The saddest part of Hollywood will play out this week. According to Deadline Hollywood, massive lay-offs are set to be made at Sony. How many cuts? Try around $100 million dollars worth.
I wrote recently how progressive producers were already on thin ice after last year’s box office disappointments After Earth, White House Down, and Elysium–films packed with progressive talking points. Now (as I feared) after the added lackluster returns from Monuments Men and RoboCop, the hammer is set to fall.
When others ask why I dislike these political/activist films, it’s because of weeks like these. I hate watching regular folks lose their jobs at studios through no fault of their own. The way the “political game” is played is for Hollywood talent to release their boring, progressive films regardless of how they may fare. When the films flop, which is often, they take a hit to their careers, but otherwise survive to try and make another one. That is not the case for the regular studio worker, they watch these films flop and are soon let go without the financial “safety nets” actors enjoy.
The next part of the “game” is then watching many in the industry try to downplay incidents like these, “Well, it’s just a thousand workers fired. Life goes on.” A clear example was in 2011 when Happy Feet 2 (a pro-global warming ballad aimed at younger audiences) flopped horrendously. Not long after, the layoffs started, but to the Matt Damons of the world (who helped voice the film), this wasn’t a big deal. The actors pretended everything was normal and downplayed any negative news. It repeats again and again.
I dislike watching it knowing full well it won’t be the last time. A thousand here, 600 here, a hundred million here, these layoffs have added up over the years. You don’t hear the Harvey Weinsteins of the world talk about these fired workers much. If they did, people would see a very different view of Hollywood.
For those of you who consider this “acceptable losses,” as long as the progressive message gets out, tell that to the studio workers at Sony now nervously waiting next to their phones. Those waiting for the next hammer to fall.