It’s no secret that Hollywood is drowning in Wokeness, and the entertainment it’s vomiting out is worse than ever. Film critic Christian Toto’s Virtue Bombs: How Hollywood Got Woke and Lost Its Soul gets into the details of what happened, and Bounding into Comics had the opportunity to talk with him about it.
Bounding into Comics: Did you have trouble finding enough material to write a book about how Wokeness is ruining Hollywood?
Christian Toto: Gosh, no. I’ve heard all the horror stories about writing a book, and while the project took an enormous amount of time, the ideas came at me fast and furious(ly). The culture war battles in Virtue Bombs continue today, and I could update it every three months if necessary.
BiC: What are some of the worst examples of Wokeness-disguised-as-entertainment?
CT: Anything that takes you out of the experience. We want to get lost in entertainment, to cheer as Spidey clobbers the bad guys, or the downtrodden hero saves the day at last.
Woke elements interrupt that escapism. It might be a phony, all-female Avengers pile-on, or the camera zooming in on a bumper sticker showing the villain to be a Trump supporter. It’s Hollywood trying to send a message, and the end result is the entertainment spell being broken.
BiC: Do you cover specifically why this is occurring—who is driving the Wokeness, and how they are forcing Hollywood to bend the knee to it?
CT: There’s no single source behind this. It’s a combination of cultural factors. Woke is a product of the Left, which increasingly sees pop culture as a cudgel to be used against Red State U.S.A. As Adam Carolla says, it’s called “progressive” for a reason.
It keeps marching on unless met with opposition, and most people are too frightened to stand against it. I don’t blame them. It can be terrifying.
BiC: Has Hollywood Wokeness gotten worse, or better since the book was published in January?
CT: It’s tough to say either way. We’ve seen real progress, from Netflix standing by Dave Chappelle, to Warner Bros. Discovery nixing Woke projects that likely won’t draw a crowd.
We still see regular attacks on free expression in the arts, notably the assault on the documentary Jihad Rehab. About 230 filmmakers took a stand against the film, despite the fact that most hadn’t even screened it. We have plenty of work left to do.
BiC: Is the saying “Go Woke, Go Broke” actually true, or is it just a lie some people tell to make themselves feel better about losing?
CT: It’s often true. The list of Woke failures is long: Charlie’s Angels, Terminator: Dark Fate, Party of Five, No Time to Die (it fared far better overseas than in the U.S.), Men in Black: International, etc., etc.
Still, some Woke films flourish, and actors consistently push their projects with Woke bromides thinking it will draw a crowd.
BiC: Where can people follow you online?
CT: My web site, updated daily, is HollywoodInToto.com. I contribute regularly to The Daily Wire and OutKick, and my Twitter handle is @HollywoodInToto.