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‘Lightyear’ flop is a sign audiences are weary of Hollywood wokeness

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Hollywood was founded by, and for generations run by, pure showmen who were fanatically devoted to giving the audience what it wanted. Today Hollywood’s message is, “Let us entertain you! But first, a brief lecture on what’s wrong with you, the audience . . .”

Artists and entertainment corporations have always been desperate to be taken seriously, hence their need to manufacture respectability via awards given out by high-falutin’, august-sounding institutions such as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Sciences? You guys are creating pretty pictures, not curing cancer).

The Oscars originally went to box-office giants — glossy romantic dramas and swaggering historical epics. Then the movie industry divided into “awards pictures” and “audience pictures.” In the past few years, even the audience pictures have started to fill up with reminders about racism, feminism, immigration, etc. These are important matters, but people go to the movies primarily for escape.

One reason “Top Gun: Maverick” is such a huge success — the biggest movie of Tom Cruise’s career and probably the biggest movie of this year — is that it simply ignores all quarrelsome real-world issues. “TG:M” seeks merely to entertain, not to persuade you that the people who made it are virtuous.

Tom Cruise stars in "Maverick."
While “Lightyear” flopped, Tom Cruise’s new “Top Gun: Maverick” has soared to nearly $1 billion in ticket sales, the biggest haul of Cruise’s career.
Paramount

Meanwhile, Disney’s much-touted “Lightyear” came out and did surprisingly poorly after a lot of week-of-release talk about the lesbian relationship in the film. The same-sex marriage is a small part of the story and no one should be bothered by the existence of gay people, even in a kids’ movie, but the shocking underperformance must have Disney wondering whether people stayed away because they thought (even if mistakenly) that “Lightyear” was a message movie.

Tom Cruise plays Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in "Top Gun: Maverick."
In the new “TG:M,” Cruise reprises his role as Capt. Pete Mitchell in a film that’s light on politics or moralizing and heavy on old-fashioned Hollywood thrills and fun.
Paramount Pictures

Disney’s decision to spend a couple of minutes of screen time reminding us that it’s a gay-friendly company may well have cost it millions in ticket sales for what was supposed to be its annual Pixar mega-blockbuster. Disney has to consider the idea that there might be many Pixar fans who have no problem with gay marriage who nevertheless would prefer the matter be left out of kids’ movies. Disney also chose a side in the Florida dispute about teaching sexual orientation to little kids, and it may have damaged one of the world’s most valuable brands.

In the weeks before its release, “Lightyear” received lots of attention for its brief lesbian subplot that likely led many moviegoers to mistake it as a message film.
In the weeks before its release, “Lightyear” received lots of attention for its brief lesbian subplot that likely led many moviegoers to mistake it as a message film.
PIXAR
In Disney and Pixar’s “Lightyear,” Izzy Hawthorne, the eager leader of a team of cadets called the Junior Zap Patrol, teams up with Buzz Lightyear and his dutiful robot companion, Sox, on a mission to figure out exactly what—or who—is behind a mysterious alien spaceship hovering above their planet.
“Lightyear” was intended to serve as Disney’s big summer animated blockbuster, but may instead cause Disney execs to reconsider their views on “woke” content.
PIXAR

James Patterson — the quintessence of a popular writer who doesn’t care about sending a message — was swamped with criticism when he suggested white male writers in Hollywood are victims of “just another form of racism.” That sounds dumb on the surface, but every producer in Hollywood is loudly proclaiming his commitment to inclusivity, which is another way of saying he is desperate to hire people other than non-handicapped straight white males. TV networks are proudly announcing new requirements that (at, for instance, CBS) at least 50% of staff writers be members of minority groups. Once hired, such staffers often push for stories about pressing social problems.

Result? A British TV survey found that 62% of viewers think political correctness has gone too far.

"Lightyear" is not the first time Disney has waded into the culture wars; in March, the company opposed Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law promoted by Gov. Rick DeSantis.
“Lightyear” is not the first time Disney has waded into the culture wars; in March, the company opposed Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law promoted by Gov. Rick DeSantis.
Alamy

“I’m in a lot of meetings now, where people tell me, ‘This will never get on because it’s not woke enough,’” observes the Egyptian-born British comedy writer-producer Ash Atalla. Polling shows TV producers are much more interested in foregrounding issues such as transgender rights than the British public (which is notably more PC than we Americans are). In the US, a poll focusing on the entertainment industry found that 65% agree that corporate wokeness has gone too far. 

It’s amusing that members of the entertainment industry often refer to it as “the industry,” as though they have forgotten the most important word. With the collapse in Netflix’s stock price, Disney’s box-office headache and the revival of “Top Gun,” Hollywood execs must be wondering whether their progressive politics have amounted to a kind of self-imposed woke tax.

Kyle Smith is critic-at-large for National Review.

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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