The following excerpt from Sasha Stone‘s “94th Oscars — It’s Time to Rethink Oscar Coverage” (4.30) doesn’t once mention the “w” word. Nor does she mention the legacy of Maximilien Robespierre or allude to new-styled blacklists or HUAC committees, etc. So HE readers who get upset or annoyed or threaten to abandon this site when the concept of woke terror is mentioned can rest easy:
Sasha: “Where bloggers were once the outspoken ones, the ones willing to puncture the status quo and say what couldn’t be said, now they have become hamstrung and silenced out of fear.
“If, say, Scott Feinberg or Kyle Buchanan or even Anne Thompson ever dared speak out about the things that all of us see going on [every day] ** — if they ever started to puncture the status quo the way bloggers used to do way back when — they’d be out of a job by the end of the day. If Next Best Picture’s Matt Neglia or Will Mavity stepped outside of the Twitter ideology for even a minute, both would be viciously attacked and eventually tossed onto the shunned pile.
“No one in the real world cares all that much about their online platform but if you work in any kind of media, content or entertainment you have to. You are under the thumb of the hive mind. You have only one option: total compliance. ‘When you have ’em by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.’
“Not only is dissent not allowed in film coverage — it isn’t allowed in news either. Even if the regular person out there doesn’t pay attention to Twitter, what they’re seeing around them is shaped by Twitter — CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post — all of it is under the thumb of the tiny minority of Twitter users who control 80% of the content.
“They are purists, they are strident and they will come for you if you slip up even once. Sure, you can offer the withering apology. That is always an option but in general, they will keep coming at you, scrutinizing your past for any offense and going in for the career kill.
“Even the little bit of pushback I have been doing has essentially blackballed me from Film Twitter. David Poland has been likewise purged and shunned from Film Twitter for having slightly controversial views. Jeff Wells has been stripped of his Broadcast Film Critics membership for posting an anonymous conversation that was deemed offensive. I have to wonder what David Carr would make of today. Would he pander to the hive mind out of fear? Would he be outspoken? Would he be fired?
“Wells and Poland were among the few who helped launch Oscar blogging in the early days” — late ’90s. “It isn’t that they’ve stopped writing what they think — they do. It’s just that Twitter pays little attention to them because what Twitter wants from them is something they can no longer give, and it’s something I can no longer give: total compliance. It’s just not happening for those of us from a different generation who remember what it was like to get noticed for being controversial.”
** HE interjection: One example of defying this “don’t say it or you’ll be in trouble” syndrome would be a major-outlet columnist or critic stating the obvious truth about Anthony Hopkins snatching Chadwick Boseman‘s Best Actor Oscar — i.e., that Hopkins’ performance was richer, more commanding and skillful than Boseman’s. And more affecting. But of course, none of them dared.
There’s also the refusal of just about every high-profile columnist to mention the fact that Americans aren’t allowed to stream a crowning masterpiece by one of the world’s greatest filmmakers, however flawed he may have been in personal terms back in the ’70s and ’80s. Not a word has been written about this.
Another omission is the Dennis Harvey-Carey Mulligan thing that happened two or three months ago and which climaxed with the National Society of Film Critics publicly scolding Variety for apologizing to Mulligan while throwing Harvey under the bus. Very few people outside myself, The Ankler‘s Richard Rushfield and former Variety critic, author and film professor Joseph McBride dared to say anything about this, for fear of #MeToo twitter putting them on a blacklist or enemies list of some kind.
Journo pally, shared this morning: “Yes, the Twitter mob is, to a large degree, wielding an obscene amount of influence over what people in mainstream media can and cannot say.
“David Poland, Jeff and Sasha have been demonized and blackballed on Twitter…and so the fuck what? Who needs Twitter anyway? It’s time we started rising up and doing our best to ignore Twitter. Everyone knows it’s toxic. So people like yourself who are being ostracized by Twitter should wear that with pride, like a badge of fucking honor.”