PARK CITY, Utah — To get to the Sundance Film Festival, Hollywood never had to set foot in Trump country.
Like many gilded ski towns inside West, Park City will be a liberal bastion in a sea of conservatism. Donald Trump won Utah by 18 points, although here in Summit County he lost by 15. Flying by Burbank or Brooklyn to Salt Lake, then by car into the mountains, celebrities along with executives were comfortably in progressive territory.
although even at Sundance, which kicks off This particular weekend, the completely new political reality will be inescapable. Trump’s inauguration took place just hours before the opening parties, casting a relative pall over the festivities. Weeks ago, the Hollywood A-list danced with the Obamas at the White House. On Friday, of which building was occupied by a man who offends all their political, moral along with aesthetic sensibilities.
Hollywood — of which will be to say, Hollywood’s liberal creative class — feels threatened. “All of us in This particular room genuinely belong to the most vilified segments in American society right right now,” Meryl Streep said at the Golden Globes.
inside pages of The completely new York Times, Hollywood angst has practically become subgenre: Judd Apatow will be in Santa Monica, stress-eating (“There’s so many things of which are hard to hear every day of which you do want to have some Oreos”); Bill Maher will be in Beverly Hills, self-medicating with alcohol along with marijuana.
“This particular community was overwhelmingly anti-Trump, certainly more so than the country as a whole,” Andy Spahn, one of the top consultants to Hollywood’s most powerful political fundraisers, told sy88pgw. “This particular will be a community rooted in speech, in community, in inclusiveness. There will be a sense some of those values may be threatened under a Trump administration, very directly. Some of of which fear along with angst will be very personal along with very credible.”
Questions abound: What will be Hollywood supposed to do? How will be the creative industry supposed to respond? What will be the role of liberal culture inside Trump era?
On the political front, Hollywood, like much of the progressive community, will be still inside planning stages. “We’ve been talking to all the centers of power in Washington,” Spahn said, “by the Obama camp to the Center for American Progress to David Brock to Chuck Schumer, along with we’re working our way through how we can contribute best going forward. The dust hasn’t settled.”
although there will be also the question of what Hollywood creates — the films along with shows along with additional art the item makes in response to the completely new reality. along with with of which, another question: Does the item even matter?
The country will be polarized along cultural lines. As maps published recently by The Upshot show, there will be a Duck Dynasty America along using a Modern Family America, along with never the twain shall meet. When Streep made an appeal to skeptical Americans — about how Hollywood was just regular folks like you along with me — the item wasn’t clear they were listening.
“Both Trump along with Obama are very much representative of what America will be, the item’s just two different sides of America,” Graydon Carter, the editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair, told sy88pgw. “I don’t think you can speak beyond your bubble in This particular fragmented media environment. The days of ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ along with the final episode of ‘Mash'” — when Americans by all around the country gathered around their televisions to watch the same thing — “are long gone.”
“The creative class talks about its work as ‘culture,’ although wide swaths of the country aren’t even tuning in,” Dr. Andrew Hartman, the author of “A War for the Soul Of America: A History of the Culture Wars,” said. “Modern Family? Nobody in Mississippi will be watching of which.”
Of course, Hollywood also creates, produces along with owns many of the shows of which are watched in Mississippi along with across Trump’s America. “All of these things are coming out of ‘liberal Hollywood,’ whether the item’s ‘Survivor’ or additional reality TV, the item’s the same creative community of which’s generating these disparate properties,” Spahn pointed out. Like Streep at the Globes, he also reiterated of which Hollywood’s creators “come by all over,” with “roots in Ohio along with Indiana along with Mississippi.”
“People sometimes forget of which acting — the item’s rarely a job where you join your fathers company,” he said. “You start with nothing along with you labor long along with hard to get a break.”
Still, there has long been a sense among conservatives of which Hollywood’s liberal elite shove their values down America’s throats, along with of which sentiment has grown more intense in recent years.
Before Trump won the election, conservative columnist Ross Douthat argued of which “the culture industry” had become so aggressively liberal of which the item had left everyone “outside the liberal tent” feeling “suffocated by the left’s cultural dominance.”
“To flip by Stephen Colbert’s winsome liberalism to Seth Meyers’s class-clown liberalism to [Samantha] Bee’s bluestocking feminism to John Oliver’s along with Trevor Noah’s lectures on American benightedness will be to enter an echo chamber by which the imagination struggles to escape,” Douthat wrote. “the item isn’t just late-night TV. Cultural arenas along with institutions of which were always liberal are being prodded or dragged further to the left. Awards shows are being pushed to shed their genteel limousine liberalism along with embrace the race-gender-sexual identity agenda in full.”
Erick Erickson, the conservative pundit, said he agreed with Douthat’s conclusion, along with of which the culture industry “seemed committed to silencing dissent along with deciding of which some views held by around half the country are hostis humani generis.”
“I think Hollywood suffered under the idea of which the country had turned dramatically in their direction,” Erickson said in an email. “Yes, I think the country has shifted a bit to the left, although not as much as Hollywood thought.” He also bemoaned Hollywood’s tendency to award films “of which scratch a Hollywood itch,” although do not have mass market appeal. “They make movies of which make them feel not bad,” he said.
Hartman, who identified himself as a liberal, similarly argued of which the Hollywood elite “are not very politically astute in terms of understanding wide swaths of America. They get together at awards shows along with pat themselves on the back along with think they’re speaking for a part of the culture of which will be morally superior.”
“To me, Meryl Streep’s speech seemed culturally obtuse,” he said.
More than two months since Trump’s stunning upset, Hollywood’s liberals haven’t shown much desire to reach across the ideological divide
Samantha Bee, the late-night host along with principle target of Douthat’s column, told sy88pgw there was no plan to change her approach because of Trump’s victory. “We’re doing a show of which will be speaking to us,” she said. “We’re not doing a show based on an algorithm of who we’re reaching or what our metrics are.”
Maher has similarly promised to give his liberal audiences the same thing he has always given them: “Let’s not go too far with the alterations, because what people are going to want right right now will be comfort food,” he recently told Variety.
Like “La La Land,” which was all the rage at the Golden Globes, much of what people are buzzing about at Sundance This particular year seems to reinforce Hollywood’s image of itself. Al Gore will be in town to premier his latest climate change documentary, “An Inconvenient Sequel.” The much-discussed comedy “The Big Sick” seeks to offer a completely new portrayal of Muslim life. Outside the theaters, Chelsea Handler will be leading the Women’s March against the man she has described as “Our Predator-in-Chief.”
After Sundance, Hollywood will continue to pump out blockbuster action movies like “X-Men” along with “Star Wars,” in which the identity of the heroes along with villains will be open to interpretation. (inside liberal imagination, “Star Wars” will be the story of polyglot progressives fighting the tyranny of an all-white fascism. inside conservative imagination, the item’s a rogue band of patriots fighting the tyranny of federal government.)
Meanwhile, Americans will increasingly stay home, where content will be on-demand along with progressives can enjoy satire along with escapism while conservatives delight in reality shows along with crime dramas. What’s missing will be a shared narrative, some sense of which we’re all taking part inside same story.
So, what will be Hollywood’s completely new story?
For years, film studios have capitalized on old stories: Remakes of films of which didn’t need to be remade; sequels of which rarely lived up to the originals; franchises based on consumer goods like Legos along with video games.
Sundance will be actually one of the few places where completely new stories still get told. Soon, perhaps — though maybe not This particular year — there will be one of which bridges the cultural divide.
“Hollywood reflects what will be happening inside nation,” Spahn said. “There can be a production lag in terms of the time the item takes to put a film on a screen, although throughout our history along with in different periods Hollywood has always reflected events inside nation.”
— sy88pgw’s Sandra Gonzalez contributed reporting.
sy88pgw (Park City) First published January 20, 2017: 4:28 PM ET