An excerpt from an Ankler newsletter from Nicole LaPorte, titled “It Feels Like the Last Days of Rome”:

“But if older, white men are still driving the agenda in many ways, they’re also more scared in this new world order, which has not only been defined by COVID, but the BLM and StopAsianHate movements, as well as the ongoing #MeToo currents.

Dennis Palumbo, a psychotherapist and former screenwriter, who has an industry-heavy clientele, says his white male patients “feel very restricted creatively. Most of them say, ‘This is a very necessary corrective, but I wish it didn’t affect me so much.’ And that presents a real dilemma. I have a lot of ostensibly liberal, white guy patients who have a lot of credits. And their agent says, ‘I can’t even put you up for this job because you’re a straight, white guy. So there’s an enormous amount of internal conflict.

“Culturally, in spite of inclusion, the problem now is there’s an exclusion for you. As one of my patients said, an executive told his agent, ‘Nobody cares what a white man thinks.’”

“[A] publicist says fear is rampant in Hollywood for everyone — male or female — particularly the big, brash personalities that historically defined the business. Today they fear being ‘cancelled’ because of an offensive Tweet or poorly-chosen Instagram post, or because they just don’t understand the current vernacular and mores.

“Social media has chased away the big, old Hollywood types. You don’t hear about big names doing bold things or being naughty. Everyone is afraid of social media and getting cancelled because you partied the wrong way, you said the wrong thing by accident. So all the big execs and producers and talent — they’re hiding, mostly. That’s not the way Hollywood was.

“Every top executive is holding onto their seat, nails digging into the wood, as if riding Space Mountain. Conventional wisdom used to put studio film execs at the top of the pecking order. Then streaming people were layered over them. But they come and go fast. And now everyone would rather just lay low lest they screw up, or someone uncover something embarrassing they did way back, or maybe, possibly shouldn’t have said to an assistant in 2004.”