Sunday, February 28, 2016

Hollywood is Moneyist, Not Racist.

I understand that Chris Rock went off on Hollywood about the White People's Choice Awards and how the place is small "r" racist. Maybe. His opinion, of course, but maybe.

I have a different theory. Check with anyone you know about how auditions there work; you are a type, not an individual; possibly an ethnicity, depending on what they are seeking for the role in question. You go to an audition, and are met with a room full of people who resemble you, waiting to be seen. But even this, problematic as it is, really isn't the issue.

Hollywood is moneyist. It doesn't care about stories, or races, or individuals, or social commentary or anything...on the top level, anyway...more than it cares about turning a profit. And if one kind of movie makes money, expect to see the same movie, remade in many different ways, until it stops making money. Then they go with the next thing. Now, do smaller, socially conscious projects get made? Yes. As cheaply as possible, and usually at SAG scale. And if they make back costs, everyone is thrilled because they got to Make A Statement. And the they make the next Iron Man movie. Because anymore, it's all about foreign distribution, too, and Iron Man (and movies of its ilk) sell abroad.

I guess what I am saying is this: Hollywood is the purest example of a capitalist endeavor in America today. Movies are basically unregulated, except for content ratings, and you can make pretty much anything, spending whatever you desire up front in hopes of recouping later, and (depending on your contract and cut) if it hits big, your take can be enormous. Robert Downey, Jr made $50 million from one Iron Man movie, and they reason he made so much is because the studio killed with the first two and wanted the gravy train to keep rolling. He got paid, they made more money, and the moneyist system rolled on.

It really isn't about race. Eddie Murphy had a long run where he made popular movies. He got paid, the studios and investors got paid, everyone was happy, and no one gave a crap that he was black. When he stopped making them money, he stopped making movies, for the most part.

So here's the thing: find a way to make movies that will make money, and I guarantee that Hollywood will hire your type in preference to anyone else for as long as the cash flows. After that, all bets are off. But won't it be grand to cash in for awhile? And think of all of those industry awards!

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