We talk about audience appeal for certain types of stories every time a new film comes across our way. Catering towards what people like and are familiar with has been an old practice for many filmmakers and studios to date. However, there's been an unnerving trend that's been rearing its ugly head the past few years. It's caused frequent eye rolls, unhindered migraines, and overt head pounding against walls. I call it the Offended Audience. Audiences that become so offended by a movie that they rise up against the creators as a whole to talk down on them and even attempt to oppress the creator's future work of making any other content. Although having an opinion about a person or work is just fine, what's NOT fine is the extent of the actions being taken.
Let's start with what it means to be offended. According to Merriam-Webster, the closest definitions of "offend" I'm referring to are: (1) to cause dislike, anger, or vexation (intransitive); or (2) to cause (a person or group) to feel hurt, angry, or upset by something said or done (transitive). To be "offended" by anything is a personal experience of someone's actions or words towards them - an internal reflection. Now, if an offense involves a physical action towards someone, then I believe every person has a right to physically protect themselves. However - and here's where it gets tricky - if it is involved in the Artistic / Entertainment realm without a physical component, then you have every right to shut it!! This is EXACTLY the case when it comes to film and television. People CHOOSE to watch movies and TV shows, then take to Twitter, social media, and their bullshit political groups to push for them to be removed. Utter malarkey.
Films and TV shows are stories for entertainment. I did a video called the Fiction vs Reality Conundrum (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ii2g7svcFpU) where I break down complications people bring in where they confuse fiction with reality in the face of the #metoo movement. In short, fictional pieces (i.e. movies, TV shows, artwork, etc) are NOT reality. The entertainment industry, by its own nature, exploits reality for entertainment purposes - that's the way it's always been. If you agree with it or not is regardless of the fact that the entire WORLD uses entertainment as an escape from reality. One of the main goals of humor is to diffuse the power of certain real-life tragic events by diffusing its power via the ridiculous. Mel Brooks was notorious for this in his films - he's Jewish and constantly made fun of Hitler and the Nazis... but it was for entertainment, not to influence people to become Nazis. Now throw in the fact that there are droves of people speaking out against actors, directors, and creators to talk down on them for the content of their fictional story, and you have a mixture of ridiculous ridicule rounding every radical corner.
Here's the point... if you feel the "need" to go complain to the masses in order to build momentum in an attempt to ostracize a filmmaker, actor, comedian, creator... over their ART and not their REAL LIFE OFFENSES, then you, Sir/Ma'am, are a Moronic Asshole encroaching on the Freedom of Speech. Demonize the real life monsters, not the artists portraying them for entertainment, satire, cynicism, etc. Seriously, if you feel offended by someone's work, then just don't watch their future pieces - it literally is that simple. This isn't like the Street Art movement which was meant to interrupt the hegemony of society by forcing unwilling people to experience / see their art; you CHOOSE to continue watching shows and movies by particular creators.
In the end, it's extremely tiring to hear the bullshit agenda being pushed by people aiming for universal political correctness in movies and television shows. It's fine to have an opinion about someone's creation; it's NOT fine to expect / push for everyone to have YOUR opinion about it. How many more times do we have to hear about actors, directors, celebrities, etc, being attacked for their work before we realize it's a fucking stupid attempt to fuel your God Complex to control everything around you?? Time will tell...
Written by: J Hooligan
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