Now that President Trump has left the White House and the Joe Biden administration begins, progressives are scrambling to ensure that Trump and his movement never rise to political prominence again. In an op-ed for The Hollywood Reporter, writer Alan Jenkins argued that Hollywood, which has already been putting out anti-Trump content, needs to produce more movies and TV shows cautioning Americans about the rise of totalitarianism.
“At important moments in our history, Hollywood has helped Americans understand the meaning and gravity of threats to our democratic principles. Through allegory, symbolism, and often farce, creative works have reminded us of the values to which we aspire and the dangers of abandoning them,” Jenkins began.
Jenkins, of course, recalled the McCarthy era when works like “The Crucible” and “The Manchurian Candidate” rose to prominence, seemingly unaware of the fact that leftists have been engaging in McCarthyite tactics for years with blacklisting campaigns and social media silencing dissenters. He also cited the movies, music, and art produced during the Civil Rights era, as if to compare the Trump era with racism and white supremacy.
“We very much need that spirit from Hollywood today. We need new, shared narratives that artfully articulate the elements and dangers of Trumpism. President Trump, aided by people still in power today, repeatedly divided Americans against each other, attacked free speech and the press, cruelly separated families, embraced white supremacy, traded in lies, and made a mockery of our justice system,” argued Jenkins. “He and his allies participated in a violent insurrection and attempted to overturn a fair election. And like McCarthyism, the worst elements of Trumpism will outlive his departure from office. Unchecked, they will fester and potentially grow.”
“To be sure, popular culture is just one vehicle for conveying societal values and processing lessons learned,” he continued. “But, at their best, creative storytellers connect us across lines of difference in ways that are unique and enduring. Hollywood has a role and a responsibility, not to preach, but to use its creativity and storytelling prowess to remind us who we aspire to be as a people and what we must perpetually fight against.”
That said, the stories may not necessarily focus on President Trump, but on what he promoted: “fearmongering, selfishness, vindictiveness, bigotry and authoritarianism.” Such stories, of course, will require Hollywood to “amplify the voices of those most affected by Trumpism.”
“Muslim Americans, Mexican Americans, African Americans, Jewish Americans, and Transgender Americans are just some of the groups vilified and attacked by Trumpism and its devotees,” he said. “At a time when Hollywood is opening its doors a crack to more diverse stories and storytellers, it must also support authentic and entertaining content from these new voices that tells a new American story.”
It should be noted that Trump received more votes from several of those demographics listed than expected, causing severe distress to Charles Blow of The New York Times.
“This is so personally devastating to me: the Black male vote for Trump INCREASED from 13% in 2016 to 18% this year. The Black female vote for Trump doubled from 4% in 2016 to 8% this year,” Blow tweeted. “Also, once again, exit polls show a majority of White women voting for Trump.”
“Also, the percentage of LGBT voting for Trump doubled from 2016. DOUBLED!!! This is why LGBT people of color don’t really trust the White gays. Yes, I said what I said. Period,” he continued. “Also, the percentage of Latinos and Asians voting for Trump INCREASED from 2016, according to exit polls. Yet more evidence that we can’t depend on the “browning of America” to dismantle White supremacy and erase anti-Blackness.”