Hollywood Sign LA

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

As a child, movies were a significant part of my life.  I grew up in the 1960’s and the first genre that attracted my attention was horror.  Every Saturday night, I’d look forward to the offerings of Creature Features or Chiller Theater and the old black and white movies that they’d televise.  As I grew up, I developed an appreciation for all other genres and can honestly say that I never get tired of watching classic films that defined generations.  I minored in film in college, and have spent a good portion of my life writing screenplays and teaching about the art of filmmaking.

Many people fail to realize that filmmaking, like any other industry, is subject to the economic laws of supply and demand, and the number one question all producers need to answer before making the effort to create a product is, “What is the demand for my product?”  Economics is fact-based and not subject to distorted, woke fantasies about reality.  People either want your product or not, and you can say the movie “identifies” as a success, but box office receipts don’t lie.


Making movies is a risky business, and it’s hard to predict whether a movie will be a box office smash or bomb, however, when a movie studio continues to use the same formula, as Disney has, and produces bomb after bomb, and refuses to change its content, something is seriously wrong and stockholders should question whether those running these companies are focused on company profits or political pandering.

There is one rule for making movies and it goes back to the origins of not just film, but storytelling in general: Stories must be entertaining.  Famous playwright, David Mamet, once gave his advice to writers which he summed up in three words, “Never be boring.”  In other words, the task of writers, producers and directors is to always be entertaining.  Disney, woke Hollywood and all other filmmakers who produce dismal films that seek to impart their political agenda of identity politics through rigid rules for what they call “inclusivity” and “empowering of underrepresented groups,” at the expense of telling great stories with relatable characters are to the film industry what the Edsel was to the automobile industry, however, auto makers learned from their mistakes very quickly, which is not the case for the movie making industry.

Can movies be used to educate, most definitely.  Should movies focus on education at the expense of entertainment?  Definitely not.  In 2021, the Motion Picture Academy decided that the goal of future films should be inclusivity, and created standards to force filmmakers to alter stories to include characters and actors from “marginalized groups” to be eligible to compete for Oscars.  These standards are known as RAISE (representation and inclusion standards).

According to the Academy Awards website, producers are required to submit an Academy Inclusion Standards form (RAISE)  to be eligible for the industry’s highest awards and must meet TWO out of FOUR of standards that involve the following categories:





According to Standard A, the first 2 parts are lists of underrepresented actors who need to be included in the

Product, in other words, it dictates things like the ethnicity, sex, gender etc. of those cast and the

Subcategory of Themes and Narratives the requirement reads as follows:

A3. Main storyline/subject matter

The main storyline(s), theme or narrative of the film is centered on an underrepresented group(s).

  • Women * Racial or ethnic group * LGBTQ+ * People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

Representation and Inclusion Standards | Oscars.org | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

For writers, directors and actors, the creative process is something that should never be constrained with rigid rules.  Telling a writer that to achieve an industry’s highest award means that the writer must alter his or her themes, storylines or character choices to X, Y or Z is unconscionable.  Audiences bear this out by rejecting stories that sacrifice originality because of the egos and overt political stances of producers, directors and writers who blame audiences for not wanting to waste two hours of their lives viewing stories that are unentertaining and agenda driven.

One might say that this only involves Academy Awards eligibility, and filmmakers can make movies that aren’t bound by the dictates of the Academy, however, the problem here is that so many filmmaking executives at studios subscribe to these principles and defend them, which is why so many bad movies are made.

It’s unfortunate that those in lofty positions at studios have lost sight of the fact that their industry is called: The Entertainment Industry, and their obsession with micromanaging creativity has led to a backlash among customers who would prefer to enjoy a movie or television program than be forced to wonder how many lesbian, half Eskimo, half Wiccan are represented in what they are watching.

The irony of Hollywood is that it is one of the most exclusive industries in America.  Producers, directors, actors and writers have their own industry people, and if you aren’t in “the club,” you have no chance of being cast or having your work produced and this can be attested by any agent, actor, writer, etc. who is on the outside looking in, so their RAISE standards exposes the hypocrisy of an industry that punishes anyone who does not tow their one-sided woke, liberal talking points.

There was a time when movies helped us take our minds off of the harsh realities of life.  They were a venue to temporarily escape during the Great Depression, celebrate heroes and condemn villains.  Memorable characters made audiences cringe, laugh, admire, empathize or admire the storylines where they were featured. The stories that audiences enjoyed for decades had very diverse storylines, but they all shared one thing: they were entertaining.  To paraphrase a wonderful movie line, “write a great story, with compelling characters and they will come.”