Tuesday February 11, 2014
5 Responses to Fox News' Critique of 'The Lego Movie'
Here's Fox Business' main talking point:
Charles Payne: Is Hollywood pushing its anti-business message to our kids? First it was “The Muppet Movie”—remember they used an oil baron as the enemy—and a year later it was “The Lorax” ... Well, now it's “The Lego Movie” with a villain named President Business. Take a listen to him.
CLIP: President Business: Would you cancel my 2 o'clock? This meeting could run a little bit ... deadly.
Payne: Looks a bit like Mitt Romney.
Payne goes on:
Why is the head of a corporation, where they hire people—and people go to work, they pay the rent and mortage, they put their kids through college, they feed their families, they give to charities, they give to churches—why would the CEO be an easy target?
Monica Crowley piles on:
Hollywood has long been dominated by the far left, which is very anti-capitalist.
Rebuttals after the video.
- The “Really? Hollywood is anti-capitalist?” response: Hollywood brings in $10 billion a year, domestic. It brings in even more from abroad. Its product is one of the better, more globally recognized products that U.S. companies export. The American auto industry wishes it could dominate the field the way Hollywood dominates movies globally. So why is Fox Business getting all up in Hollywood's business?
- The “No, Hollywood is pro-NRA” response: When a movie shows a corrupt politician, which they do all the time, is Hollywood being anti-government? When it shows a sleazy journalist, which they do all the time, is Hollywood being anti-mainstream media? Hey, how about this: Does almost every action movie ever made make Hollywood pro-gun? If I follow Fox's line of reasoning, that's the message I'd get from Hollywood. Those damn Hollywood people. They just love, love, love their guns. Let's face it: Guns in movies, being shot by heroes, are way more prevalent than villainous CEOs. So does that make Hollywood pro-gun? Pro-NRA? If not, why not?
- The “Sorry, but CEOs make good villains” response: Generally, you need a villain in a movie, and CEOs make good villains. Why? BecauseAmerican CEOs make 273 times what the average American worker makes. Fox Business is aware of this, right? They should be. They should be aware that the nature of the corporation is to put profits before people, which includes laying off longtime workers and hiring cheaper workers elsewhere, and that means many Americans, particularly those who have been laid off, don't have particularly positive views of corporations and their CEOs. Fox News, and Fox Business, should be aware of this. It's part of the sad fabric of life at the moment.
- The “Did anyone there actually see 'The Lego Movie'?” response: Payne's discussion is even more absurd for anyone who's seen “The Lego Movie.” Because—and please accept the usual SPOILER ALERTS—anyone who's seen the movie knows that Pres. Business isn't like Mitt Romney. He's like ... Dad. He is Dad. The adventures we see for most of the movie are in the mind of a young boy, Finn, whose father, one imagines, goes to work at a business the boy doesn't quite understand. Then he comes home and gets mad at his son for playing with the Legos; for messing up the carefully created dioramas they've made. So not Mitt Romney. Dad. Who, in the end, realizes the error of his ways; who, in the end, is loved.
- The “You missed the forest for the trees” response: There's actually a message in “The Lego Movie” more dangerous to Fox News than the one they're complaining about, and, again, please accept this SPOILER ALERT. It's a message about change, and its inevitability, and how it's preferable to stasis. It's a movie that celebrates the relativism of the building blocks of our society, the constant change, the infinite possibilities. Pres. Business, in contrast, wants everything the same. He's cranky this way. He likes things as they were. Which makes him sound like almost every cranky talking head and host on this network.
I hate doing this kind of thing. I really do. I hate being in a position to defend Hollywood. So much of what Hollywood produces is just crap. But it's not leftist crap. If anything, it's conservative crap. But mostly it's just crap.
By the way, Fox Business: Next time, try to come up with some examples less far afield than “It's a Wonderful Life” and “The Hudsucker Proxy.” And Ms. Crowley? Next time, try to sound a little less HUAC-y. That's creepy.