The whole Kathy Griffin kerfuffle is yet another reminder that Hollywood has been oddly silent about Donald Trump in the way that matters most: actually producing content that helps civil society process what the fuck is going on. That’s the whole point of Hollywood.
Currently comedy on TV has been picking up the slack for Hollywood. Be it Full Frontal, or Saturday Night Live or The Late Show, late night comedy is where right minded people go in America to try to figure out how to understand this horrific dead-end that we’ve found ourselves in.
Both a market and an audience exists for movies and TV devoted to being metaphors for Trumplandia. I know I would shell out $11 to see a movie that addressed what a fuckwit Donald Trump is. Or maybe a remake of 1984. Or a remake of Being There. Hell, even a movie about The Mule portion of The Foundation Saga would make me feel better at this point. This is pretty basic stuff. If me, a hayseed rube in a flyover state can figure this out, then I’m sure someone at Miramax or Paramount can figure something so basic out.
But what do we have right now instead of quality content? We have silence. I have not heard of hardly any films in production and there are only a spattering of TV that are obvious meant to direction address Trumplandia. It makes you wonder why this is.
You would think that something as momentous as the rise of Trumplandia would inspire the Hollywood scribes and producers to generate all kinds of content. But all we get is Kathy Griffin pretending to cut off Donald Trump’s head. Everyone would be served if she were to not rage against Trumplandia in such a stupid manner but rather write a TV script for a sitcom about dealing with Trumplandia. Something, anything to bring people together, instead of dividing them.
The only thing I can think of is that producers are skittish about offending people, by, well, losing money. In other words, stars feel obliged to be offensive on a personal level, but the people with money who maybe oppose Trump aren’t willing to take the risk that Trumplandia will freak out if you produced a movie that obviously attacked Trump in some direct manner.
That’s the only thing I can think of. That makes the most sense. There might be something to the fact that Hollywood is still in shock that Trump won in the first place and they just haven’t gotten over the shock enough to begin writing scripts that directly tough that live wire.
But I think it’s the money situation. Corporate types think differently that the artists they support, so that reluctance to lose money by offending the ever-so-touchy Trumplandia base probably is the reason. As someone pointed out to me recently, Watergate really only produced one movie and that was after it was over. So maybe it makes a lot more sense that I realize for there to be no movies about Trumpandia produce while it actually exists. And, really, if you think about it, it took decades before there was a movie that dealt with the Vietnam war directly, though Apocalypse Now was produced a few years after the fact. The closest to a TV show about Vietnam was that occured while it happened was M*A*S*H.
And, yet, Trumplandia is a significantly more weighty event than Watergate. Trumplandia, at least to me, seems ripe for a great movie or TV shows right now. We live in a different era than the 1960s and 1970 and I think audiences would flock to see a movie about a Trump-like character. I keep thinking of The Mule from The Foundation Saga, but it’s possible that because of Star Wars stealing so much from that series that that isn’t really applicable anymore.
Regardless, it would be sad if we had to wait 20 years before Hollywood addressed in metaphor Trumplandia. I really don’t want to have to keep seeing liberal Hollywood actors destroying their careers by raging against Trumplandia in a stupid way. Don’t rage, engage.
Shelton Bumgarner is the editor and publiser of the Trumplandia Report. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com.