Wokeness is everywhere in Hollywood, from red carpet virtue signaling to Oscar diversity mandates set to transform the Best Picture race in 2024.
The movies themselves are often the richest sources of woke examples.
It’s increasingly common for a film to stop cold to deliver a lecture, wag a finger at the audience or just shove diversity dictates in our faces.
These moments can come at any time in any kind of film, from horror movies to Marvel blockbusters — even sufficiently woke audiences cringe their way through them.
Here are 31 woke film moments that epitomize the new, not-so-improved Hollywood.
This Marvel blockbuster delivered not one but two exquisitely woke moments. The first comes as Captain America (Chris Evans) counsels a man who re-entered the dating scene following Thanos’ civilian-killing snap.
The man, played by the film’s co-director Joe Russo, describes a recent date he had … with a man. It’s an obvious nod to progressives who want more gay characters in Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) features. Russo himself said as much, though even the liberal Vulture called the sequence “exhausting.”
The second moment quickly became infamous. It’s the final battle between Earth’s mightiest heroes and Thanos’ goon squad. The furious action stops as a wounded female Avenger is quickly surrounded by other female heroes, the ultimate girl power sequence. Except even woke outlets like The Mary Sue saw through its pandering nature.
“Charlie’s Angels” (2019)
You could argue this reboot was wall-to-wall woke, but its socially aware high point comes with the film’s very first line. Kristen Stewart, one of the three new angels in the box office dud, tells a man, “I think women can do anything.”
Gentlemen, stop your engines. But there’s more.
Later in the film, director Elizabeth Banks drops in as Bosley. The woke moments continue when she says that “all women are starving all the time” and complains about the challenges of dating as a 40-something woman.
Even far-Left Slate said the film is “so concerned with its messaging that it fails to be fun.”
“No Time to Die”
The marketing team behind the latest Bond adventure hit 11 on the woke meter early and often. The actual film proved far less annoying, mostly focusing on Bondian stunts and supervillains.
The story still squeezed in an ally moment when Q (Ben Whishaw) commented on meeting his boyfriend out of the blue. Once more, Hollywood tweaked a sequence to show its solidarity with the LGBTQ community, but some found it insufficient, including Whishaw himself.
The gay actor called the on-screen revelation “unsatisfying.”
The film also showed Bond himself (Daniel Craig) riding on the back of a speeding motorcycle driven by the new female 007 (Lashana Lynch). Can anyone imagine Sean Connery taking a back seat of any kind to a Bond girl?
“Star Trek Beyond”
This 2016 film stalled the space franchise, earning far less than its predecessors. It also caught the early woke wave by ignoring “Trek” canon. A brief moment early in the film finds John Cho as Sulu, reprising the role made famous by George Takei, alongside his husband. Lt. Sulu wasn’t gay in the original “Star Trek” series or initial wave of films.
Suddenly, he came out of the closet for a nanosecond of woke screen time.
Brie Larson may be the wokest actress in Hollywood, going so far as to dictate which journalists interview her based on identity politics.
Her 2019 Marvel debut followed suit, and she helped steer the MCU in its current woke direction. A key part of the film finds Captain Marvel being told to “control her emotions” — a not-so-subtle nod to women being too emotional, a charge leveled by, you guessed it, the Patriarchy.
In that same vein, a male biker tells the superheroine to “smile more.” That doesn’t end well for him.
And, of course, one fight sequence is set to the No Doubt smash “Just a Girl.” Get it?
“Terminator: Dark Fate”
This 2019 iteration stuck a fork in the long-running franchise and made sure we knew it was all about girl power. The marketing team even promoted the three female leads over Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was given a supporting role in the franchise he anchored for decades.
The film itself lived up to that marketing, to a degree.
This time around, the Sarah Connor-like hero is a Mexican immigrant, and the story involves a large section where our heroes mingle with illegal immigrants portrayed in a mostly flattering light. The ICE-style police, however, aren’t so fortunate.
Director Tim Miller later groused that the “get woke and go broke” mindset hurt the film’s box office chances.
Where do we start? This 2019 box office dud might be the wokest movie since the movement began, but there are four key woke moments that come to mind.
Our heroines (Beanie Feldstein, Kaitlyn Dever) don Che Guevara-style outfits to their high school graduation party. A key graduation speech attacks white males. One young character is shown listening to an audio book so he can better respect women. A rando pizza dude warns the main characters, and the audience, how unsafe it is for women in society today.
That’s just a short list, and yet “Booksmart” is one of the more original teen comedies in recent years. First-time director Olivia Wilde infused the story with wit and style.
“Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi”
Or, the movie that crushed George Lucas’ beloved saga.
The second film in the most recent trilogy found Poe Dameron, played by the charismatic Oscar Isaac, being dressed down by Laura Dern’s character mid-film for no credible reason. Emasculating the only character who could take the rogue baton from Han Solo didn’t please many “Star Wars” fans.
That wasn’t enough wokeness, though, for writer/director Rian Johnson. He also created a wildly unnecessary detour mid-film set at a space casino. The sequences clumsily delivered an income inequality lecture (one percenters in space!).
And finally, poor Kelly Marie Tran. The actress likely thought she had it made when she landed the role of Rose Tico, another new face in the “Star Wars” galaxy. Sadly, the script made her the ultimate Mary Sue, a flawless character who lacked the depth of past heroes like Princess Leia.
“The Boy Behind the Door”
This 2020 thriller made the most of its spare setting and budget. Two best buddies are kidnapped by an unknown assailant, but one of the children breaks free and tries to rescue his friend.
Mid-movie, the villain leaves the scene of the crime in a car with a “Make America Great Again” bumper sticker on it. It’s the perfect woke moment — it comes at us at random and signals the filmmaker’s progressive bona fides. It also takes us right out of the film and has been described even by liberal critics as “gratuitous.”
“Wonder Woman 1984”
It’s not “Caddyshack II”-level bad, but this sorry sequel proved a massive letdown from the marvelous 2017 film. It also upped the franchise’s woke factor with three notable moments.
An early action sequence ends with Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) reaching out to a little girl awed by her superheroics. Later, the budding villain played by Kristen Wiig gets serially harassed by her co-workers because, well, she’s a woman in the ’80s and they’re men.
We also see a cab driver ignore a waiting Diana Prince, Wonder Woman’s alter ego, for a male passenger. What cabbie wouldn’t want to spend time with someone as lovely as Gadot?
Who you gonna call? Not this quartet of barely funny characters.
The woke marketing and mainstream media push behind the “Ghostbusters” reboot set a new low. The film itself has its woke elements, like turning Annie Potts’ clerk character into a male himbo (Chris Hemsworth).
The truly cringe-inducing scene, though, finds the budding ghostbusters confronting their online trolls. The moment mirrored the early reaction to the gender flip reboot, and rather than ignoring those silly responses the screenwriters wove it into the actual story. Empowering!
That sequence, like much of the movie, landed with a thud.
“Being the Ricardos”
Two things are immediately true about this behind-the-scenes look at “I Love Lucy.” Wokeness didn’t exist in any way, shape or form during the 1950s, when the show reigned supreme in Hollywood. And star Lucille Ball, played by Nicole Kidman, wielded far more power than most women in the era.
That didn’t stop writer/director Aaron Sorkin from penning a terrible scene where the show’s female scribe (Alia Shawkat) asks Lucille to consider how she represents women on TV.
If “I Love Lucy” aired today, that conversation would make sense. In the 1950s? Not on your life.
“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Audiences crave plenty from a “Borat” film. R-rated antics. Physical gags you can’t wait to watch over and over again. And the lovable Borat making complete strangers uncomfortable.
The 2020 sequel attempted all of the above with modest rewards, but its big takeaway was so very un-Borat. The film builds an empowerment subplot for Borat’s daughter, played by Maria Bakalova.
The movie came into existence to pry President Donald Trump from office, but the big thematic push proved so very, annoyingly woke.
“Promising Young Woman”
The very premise behind this Oscar-nominated thriller reeks of wokeness.
Carey Mulligan stars as Cassie, an emotionally rattled woman who struggles to process an old friend’s rape — a crime which went unpunished — and subsequent suicide. As a result, Cassie the avenger is born. She lures men in by feigning to be drunk and then either embarrasses them badly or does something far worse.
In one scene, Cassie chuckles at the notion that a man accused of rape should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. To be fair, the film came at a time when the Left deployed the “Believe All Women” card … before Joe Biden ran for the presidency in 2020.
“Birds of Prey”
This 2020 box office dud had wokeness in its creative DNA. Yes, these female characters are supervillains, but they’re so strong and full of sisterhood. That wasn’t enough, though.
It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, but one reason the film’s villain (Ewan McGregor) loathes Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) is that she voted for … Bernie Sanders.
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”
The ill-fated glimpse at Han Solo’s backstory introduced us to a very different kind of droid. Meet L3-37, voiced by “Fleabag” actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge. She doesn’t beep and blurt like R2-D2 but spits out woke bon mots instead, like “they don’t serve our kind here.”
When her owner, Lando Calrissian, asks if she needs anything, she says, “equal rights.”
Naturally, Vox had a problem with the woke bot, complaining it was a missed opportunity to explore robot culture and their rights.
Director Alexander Payne could do no wrong, or at least we thought that until this 2017 stinker. “Downsizing” imagines a technology that shrinks people so they take up less space and, more importantly, use less resources. There’s an obvious eco-message there, but the film can’t help but take a swipe at Trump’s America, too.
We get talk of a “wall” and see people suffering as they live on the wrong side of it.
This Charlize Theron/Seth Rogen misfire is woke to the core, from victimization tropes to Rogen’s far-Left rants. One moment stands above the rest, though.
Theron’s character, a politician with dreams of becoming Commander in Chief, cooks up a “perfect” climate change plan for the ages, and she and her team insist it will be her ticket to the Oval Office. Check any poll about hot-button issues and you’ll see climate change ranks far lower than the economy, health care and other pressing concerns.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.