Just as diamonds are created under high temperatures and great pressure, grade-A or award-quality movies have never been gently sculpted into existence. They’ve always been produced under stressful, contentious, argumentative or even arduous conditions.

Hollywood has always been a rough-and-tumble industry. Over the last century the toughest wolves in the forest, attracted by the money and artistic acclaim and access to romantic opportunities, have come to Hollywood to compete and struggle and scrap their way to the top of the heap.

Or at least, that’s how things were until progressive aspirational purity became the industry watchword and Hollywood became a town run…intimidated, I should say…by a combination of fanatical wokesters and mainstream industry players who are terrified of being accused of harboring the wrong attitudes or beliefs.

Deadline‘s Michael Cieply explained the situation brilliantly this morning. He basically said that in terms of Academy membership, meritocracy is being phased out while equity is the new mandate.

“For the last few years**, AMPAS has been behaving less like an industry adjunct and more like a contemporary, socially conscious university.

“Admission [to the Academy], once based on merit and a semi-corrupt buddy system (akin to old-school ‘legacy’ enrollments), is now openly grounded in a college-like holistic approach that weighs achievement alongside identity factors.

“The mix is supposed to yield a membership, a movie community, and film content, that are somehow more diverse than in the past.

“Thus industry standing is no longer something you grab by the throat [or otherwise] achieved through wit, wile, connections, unfettered ambition, and, sometimes, talent.

“Rather, one is [now] granted status, based partly on identity, by the Academy and its outreach programs, and by associated and similarly oriented mechanisms at companies, guilds, film schools, festivals and so on.

“Achievement [still] matters,” Cieply notes. “But, as in many contemporary college admissions, it is just one in a basket of considerations.”

** since wokesters began to take over in ’18, he means.