To say Hollywood views Donald Trump somewhere between Adolph Hitler and people who put pineapple on their pizza is a bit of an understatement. He’s basically to blame for everything (see Viewer Ratings for Trump-Bashing Emmys Among the Lowest Ever and LOL! Hollywood Blames Trump For The Failure Of Their Comedies).
That’s why I found this interesting. Kingsman 2 had the prerequisite anti-Trump references in the movie, but they got edited out at the last minute. Here, allow director Matthew Vaughn to explain why.
Poppy, the nefarious CEO played by Moore, had expressed her desire to host NBC’s The Apprentice — Trump’s flagship reality show for more than a decade. “We actually took out the Apprentice line,” the director says, “because we felt it was too close to the bone. I think America’s going through a pretty interesting and rough ride at the moment and I wanted this movie to be escapism. And that means not suddenly have half the audience going, ‘That’s not cool, that’s not funny!’ as the other half is cheering.”
That same impulse control also led to one of the film’s pivotal sets being redesigned. “We were building a White House Oval Office in the style of Trump Tower. We were making it in all gold and blinging it up. This was in May of 2016 and then I had an inkling. I remember saying to my American production designer, ‘Trump might win, you know? Would this be as funny if Trump won?’ And he was like, ‘Trump will never win.’ And I said, ‘You know what, I have a weird feeling he might. So let’s build a normal Oval Office and scrap the Trump version.’ I think my instinct was right. If you go too far — if movies get political when they’re meant to be fun — then it weighs everything down a bit too much.”
I wanted this movie to be escapism.
If you go too far — if movies get political when they’re meant to be fun — then it weighs everything down a bit too much.
I mean, seriously Hollywood. Is this so hard?
People go to movies, which are largely fictional, to escape reality. Reality is largely non-fictional. Except for random CNN stories. Sometime the lines are a little blurry there, but when narratives matter more than facts, it’s hard to stop themselves.
Despite Hollywood being full of leftist snot muffins, Hollywood’s audience is a diverse group. Including people who vote Republican. So if Hollywood cares about their bottom line, not p!ssing off a large fraction of their audience with anti-Republican messaging is a smart marketing move. One could say it’s rather a basic one.
Alas, Hollywood, like the media, is obsessed with out-stupiding everyone else. Here’s hoping they’ll learn from Kingsman 2. If not, no surprise.