RT presents The WOKIES: 2020’s top virtue signalers, ENTERTAINMENT edition
Michael McCaffrey is a writer and cultural critic who lives in Los Angeles. His work can be read at RT, Counterpunch and at his website mpmacting.com/blog. He is also the host of the popular cinema podcast Looking California and Feeling Minnesota. Follow him on Twitter @MPMActingCo
It is unsurprising that the entertainment industry, which naturally attracts the intellectually vapid, the emotionally insecure and the rabidly self-absorbed, boasted some of the most egregious and aggressive virtue signaling in the history of the art form in 2020.
Anyone who has ever waded through the intellectual cesspool of our narcissistic culture is all too familiar with the compulsive public expressions of moral superiority and shameless self-righteousness of entertainment industry wokeness.
In 2020, entertainment industry virtue signalers, in a desperate attempt for attention and validation, vomited such copious amounts of their odious, self-serving woke bile into the public sphere that it felt like we were all living in a giant virtue vomitorium.
In honor of the worst year in recent memory, I have put together a list of the 10 worst virtue signalers in entertainment for 2020. Enjoy!
10. New York Times film critics
The NYT’s list of the 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century (So Far) and the Best Actors of 2020 studiously ignored talent, skill and reality and instead went all in on virtue signaling by including a cavalcade of minority, foreign and elderly actors as well as ridiculous Tik-Tok performers. The final result is a human resources department’s wet dream and looks more like the waiting room at a casting call for a diversity and inclusion public service announcement than a collection of best actors.
9. Berlin International Film Festival
The home of the famous Golden Bear and Silver Bear Awards announced this year that they were going gender neutral in their acting awards… how very Weimar of them. Next up – Golden and Silver Bears announce their pronouns are they/them and ze/zir.Also on rt.com Berlin Film Festival ditching ‘gendered’ best actor nomination will lead to unfair, outrage-dictated awards
8. HBO Max
Put a warning label on Gone with the Wind so that people knew they were bad for watching it and evil for liking it. Also put out UNpregnant, a zany, whacky, fun-loving teen abortion movie. So much virtue to signal!Also on rt.com HBO Max has pulled ‘Gone With the Wind’ from its service in order to fight racism and, frankly my dear, I DO give a damn!
7. Kristen Bell
Bell had an All-Star caliber virtue signaling year… she quit a voice role because she is white, did the ‘I Take Responsibility’ video – the gold standard of the virtue signaling art form, then said she raises her kids anti-racist and doesn’t care about their sexual choices. The Quadruple Crown of virtue signaling! Ask not for whom the virtue signaling Bell tolls… it tolls for all of us!Also on rt.com Purple Lives Matter? Kristen Bell children’s book preaching tolerance savaged for ‘colorblindness’ & ignoring real racism
6. Richard Brody, film critic at the New Yorker
Brody turned the virtue signaling up to 11 this year by being inappropriately amorous with the pedophile starter kit known as Cuties and by ranking Spike Lee’s abysmal and amateurish Da 5 Bloods as #2 on his ‘Best of the Year’ list. Apparently, Brody doesn’t care if people think he’s a pedophile, but he REALLY doesn’t want people to think he’s racist… now that’s some quality virtue signaling!Also on rt.com Netflix’s backing of ‘Cuties’ is bad for its reputation, but the damage the film is doing to profits should hurt it more
5. Late Night Comedy
As evidenced by the insipid woke comedic stylings of Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon’s impotent apology for wearing blackface 20 years ago, Stephen Colbert literally crying about Trump, and the eunuch brigade of Jimmy Kimmel, John Oliver and Trevor Noah going all in on the safest, wokest, establishment-approved comedy imaginable, virtue signaling has spread like a contagion through late night comedy. These flaccid, pandering clowns make Jay Leno seem downright Carlin-esque. Yuck.Also on rt.com Comedians must never apologize if comedy is to survive in the age of cancel culture
Disney attached absurdly verbose content warnings to some of their classic animated films like Dumbo and Lady and the Tramp and Hulu (which Disney controls) pulled episodes of 30 Rock, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Scrubs, Golden Girls and Community for committing the sin of comedy ‘black face’ in the past. Disney – where adults get treated like children!Also on rt.com Disney’s risible new content warning is the latest woke step on the slippery slope to entertainment armageddon
3. NBA/LeBron James
This year, the NBA emulated the flopping and vacant histrionics of its players by doing an extravagantly exaggerated, dramatically over-the-top embrace of ‘social justice’.
In the NBA bubble in Orlando – the Happiest Place on Earth, ‘Black Lives Matter’ was painted on every court and players wore trite woke slogans on the back of their jerseys. The absurdity and obscenity of filthy rich, pampered, dim-witted athletes, safely sealed in five-star hotels with all expenses paid, adored by millions of people worldwide, wearing jerseys demanding fans ‘See Us’ and ‘Love Us’ is so astronomical as to be immeasurable.
Then there is the MVP of Virtue Signaling, LeBron James, who should trade in his Nikes for clown shoes after he wore a Breonna Taylor ‘Say Her Name’ T-shirt and did an egregiously adolescent and nauseatingly pretentious Wakanda salute when Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman died. Yikes.
LeBron won the NBA championship in 2020 and nearly took the virtue signaling title too!Also on rt.com Wayne Dupree: I love the NBA, but these part-time activists have gotten on my last nerve
2. The Oscars
To paraphrase Schindler’s List, the Oscars’ new diversity and inclusion initiative isn’t just some good old-fashioned hating of straight, able-bodied white men…it’s official policy now.
If the Academy Awards’ goal is to signal its virtue enough to make straight, able-bodied white men persona non grata in Hollywood, destroy cinematic quality and bankrupt the film industry, they are succeeding spectacularly. Bravo!Also on rt.com Take that, climate change! With the Oscars’ plant-based menu, Hollywood finally saves the world for real
1. ‘Imagine’ Video
Imagine being so self-absorbed that you think making a video of you and your wealthy friends singing the saccharine anthem ‘Imagine’ from your mansions during a pandemic when ordinary people are suffering unimaginable-to-you hardships such as losing their jobs, their homes and their loved ones, is a really good idea.
I ‘Imagine’ a glorious utopia with no jackass celebrities or pathetically pandering corporations and certainly no virtue signaling. I know it will never happen, but it is a pleasant dream.Also on rt.com Covid-19 is the slow death of celebrity: As fame’s brilliance fades, we can see the real heroes clearly
Congratulations to all the virtue signalers of 2020. Your grating, self-serving displays of phony virtue are a towering monument to your own shamelessness and self-righteousness.
Like this story? Share it with a friend!
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.