As I was writing my commentary article for Far Cry 5 earlier today it occurred to me that I was seeing a pattern in the mainstream media that, frankly, I didn’t think I’d see for some time.
As time goes on, I feel like I’m seeing more and more examples of Hollywood and other forms of media becoming far more friendly to the right-leaning parts of America. Movies, games, and actors alike have displayed right wing, God fearing, pro-gun tendencies that are either bashed or wholly ignored from the rest of the mainstream media, but are stand out so boldly that they’re hard to deny.
Just to give you a few recent examples…
For one, the recent video game Far Cry 5 was seemingly set up to be one of the most anti-right games to be seen in a long time. However, upon my playing through it for a couple weeks (read my full commentary about the game here) I’m left with the impression that the game is actually giving something of a friendly nod to the right-leaning middle America that is so often spit upon by mainstream media entities.
Sure enough, the game was looked down upon by leftist reviewers who complained that the game didn’t tackle issues like racism, gun control, or most mentioned, gave no negative commentary on Christianity. Instead, the game smiled on God fearing, gun owning, red state Americans. They were the good guys.
Before that, I had gone to the theaters to see the 2018 version of Death Wish. As I say in my review (which you can read here) the movie does a very solid job of pointing out that being an unarmed pacifist won’t save you from violent men. It even shows the negative side of vigilantism and teaches a solid lesson about how legal gun ownership can save the day and protect your home.
The critics jumped on “Death Wish” like hyenas on a wounded gazelle. They hated it with a passion, calling it “ill-timed” due to its release so close to the Parkland school shooting, and a “male fantasy.” As I wrote, however, the timing of the movie was absolutely perfect. It showed that a hard target is a target that is likely too dangerous to attempt to overcome. It showed that guns do solve problems, and that true safety is the kind where you’re just as dangerous, if not more so, than the bad guy. I also pointed out that break-ins, robberies, and murders are not at all a “fantasy,” and that many a life has been saved, and much property has gone unmolested thanks to the presence of the good guy with a gun.
But Death Wish is just one example of a movie that the right can appreciate as of late. Movies such as 13 Hours, American Sniper, 15:17 to Paris, and 12 Strong are all recent films that pluck at pro-military, pro-America heartstrings. With the exception of American Sniper, these movies were panned by critics but mostly loved by paying audiences.
Even in major mainstream movies, conservatism shines through in the form of characters like Marvel’s Captain America, who declares there’s only one God and expresses his disagreement with government overreach in tandem with libertarian values.
Then there are moments where actors have unabashedly declared their values in public that are either right-leaning or fall in line with values associated with the right.
Chris Pratt is an America loving country boy who is highly open about his Christian faith. At one point, Pratt called his fans to prayer for the sake of “Clerks” director Kevin Smith who had suffered a horrible heart attack. Many a leftist, atheist, and SJW immediately lashed out at Pratt for daring to suggest the public pray for something.
Normally, this would result in an actor apologizing or backing down. Pratt did not. To make matters better, his friend and Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn jumped to his defense and spoke about how prayer has played a massive role in his life. Kevin Smith, as well, took Pratt’s side despite being an atheist.
Roseanne Barr, like her or not, boldly told Jimmy Kimmel, aka “the conscience of America” that the left went so far over that they left the rest of America behind and vocally told the audience that she supported Trump. Her new Roseanne reboot displays an appreciation for right-leaning middle America and shows how both sides of the aisle can coexist without hate. While it’s no “Last Man Standing,” it’s not the right-wing bash many a leftist wishes it was.
Also recently were South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker confessing the fact that they’re Republicans to a room full of Hollywood types as they accepted an award for their work. The duo is known for their right-leaning commentary on their show South Park, and even in their movie Team America: World Police, but have never outright confessed their political leanings except to say that their values are libertarian in nature.
But over all of these examples, one really stands out for me personally, and it’s because it was a right-leaning moment that came from a left-leaning show.
The Simpsons had found itself suddenly embroiled in controversy over its Apu character, a stereotypical convenience store owning man from India. The character had been around for years, but with the surge of SJW outrage building over the past few years, their guns had suddenly turned on the longtime left-friendly show.
Normally when this happens a show may issue an apology, and speak on how they regret their unthinking actions. However, The Simpsons put their foot down and then proceeded to use it to kick dirt at the social justice crowd.
As I cover more thoroughly here, the Simpsons responded to the outrage within the show itself in the form of Marge and Lisa discussing a politically correct bedtime story. Lisa and Marge get into a conversation about how a perfect representation of a politically correct person has no real story value, and somewhat broke the 4th wall to inform their audience that The Simpsons will not be attempting to address or correct their comedic style to fit the social justice agenda…ever.
There was a good deal of outrage from the left about this initially, and then…silence. The Simpsons had done something that the mainstream media should have done to the social justice community a long time ago, and that’s to say “no.” It might not be widely viewed as such, but in my opinion, this may be one of the more important moments in TV history. A political line in the sand drawn against the left, by the left.
I’m in no way saying that the right is getting the upper hand in the media. Not yet. Too many actors, actresses, and movies have zero problem insulting and dismissing the right. There is still a long way to go before the closed-minded bigotry of the mainstream media dissipates enough so that the right can fully share the platform. The leftist Hollywood bubble remains strong, but it is showing signs that it is not impenetrable.
Perhaps this is a result of Hollywood noticing that left-leaning anything doesn’t sell as well. The NFL and award shows are perfect examples of how introducing leftist politics causes audiences to find something better to do. However, audiences will pay to see something that glorifies American values. A free market response is oftentimes the loudest.
However, it’s my — possibly ludicrous — hope that there is an ebbing to the bigotry of the mainstream. That the closed-mindedness of Hollywood is beginning to soften thanks to the arrival of different voices and values that are proving to be wise. These voices show that the populace they make these movies for aren’t the mindless yokels they thought, and that differing ideologies do not have to equal hate. That different thinking does not mean evil.
It could be both of those things. It could be neither. It could be that I’m being more hopeful than I am realistic. However, the pattern is there, and I’ll be excited to see if it develops further.