Op-Ed: Americans Are Rejecting Woke Hollywood - We Must Provide a Better Alternative


This year, Pixar released “Lightyear,” a movie that should have been a surefire hit.

It was the fifth movie in the very popular Toy Story franchise. It was also the first theatrical release of a Pixar movie in two years.

Pixar movies have always been popular with parents and children. But “Lightyear” flopped. It wasn’t even the top movie on its opening weekend, losing out to “Jurassic World: Dominion,” which was in its second weekend. “Against its sizable $200 million production budget Lightyear barely broke even with global earnings of $225 million,” according to Screenrant.

The fact that the movie was going to fail became obvious quickly. What wasn’t so obvious was why. Everyone seemed to have a theory, and quite honestly, all of them might have played a part in the movie’s failure.

However, the biggest reason for the movie’s failure seems to be why other Disney movies and television shows have been underperforming of late, why Amazon’s $1 billion gamble to create a prequel to the classic “Lord of the Rings” is dropping quickly, and why the once-indomitable Marvel Cinematic Universe is watching its shows go down in flames.

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They are “woke.” This has become a political term, generally referring to someone or something that embraces social progressivism and is particularly aware of race, gender and sexual orientation. It tends to be used when that awareness is taken to a detrimental extreme.

Audiences are turning their backs on woke entertainment, which is often far from entertaining.

Studios continue to throw millions of dollars away (and in the case of Amazon, $1 billion) for movies and shows that fail to make a profit. They may get a high score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, but the audience score usually fares far worse. (The website even altered the way it shows scores to try to protect some woke shows, which didn’t work.)

The public is turning its back on Hollywood and its leftist propaganda pretending to be entertainment. However, people still want to be entertained. A void has been created, and it will be filled one way or another.

The opportunity is here for independent, conservative and Christian filmmakers to step forward with creative entertainment. It is also time for people who say they want something different from Hollywood to support those non-Hollywood efforts.

If we want the public to reject the dreck coming from Hollywood, our offerings must go beyond reinforcing our values. It must be high-quality and entertaining. That is one of the ways Hollywood has failed.

The message is everything… to the filmmakers. The audience is walking away, and they will walk away from non-woke films if the message is the sole reason for the film’s existence.

That’s where the story of “Running the Bases” comes into play.

For the longest time, we wanted to get this movie made, but you’d be surprised how much opposition we ran into in Hollywood over its Christian themes. We stuck to our guns and produced a great sports movie that is also Christian and entertaining.

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Other entertainers are working to do similar things in music and books. These artists are providing the type of entertainment the public says it wants.

Now, it’s up to them to make a choice.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Marty Roberts is the executive director/co-director of "Running the Bases" and the co-founder of UP2U Films. He is the recipient of multiple Telly Awards and Communicator Awards for his high-quality productions. He's worked with PBS, CBS, NBC and Fox Sports.

Jimmy Womble is a writer/director of the feature film "Running the Bases," which opened September 2022 in more than 1,000 cinemas. He has produced award-winning marketing and training videos for Fortune 500 companies as well as motorsports content.