Oscar-winner Meryl Streep urged her fellow actors to be a voice for empathetic storytelling. But shifts in technology and culture have put more pressure on the film industry to come up with products meant to please rather than challenge.
Published Jan. 9, 2017 in collaboration with Harry Bruinius
LOS ANGELES AND NEW YORK—There’s nothing like a Hollywood thank-you speech to whip pundits, the press, and the president-elect into a Twitter frenzy.
But behind the social media furor sparked by Meryl Streep’s speech at the Golden Globes is a bigger question: Can Hollywood – with its current blockbuster, give fans what they want financial model – continue to act as a force for change in today’s America?
Entertainment – music, movies, novels, and TV – has historically played a key part in normalizing new ideas and driving social change. But shifts in technology and culture have put more pressure, especially on the film industry, to come up with products meant to please rather than challenge, media analysts say.
In calling for a more meaningful and empathetic approach to storytelling, the multiple-Oscar-winning Ms. Streep told her colleagues that both film and television need to continue to act as change agents, even in the face of such pressures. And with audiences propelled toward an era of both diversity and division, experts say, the task may be as important as ever.