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Do We Really Need More PC in Films?

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John Hunter's picture
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Do We Really Need More PC in Films?

In a scene taken from The Pursuit of Love, Amazon, English historical period piece, series, E1-S1.

Children run through the English country side, half-heartedly pursued by a stern looking middle aged man on horseback.

Voice over begins:

“Uncle Mathew, he either loved or hated, but mostly he hated. At Christmas, he chased his children on horse back aided by four bloodhounds.”

As he rides, Uncle Mathew shouts,

“I hate Huns, Frogs, Americans, Catholics and all other foreigners, BUT above all, I hate children!”

Female narrator is quick to add,

“He also loathed educated females, and most especially me.”

Perhaps a minority view, but I sorely miss political incorrectness in films. For me, films are supposed to be entertaining, not sterile reinforcement of correct social think. Of course, your mileage and sensibilities may vary, but don’t come crying to me when all films have been completely neutered like standup comedy.

Steve Garry's picture
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Perhaps I need more context, including the path and ending of the story, but I don't see a big problem with this one.  Kind of funny, actually.

Remember, we're supposed to live in a 'free speech' world... and one result of this is that people have the right to speak stupidly and even hatefully.  (Are you listening, Big Tech?!)

John Hunter's picture
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@Steve Garry. The right to speak stupidly and even hatefully is now under attack across all social media. A guilty pleasure of mine was reading MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) on Reddit. This was part of the so called Red Pill movement. This popular thread was this week banned by Reddit...It's gone.

Craig Griffiths's picture
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I am not sure what the PC thing is here. Because they are setting up Uncle Mathew as a bit of a dick? Because there is a female lens for this story? 

I think we have a wider pallet of stories. So the un-PC may be a smaller percentage. I don't think freedom is dead, just yet.

Steve Garry's picture
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Seeking politically incorrect?  Actually the first part of the quote is pretty politically incorrect (frogs, etc.)  

I looked up this program (or, 'programme'!) on IMDB, and I see it's set pre-WWII.  With that in mind, I rechecked this thread and feel that the offending dialogue is okay.  If it were early 20th or 19th Century, I'd expect 'He also loathed educated females, and most especially me' to be more grandiloquent and classist, which can be really off-putting.

What I dislike even more is how some writers (or maybe they can blame the creative executives, producers, financiers who force the changes) insert nonsensical, incongruous or even anachronistic elements in their historical stories - presumably to appeal to modern audiences and their sensibilities. 

For instance, I'd never seen the western series, Deadwood, but its modern profanity came up when I did my due diligence research for slang in my own western.  So here I am, doing all this research for historical accuracy, and if the script ever gets picked up it'll be changed to look or sound like something from urban Detroit.  Hmmph. 

Makes you want to just make your own movies, don't it, dang nabbit.

John Hunter's picture
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I try to read the popular media for an hour or more each day in an effort to avoid becoming a complete dinosaur, but it's getting harder and harder to keep up. The number of words and terms you can and can't use seem to be growing exponentially. In a recent article on medical schools, I was appalled to learn instructors are now being urged not to use the terms male and female. 

David Lambertson's picture
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You may have a valid overall point. But I personally didn't have a problem with the specific example presented. It seemed perfectly in context.

 

 

David Lambertson's picture
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Craig Griffiths's picture
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I find crying about political correctness is the domain of sad white guys. Feel free to unfollow, not download my work, don't watch my videos, slam me on social media, that's all okay.  You realise that if the world was represent by 10 people white men would be less than one person. We use to run the world. That sting you think you feel is what the rest of the world lived with for centuries. 

This how this conversation will evolve. The echo chamber about the horrors of PC start. It builds. Then it's isn't your lack of talent which stops you. It is a PC conspiracy.

 

David Lambertson's picture
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Just for the record, there have been plenty of non-white men and women who have railed against the PC culture (everyone from Dave Chappell to Candace Owens). Now, I do believe it is way overblown as an issue and a lot of it leads to healthy, meaningful discussions. And I do detest people screaming 'WE CANCELED DR SEUSS!! -  when in fact it is simple as someone deciding to no longer print an obviously racist image of an Asian person. 

So yeah, I think cancel culture/political correctness exists - but it is a bit of a yawn for me as it's just part of the eternal pendulum swing and its evil pales in comparison to the real evils that were committed. 

 

John Hunter's picture
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@Craig. All of my failures and shortcomings are my own. And yes, I actually do miss the freedom of being openly politically incorrect. And no, I ain't goin' roll up in a ball a die over it. 

Lance West's picture
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Vic Burns's picture
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Is it not subjective?

Politics/religion/morals/ethics have always been divisive. 

What placates one part of an audience may automatically agitate or anger another.

We live in a 'modern' society in which a viral moment on social media can destroy a project, perhaps even a studio.

So I guess I can see why they may be seen as overly careful, whereas in reality they are just acting responsibly.

Lily Blaze's picture
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The irony of a group of white men debating political correctness is astounding. I'm laughing...

Craig, your post made me fall in love with you a little. I hope you don't mind.

P.S. Inclusion isn't political correctness.

David Lambertson's picture
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The irony of a group of white men debating political correctness is astounding. I'm laughing...

Craig, your post made me fall in love with you a little. I hope you don't mind.

P.S. Inclusion isn't political correctness.

Unless you're including white men I suppose?

 

 

 

Steve Garry's picture
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I thought it the thread had some value, like maybe about how cancel culture or wokeness, or whatever derivation or frame of reference is used, might affect our writing and storytelling.  Outside that, I couldn't care less how it affects society in general, so if it's just become another boring PC debate I'm outta here. 

Hey Big Tech, can you come and zap this thread please!?

PS. Without even an email warning, I was blown off YouTube a few days ago, despite all the usual diplomacy and tact I try to demonstrate in my posts.  So it can happen to anybody, and anybody's time can come.

John Hunter's picture
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The idea of SJWs, filled with righteous indignation and anger, lecturing (schooling) others on what they should think, say and do is a bit off-putting to me…But hey, I’m just an old white guy who served in the Peace Corps way back when…

As one poster has suggested, "This too will pass." I'm curious to see what type of projects will do well at the Box Office? Will people line up to pay for their politically correct social rehabilitation? Or will the adage, “Get Woke, Go Broke” prove to be correct?

Only time will tell.

John Hunter's picture
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@Steve Garry. I find the actual small numbers of people involved in doing the cancelling (also read, doing the heavy thinking for the masses) very scary. As previously mentioned (MGTOW), a Reddit thread with a huge following was cancelled last week by the 38 year old founder of Reddit. He alone decided what was best for everyone. This same type of behavior is rampant and apparent across all digital media.

Control the dialogue and shape the future?
 

Kaye Koddy's picture
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...

CJ Walley's picture
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Ah yes, MGTOW; Men going their own way while constantly talking about women at every opportunity. That subreddit was closed because it was linked to a terrorist event.

 

John Hunter's picture
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CJ, you must be referring to Big Red, Toronto based resident Chanty Binx: https://youtu.be/nvYyGTmcP80

 

Derek Reid's picture
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If they closed a subreddit they missed an opportunity to shut the whole site down (no offense to anyone who uses reddit I just really don't like it lol).

CJ Walley's picture
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I'm addicted to Reddit but you do have to be careful where you go and filter out a lot of backward subs. 

Derek Reid's picture
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In fairness I didn't know there was a screenwriting presence there till I had sworn off the site for life. Maybe that scene is a'right, but I'm def near social-media tolerance max out as is. Almost quit twitter also but that got a life-support reprieve. lol

Craig Griffiths's picture
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We should start a thread on social media. I think this thread can be allowed to rest.

Lily Blaze's picture
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I don't know. I think that dead horse is faking it.

Craig Griffiths's picture
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I think the OWL arguments (Old White Lame) needs to be ignored now. Whenever people in power feel the slightest bit of equity approaching, they cry that they are victims. 

Everyone feel free to discuss it further. For my own health I am not going to partake. 

CJ Walley's picture
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Joined: Jul 2016

Personally, I give r/screenwriting a wide birth. It's become like wallstreetbets. It's full of people YOLOing everything they have on competitions and evaluations. I saw someone on there recently saying they always recommend buying three Black List evaluations at a time to maximize turnaround and even out the subjectivity. On top of that, there's the issue of most people being anonymous. 

Derek Reid's picture
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"I think this particular site is too subjective so I'm giving them even more $." A'ight. lol 

Cannon Rosenau's picture
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Joined: Jan 2019

So I read most of this. And I think the main point (without having to take it down the political route) is how creativity is being stifled. I get the point the original poster, John, was making. Even as a female I am kind of VERY annoyed with calls for scripts with "strong female leads" or seeing movies that are trying to make that point. It feels forced. I just want to watch or read (or write) organic stories that entertain. 

 

Dougie Brimson's picture
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Joined: Sep 2021

I think if it's based on historical fact then the writer, producers and director have a fundamental duty to be truthful to that history in every respect. 

Changing basic facts simply to save offending people is bad enough but the reality is that these days, people are actually learning their 'history' through film and TV so we should at least be telling them the truth.

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