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What do Star Wars, Penzeys Spices, and actor Jacqueline Guzman have in common? They, along with many others, face backlash for their woke virtue signaling. Are we seeing the first signs of a slow return to normalcy?
For several years, actors and celebrities could freely bash the police as racist and use social media to signal their virtue to the world by denigrating other people without consequence. However, when Jacqueline Guzman criticized the New York police for blocking the road when thousands of cops honored officer Jason Rivera who was shot in the line of duty, she did not get the response she expected.
In a social media rant, she said, “we do not need to shut down most of Lower Manhattan because one cop died for probably doing his job incorrectly.” She continued, “They kill people who are under 22 every single day for no good reason, and we don’t shut down the city for them.” After a storm of outrage, she was fired by the theater that employed her.
The Milwaukee spice company Penzeys Spices ran a “Republicans are Racist” sale on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and experienced a sharp drop in sales. It turns out that Republicans are consumers too, and they have started to use that power to punish woke companies that openly insult them.
Penzeys lost 40,000 customers while picking up 30,000 new ones, leaving it with a net loss of 10,000. As a business decision, the marketing campaign was a failure and sends a warning to all firms that want to cash in on being woke. That wave has probably run its course.
When Disney purchased LucasFilm and Star Wars, most people were thrilled and expected an epic continuation of the saga “in a galaxy far, far away.” But high expectations quickly soured into disappointment and anger.
It turns out that George Lucas’ decision to leave his legacy in Kathleen Kennedy’s hands was a disaster, as the sequel trilogy focused more on pushing woke ideology than continuing the story of Star Wars. The fans hated it and abandoned the franchise in droves. Kennedy even saw backlash from members of the original team, including George Lucas himself and his ex-wife, Marcia, who was an editor for the first trilogy. However, filmmaker Jon Favreau was hired to direct The Mandalorian on Disney+. In this series in the Star Wars universe, Favreau ended season 2 with a return of a computer-generated version of a young Luke Skywalker. It resulted in a wave of new Disney+ subscribers. After this, Favreau became a star director at Disney.
However, what has truly driven home the point that Hollywood should stop being woke is the recent box office success of Spiderman: No Way Home, which grossed $1.7 billion worldwide. What characterized the movie is its total absence of any woke ideology. It was just a well-told hero story.
Hollywood still pays attention to money, and the success of Spiderman along with The Mandalorian is sending a strong message to stop lecturing radical leftist ideology to the audience. We should, therefore, expect to see more old-fashioned movies in the future.
Companies, actors, and celebrities will likely get the hint from the above and other examples that they should stop with their woke virtue signaling. There may never come a momentous announcement that wokism is finally over, no mea culpa, but one day in the not too distant future, you might wake up to see that the fad has faded away and the world has returned to normal.
~ Read more from Caroline Adana.
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