Much like the laws of nature, business has a handful of rules that must be followed if one wants to stay in business.
I spent a substantial amount of time during my MBA courses reading case study after case study of business leaders who chose to violate those laws in one way or another, and were resigned to the dustbin of history when their choices took their formerly blue-chip companies into bankruptcy and liquidation.
These fundamental principles are referred to as “table stakes” by many MBAs, meaning that they’re such “day 1” and “Business 101” rules that they don’t even have to be mentioned. Anyone worth their salt knows what they are, and that they must be respected.
Except, it seems, for Hollywood.
This year’s Oscar awards were viewed by the smallest amount of people ever in the history of the awards show (23.6mm), so perhaps it would be a good idea to dig into why – although something tells me that nobody in Hollywood is bothering to do so, which is a problem in and of itself (much like the post-2016 DNC).
To start with, the Oscars gave us a prime example of Hollywood’s violation of the most fundamental rule of marketing: right time, right place, right message.
What this means is that, no matter how good your product or award-winning your advertisement, it must be shown at the right time, to the right person and be the right message for that person.
The uber-leftist and politically charged speeches offered a fantastic microcosm via Hollywood into the greater macrocosm of the world at the moment: men and women who’ve made tens of millions of dollars by looking pretty and handsome for reciting lines that someone else wrote, lecturing us on inequality and the sins of the un-woke.
But how well do you think that message resonates with Americans who work on cars, turn pipes, crunch numbers or build things with their hands for 8-12 hours a day in order to put food on the table for their families?
What Hollywood has failed to realize is that the world is changing around them.
I have a group of fellow conservative authors & screenwriters who I’m friends with, and we all joke about the bubble that comprises both Hollywood and today’s literary industry, filled with people who know nothing about the world outside of Manhattan, Los Angeles or San Francisco.
But the “flyover country” they and their media cohorts on CNN, MSNBC and the New York Times (who’ve also seen their numbers nosediving) love to make fun of, represent a significant amount of ticket sales, viewership numbers and readership – and they’re not buying what Hollywood is selling anymore.
Another fundamental rule of business, one that is so fundamental that I’ve taught my 9 year old son its importance, is the most basic rule of business competition: you can be cheaper, or you can be different.
What this means is that when designing your business from the very beginning, you need to decide if your product or service will be cheaper than the competition, or different/better.
As competition in the entertainment world is rapidly expanding via streaming services, have you seen box office ticket prices go down?
Nope, the opposite is true.
Have we seen massive differentiation and creativity coming out of Hollywood?
Nope, on the contrary it seems like every other movie is either a part 15 related to comic books or a studio who is putting their entire effort into finding the most “woke” messaging and production team they can, only thinking about quality and story as an afterthought.
People want movies & entertainment to serve as escapism from the politically-charged world we live in, but Hollywood doesn’t care – they want their politics shoved down our throats any chance they get. Just look at the Marxist maxims given in the speech accepting the award for a movie made by Obama’s production company (American Factory).
-We should also mention that in the time of President Trump, as American nationalism is taking hold of the country and people are once again proud to be American, it’s apparent to anyone looking that the only reason Hollywood has the ability to finance big-budget movies is through massive Chinese investment (just look at the production companies involved).
And those of us who know that any company in China is majority-owned by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) understand exactly what that means: propaganda.
#GetWokeGoBroke isn’t just an amusing Twitter hashtag, and it’s definitely not an instruction.
But as Hollywood watches one big-budget “woke fest” fail after another, it seems they just aren’t getting the message: America ain’t buying it anymore.
Perhaps they’ll get the message and fire whoever led them down this disastrous, costly and ill-advised path.
Or perhaps I’ll be reading the case study of their (well forecasted) demise one day.
Only time will tell.
Robert Patrick Lewis is a Green Beret OIF/OEF combat veteran with 10th SFG(A), author of Love Me When I’m Gone , The Pact and The Pact Book II: Battle Hymn of the Republic. Follow him @RobertPLewis on Twitter or on his RobertPatrickLewisAuthor Facebook page.