“Get woke, go broke” applies to everything from corporations to art, with few exceptions. Movies that tend to do anything beyond flirt with social justice messaging tend to bomb so badly that there are terrorist compounds in the middle east that look in better shape than the wreckage fans and critics of a franchise left behind.
Disney has experienced a serious blowback against their social justice laden reboot of the Star Wars franchise, with The Last Jedi being considered a travesty among its fans, and rightfully so. Its boring Mary Sue lead, mistreatment of beloved characters, and nonsensical plot points meant to make the diversity hires in the move look better wrecked the film. One almost misses the days of Jar Jar Binks.
The entire disaster has Disney reportedly looking into a reset of the franchise. No one is sure what a “reset” means, but hopefully, it involves firing the project lead and woke feminist Kathleen Kennedy.
Disney’s Marvel franchise, on the other hand, has been blessedly free (more or less) from too much social justice messaging. While not every entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is top-notch, the movies are at least watchable, with some being unbelievable accomplishments that will go down in cinematic history as the bar to beat.
Kevin Feige, the man in charge of Marvel, has so far done an excellent job of making sure the wokeness hasn’t saturated the MCU to unbearable levels, but it would appear that this has come to an end, as Captain Marvel’s lead Brie Larson has made it clear that this is an activist-led, social justice laden movie.
According to her interview in InStyle magazine, Larson considers the film to her form of social justice activism, by making demands that cast and crew be diverse and pushing feminist messaging:
Part of the reason Larson took on the role of Marvel’s ultimate feminist icon, Captain Marvel, is due to the character’s own sense of humanity. “She didn’t apologize for herself,” Larson explains. “I felt like that was a really valuable trait, because she is incredibly flawed and makes a lot of mistakes … and has to ask to atone for them, and that is super valuable. She’s not ever shrinking herself down.”
It also linked back to her mission of filmmaking with a purpose. “The movie was the biggest and best opportunity I could have ever asked for,” Larson says. “It was, like, my superpower. This could be my form of activism: doing a film that can play all over the world and be in more places than I can be physically.”
InStyle later added…:
And what she can do is make an impact. Much of her drive these days is using her celebrity as a platform to push for social change. She is heavily involved in the Time’s Up movement, was one of the first actors to adopt an inclusion rider in her contract (mandating diversity in casting and production staff), and is a vocal advocate for representation in the media. As she begins her global Captain Marvel press tour, she has pledged to spotlight other women behind the scenes, insisting on gender and racial parity in the press and wearing mostly female designers. “Inclusion has to be a choice; it’s not happening naturally,” Larson says bluntly. “You really have to fight for it.”
I find it fascinating that Larson is being very specific about the journalists who get to cover her film. When they’re being hand-picked, it makes it very difficult to find one that will give it an honest review, especially when they’re more focused on the wokeness factor of the film more than its actual value.
I think this is because Larson and Disney are already preparing for the fact that the film will receive a good deal of backlash upon release. Everyone from Feige to Larson has made sure to let us know that Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel) is the most powerful figure to enter the MCU yet. Between this constantly being brought up and Larson’s social justice cheerleading, it’s led many fans to believe that the outgoing Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and more will be replaced by a boring Mary Sue character.
And fans, including myself, have every reason to believe this. Star Wars suffers in part because Rey, Disney’s current Mary Sue, is a dismissable mess of overpowered, flawless nonsense that leaves viewers wanting. The social justice community, however, considers her a massive success. Yes, her character arc and growth is horrendous, but at least she gets an A+ on the Bechdel Test.
As of late, many franchises from Ghostbusters to Super Girl have been trying to force social justice down our throats by putting forth woke female characters that defy evil white men. These stories often bomb because they have no focus on story, character development, or relatability. It’s all about the political message Hollywood is trying to get across.
As Larson continues to focus more on politics than art, MCU fans who have watched other franchises and brands crumble and fall thanks to the rot that identity politics brings with it are feeling like they’re about to watch something great get destroyed. What tends to be released with political agendas behind them isn’t artful escapism, but propaganda, and that’s only enjoyed by choirs who like to be preached to about their own religion.
Captain Marvel isn’t just a standalone movie that we can dismiss, it’s part of an entire universe, and Danvers is being set up to be a central figure within it.
Rest assured, the movie will do well in light of the fact that it’s a Marvel movie and it’s a lead up to the conclusion of the Infinity War with Avengers: Endgame. The monetary success will be used as a signal to Disney that they’ve gone in the right direction, and Marvel will introduce more Larson-like actors and Danvers-like characters.
The MCU will get woke, and will suddenly find itself going broke.