Between government-mandated lockdowns, entertainment’s strong political shift to the left, and the lowest-rated Oscars in the awards show’s history, Hollywood’s decline is even more evident than before.
Like many others, Will Jordan, a Scottish YouTuber and author, noticed the lack of enthusiasm surrounding the Academy Awards and penned “An Open Letter to Hollywood” expressing frustration with the directors, producers, and actors he once loved.
“The Oscars were an important barometer for the way the industry was going … but over time, it all began to change,” Jordan, who goes by “The Critical Drinker” on YouTube, explained.
As the years passed, the atmosphere changed from a celebration of film to a denigration of modern culture. More and more people use their time on the podium to push their hastily concocted political opinions, comment on the social issues of the day, and of course, rail against the orange man for some cheap applause. This kind of unwelcome political diarrhea all went hand in hand with demands for nominees to be picked based on their demographic makeup, rather than the quality of their work.
This elitist behavior, Jordan continued, is merely performative and a ploy by Hollywood to “prove how virtuous and socially aware they” are despite their “disturbing abuses of power behind the scenes.”
The end result of all of this was the Hollywood developed a reputation as a clique of arrogant, corrupt spoiled, out of touch, narcissists endlessly lecturing regular people about how to live their lives while conveniently ignoring their own shortcomings, pushing divisive political rhetoric with only a vague understanding of the issues at hand, and self righteously railing against the very system that pays for their obscenely lavish lifestyles in the first place.
“My message is a simple: one f-cking stop this insanity,” said Jordan. “Stop trying to lecture us. Stop pretending to care about things that you absolutely don’t take a minute out of your life to actually support. Stop using your platform as an excuse to push your own political views. Stop trying to inject it into every movie and TV show that you produce. And most of all, stop pretending that you’re even intellectually or morally qualified to talk about this stuff.”
Movies and TV, Jordan pointed out, used to be a point of escape for people but now they are just telling people how to live.
It’s no secret that the past year has been kind of a tough one. And for most people really life isn’t all that fun or uplifting right now, and that’s where you should be in your elements. Entertainment used to provide some much-needed escapism from the troubles and cares of the real world…it seems like every single piece of media produced today has to be saddled with all the baggage and issues and grievances of the real world. There’s literally no escape from it anymore. Everywhere we turn, we’re bombarded with relentless doom and gloom, or smug lectures about how we need to be better or thinly veiled attacks hidden behind the mask of righteousness.
The Hollywood “fantasy bubble,” Jordan said, is not relatable to anyone.
Imagine for a moment that you’re a working class family whose business has been shut down for the past year, leaving you struggling just to put food on the table every single day is a desperate grind to keep going and make ends meet. Then some multimillionaire actor who lives in a gated mansion and wears clothes that cost more than your annual salary appears on your TV and starts demanding that you recognize your privilege to better and vote for the people they tell you to,” he said. “Well, how would you react to that? Perhaps you begin to see why regular people are less and less interested in watching you and your rich friends slap each other on the back for making things that nobody wants to watch and smell and your own farts for several hours.
Jordan says he doesn’t want to see Hollywood burn, but he wants it “to be great again.”
You guys have produced some of the most incredible movie experiences of my lifetime. You’ve put together works of art that have thrilled me with excitement, made my heart pine with suspense, inspired me with wonder, and even brought a tear to my eye, and you’ve done the same thing to millions of people all across the world, generation after generation, but you’re not doing it anymore,” Jordan lamented. “You’ve lost sight of why you exist. You’re pushing your own audiences away by trying to force things on them that they don’t want. And instead of taking a step back to question whether you’re walking the wrong path, your pride and ego compels you to double down again and again.
Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.