C’Mon Hollywood: What Exactly Is WOKE CINEMA?! (And Why Do Some People Hate It?)

Woke cinema is a topic that’s become increasingly divisive among film fans. Why the controversy? In this video we take a deep dive.

In this new ongoing series, a revival of our old C’Mon Hollywood op-eds, we will examine the current political climate surrounding all things “woke” when it comes to the cinematic arts. Are Hollywood studios pushing an agenda or is this idea overblown? Is this creating a division among us peasants? Is it even possible to critique or watch a film without politics coming into play anymore? 

Our hot shot team of dedicated researchers may have found out that things might not be so black and white… Pun intended? Who knows anymore?! It is an exciting and scary time to be making and watching movies but that type of chaotic environment allows this medium to experiment and grow. Controversy can always inspire conversation and that’s what we are hoping to do with this new show. 

So what’s all the fuss about?

I believe it was the Disney+ flick Peter & Wendy that responded with a “So!?” when asked why The Lost Boys were not exactly Boys. And I believe it was South Park’s Cartman who, while poking fun at Kathleen Kennedy said, “Put a chick in it and make her lame and gay.” Sooooo…. What did she mean by “So?” and what did Cartman mean by “Put a chick in it and make her lame and gay.’? I don’t exactly understand all of that but do I understand LAME. Trust me, I identify as lame.

Like it or not, in the minds of many, the definition of “woke” has changed to mean “lame”. It used to be cool. “Stay woke” was seen as a battle cry to fight injustice and bring equality to the people. But the phrase got overused to the point of parody and social justice morphed into a business and even almost a religion. Wokeness began with the best of intentions but evolved/mutated/transitioned into something well…lame. The definition of the word lame is “uninspiring and dull”. That is what many of these new films and characters have been feeling like… uninspiring and dull. Unfortunately, many of these new dull sources of art and entertainment fall under the category of “Woke”. This unfortunately creates a connection in our collective minds that “woke” content equals “lame” content. This word “lame” also means “unable to walk without difficulty” which is what’s happening to Disney and other studios, who seem to be doubling down on the pandering of “wokeness” in their content, rather than quality entertainment. 

Star Wars, Rey movie, Daisy Ridley

Good woke vs bad woke

Context is key when a film is labelled “woke” and it depends on who is doing the labelling and if the movie is good or not. “Lame Wokeness” is very forgivable when the film offers other “cool” cinematic aspects. You got Good Woke, Bad Woke and Ugly Woke and somehow the Good Woke is overshadowed by the abundance of Bad Ugly Woke… which is lame…. and confusing… but that’s why we are trying our best to tackle these issues. Cinema is still a relatively new tool for artistic expression and we are still making mistakes when it comes to how to tell the best story in the most effective way possible. This new call to arms for our content to be more woke or less woke is the next frontier to explore and who knows what we will find in this new wild west of wokeness. 

At first, “Woke Cinema” was all about telling new stories from new points of view from people who may not have had their stories told in the past due to actual hate and discrimination and racism or sexism or any-ism you wanna ism. But maybe those good intentions went too far, lost focus and began to feel forced, done out of fear and almost hateful themselves; potentially creating enemies out of lifelong allies and supporters. Was it intentional or an accident? Is this argument overblown?

Future episodes

Of course, this is a big topic and in this video, we’re only scratching the surface. This debate has been raging on for a long time now, and likely won’t cease anytime soon. If there’s something about the topic you’d like us to cover, or maybe you even have a counter-point, make sure to let us know in the comments! In the meantime, please check out the video above and let us know what you think!

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