driven individual anymore, or are all people merely skin colors and “types” to be shifted around and used as pawns in race-based political battles?
Ms. French’s amplification doesn’t answer those questions. She added:
(objected…) to the post, asked for it to be taken down by moderators, and accused the poster of breaking the law, discriminating against whites, fanning ‘anti-white’ racism against them, and insulted black editors and white editors speaking up for diversity.
Connecting to the Twitter feeds of his former employers, French then posted a screencap of what appears to be the Facebook post of a man named Nathan Lee Bush, a person who appears to have engaged in his own mix of salient points and identity politics:
Look what we’re asked to tolerate… The people openly and proudly practicing racism are the ones calling everyone racist to shut them down, and anyone who dares to speak up is canceled, their livelihoods and dreams stripped from them by the braying mob… White people, it’s time to speak up vehemently against the anti-white racism so proudly displayed here and in the culture, before it’s too late. This is about more than your career, or the next agency gig. This is about the country you and your kids will live in… Free speech is a use it or lose it proposition. Be brave and stand up to this intolerant mod trying to shout you down. It’s now or never.”\
Bush also added another Facebook post that appeared to set-off Ms. French:
Fine. I’m going to start preferencing the wrong/bad race and gender in my hiring from now on. See how many clap emojis I get… People have become confused about reality. ‘Discrimination was BAD before, but now discrimination is GOOD, but only when applied against the BAD groups.’ How underdeveloped does your capacity for reason have to be where this passes for logic? Religious insanity bordering on hysteria.
Others got caught up in the Bush Facebook exchanges and French ire, as Trent explains:
Next on French’s cancel list was Russ Blaise.
He wrote, ‘I wonder how it would go over if I asked for a white union editor.’
In another comment he wrote, ‘You don’t get it I was just asking a question. Don’t get all BLM on me! I could care less if someone wants to only hire a black person to do a job for them. It’s just if I would ask to just hire a white person for my project, you liberals would be climbing walls!’
French went on to target at least eight more people who had commented in one form or another that hiring based on race – regardless of whether that race is a “minority” -- was wrong and against government statute; she even called some of them racist and implied that many of them should be run out of their careers within the entertainment industry.
All of which brings us to Ms. DuVarney, the film producer/director who stepped in to Tweet what could be a not-so-subtle message to those men French so vociferously disliked, men whom DuVarney could potentially employ on her “New Gods” project:
Everyone has a right to their opinion. And we - Black producers with hiring power - have the right to not hire those who diminish us. So, to the white men in this thread... if you don’t get that job you were up for, kindly remember... bias can go both ways. This is 2020 speaking.
Which, of course, implies that 2020 sees America “growing up” and, now, exercising prejudicial discriminatory tactics against innocent white men, to make up for previous injustices that were not the fault of those men.
There are myriad ways to respond to this kind of perpetual cycle of exclusion, but the Tweet of Isabella Rhinelander sums it up well:
Let me see if I got this right: Discrimination against a POC for employment is bad and a crime. But against a white male it's good and ‘justice?’ Do I understand that correctly?
Ms. Rhinelander’s point should not need amplification. But, in case some SJWs don’t get it, here’s the crux of the matter: how about people cut the “canceling” and attacks, and calmly speak to one another to get perspectives?
How about recognizing the impossibility of determining what is “proper representation” in a project? That's always something to be left to individual choice and preference, and trying to equalize outcome often involves coercion and government threats, and creates more resentment?
How about considering meritocracy a good thing, and that hiring based on race smothers many aspects of merit and skills that are essential to do well?
And if a black, or white, or any other "color" person wants to hire based on race, why not? Why not let folks associate with whom they want and let the chips fall, allowing us to respond based on our preferences and ethics? If we are not willing to allow that freedom to others in their hiring, should we be forced to buy the products of racists and folks we think shouldn’t get our cash? After all, as consumers, we’re employers, too.
And how about folks recognize that NOT associating with people or NOT HIRING a person isn't an "attack," regardless of whether we like or dislike that decision?
If people don't want to hire based on merit, it's difficult to claim that the person is necessarily "racist." And the flip-side to it is that, often, when people try to make up for what they see as perceived disparities in racial "representation", they end up engaging in the same kind of racial, superficially assumptive activity they supposedly hate.
How about the people at each other’s throats, and those who want to engage in new racism to “make up for” previous racism, see that all of it becomes impossible to manage and just furthers discontent?
And how about the Hollywood elites realize that as they promote the “Cancel Culture” through their “identity politics,” as they stare at skin color and try to make things “representational” while calling others racist, we, the potential audience members, are exercising our free will.
Why can't they see we're turning to other forms of entertainment?