There was a time in Hollywood when people wrote and made movies, not to prove a point or make a statement but to simply entertain the audience. There were movies that made us laugh and made us cry, but never made us think about political events. Movies and TV used to be a way for people to come home and step out of the reality of their shitty day; To be taken into a different sitcom world and forget about all the troubles they faced in life. It was classic entertainment with no hidden agendas, it didn’t try to change our viewpoints on world issue. A sitcom’s focus wasn’t to try and solve world hunger or immigration in a 30-minute time slot, it was to just simply make you smile.
It seems like today that every TV show and movie has to include a hidden political message, which in reality doesn’t entertain us but just fuels the fire of social media arguments. Many shows have fallen victim to the soapbox cleanse and because of it, barely make it past one to two seasons. The latest victim being the last and final farewell season of “OITNB.”
The show that helped put Netflix on the map when it came to original content came to an end inn its 7th season. What was set up to be a final sendoff for an amazingly talented cast was quickly turned into a political statement on what’s happening in America when it comes to illegal immigration detention. Many of the episodes take place in an ICE detention facility and just make you feel sad/angry for how immigrants are being treated. It’s clear that the show is using this as a political statement to fight back against the current news when it comes to immigration detention centers and their living conditions and court trials. The last season was definitely a dynamic shift from the traditional tone of the show and now was a political soapbox. It makes me feel bad for the characters because they got sidelined by this statement. I’m not gonna lie I was pissed that another amazing show that I had watched for years had fallen victim to soapbox politics. When you trying to make a political statement through a television show you’re upsetting your audience. I’ve never once heard anyone say that they watched an episode of a sitcom and it changed their political views. 99% of the time it just drives them to go on social media and complain about politics. Which as you know social media right now doesn’t need more of.
Social media itself used to be a great source of entertainment, that shared the wonderful moments and funny videos of people’s personal lives. You got to see the fun places that your friends visited and see the things that made them unique and special. It was a way for people all over the world from different backgrounds and cultures to connect on the information superhighway.
But years later social media too fell victim to the political infection. I mean I think it’s great to see people being concerned about the future of the world, but I don’t think it’s the entertainment world’s responsibility.
Is this political soapbox in entertainment a fad like “New Coke” that will soon go away or will it become the future? Remember that the entertainment world can’t solve global warming, homelessness, and immigration policies. It can, however, make you laugh, make you cry, and help you forget about the day you had. It can help you bond with your coworkers over coffee as you talk about your favorite episode. So if the next movie or tv show you watch starts with a politician saying “I approve this message,” then it might be time to turn off the screen and read a book.