Friday, June 21, 2024

Activists Clamor for Hollywood to Push More ‘Climate’ Propaganda in Movies

'The top line is just that the vast majority of films, popular films ... are not portraying the world as it is. They are portraying a world that is now history or fantasy ... in which climate change is not happening...'

(Headline USA) A “study” by environmental activists to determine if Hollywood’s insufferably preachy blockbusters were woke enough has declared that the vast majority of movies failed the “climate reality check” proposed by the authors, who surveyed 250 movies from 2013 to 2022.

The activists looked to see if a movie presented a story in which climate change exists, and whether a character knows it does. One film that passed the test was the 2017 superhero movie Justice League, in which Jason Momoa’s Aquaman character says, “Hey, I don’t mind if the oceans rise” to Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne.

But most movies fell short. Fewer than 10% of the 250 films passed, and climate change was mentioned in two or more scenes of fewer than 4% of the films.

The activists at Colby College’s Buck Lab for Climate and Environment collaborated on the April report with Good Energy, a Los Angeles-based environmental consultancy that touts itself as “Hollywood’s climate adviser” and stands to gain considerably by putting artificial pressure on studios to engage in even more virtue-signaling.

The moviegoing public that wants “to see their reality reflected on screen,” said Colby College English professor Matthew Schneider–Mayerson, lead researcher on the study, implying that climate change reflected that reality, despite skeptics’ criticism that the cottage “climate” industry is frequently prone to wild hyperbole, cherrypicking of information and, in some cases, outright dishonesty.

“The top line is just that the vast majority of films, popular films produced over the last 10 years in the United States, are not portraying the world as it is,” Schneider-Mayerson claimed. “They are portraying a world that is now history or fantasy—a world in which climate change is not happening.”

The results were “peer reviewed” by two leftist media consultants, Soraya Giaccardi and Jessica Gall Myrick—neither of whom was scientifically qualified to comment on matters related to the field of climatology based on their areas of expertise related to the “intersection” of media and public policy. The authors are currently seeking publication in scientific journals.

Some results were surprising, they said. Movies that at first glance appear to have little overlap with climate or the environment passed the test. Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach’s emotive 2019 drama about the collapse of a relationship, passed the test in part because Adam Driver’s character is described as “energy conscious,” Schneider–Mayerson said.

The 2022 whodunnit Glass Onion and the 2019 folk horror movie Midsommar were others to pass the test.

Some that were more explicitly about climate change, such as the 2021 satire Don’t Look Up, also passed. But San Andreas, a 2015 movie about a West Coast earthquake disaster, and The Meg, a 2018 action movie set in the ocean, did not.

The authors narrowed the selection of movies by excluding films not set on Earth or set before 2006 or after 2100. They found streaming services had a higher percentage of movies that included climate change than the major studios did.

The study is “valuable for marketing purposes, informational purposes, data accumulation,” claimed Harry Winer, director of sustainability at the Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts.

Winer, who was not involved in the study, said it could also help serve as an incentive to connect audiences with climate stories. “The audience will be more open to hearing a dialogue about what is right and what is wrong,” he claimed. “It’s a conversation starter.”

The report’s authors said they see the so-called climate reality check as a kind of Bechdel–Wallace test for climate change.

Alison Bechdel, a cartoonist, is credited with popularizing that test in the 1980s by incorporating her friend Liz Wallace’s test about gender representation in film into a comic strip. The test asks if a movie includes at least two female characters who have a conversation about something other than a man.

Bechdel herself spoke highly of the study’s climate test, which she described as “long overdue” in a social media post during this year’s Academy Awards season.

“[F]or a movie set in the present to ignore this existential threat just doesn’t make sense anymore,” Bechdel said in an e-mail to the Associated Press, in reference to climate change.

“I do worry that screenwriters might do it in a kind of rote way, which could be counterproductive, just like rote ‘strong female characters’ are,” Bechdel said. “But injecting an awareness of our communal plight into the stories we ingest seems like a no-brainer.”

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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