The following is by Deacon Steven D. Greydnus and appeared in Crux, an independent Catholic news site operated in partnership with the Knights of Columbus.
Let’s Face It, Hollywood’s Got a Religion Problem
Issues of representation and diversity in Hollywood films have gotten enough attention to ensure that most people are at least somewhat aware of such concerns and questions. Yet at least one area of representation is disproportionately ignored: how Hollywood deals with religious belief and identity, including Catholicism.
The 2016 summer movie season has seen more than its share of critical and box-office disappointments, and more than its share of controversy. By far the bitterest commotion was over Paul Feig’s sex-swapped remake of “Ghostbusters”: Advance opposition was spiked with misogyny and racism, while advocates defended Feig’s attention to actresses and female viewers in a Hollywood landscape still heavily skewed toward men.
In comparison, controversy over Warner Bros’ “The Legend of Tarzan” was relatively muted, mostly limited to critical think pieces indicting the film and the larger Tarzan mythos for racist, sexist, and colonial entanglements.
Issues of representation and diversity in Hollywood films have gotten enough media attention to ensure that most people, whatever they think of their applicability in particular cases or of the politics behind the discussion, are at least somewhat aware of such concerns and questions.