By now you’ve probably heard the news The Hollywood Reporter broke Wednesday that Hollywood’s most hated conservative duo, the Koch brothers, have been silently funding a slate of Warner Bros. movies that includes “Dunkirk,” Steven Spielberg’s highly anticipated “Ready Player One,” and revered girl-power summer blockbuster “Wonder Woman.” As of Tuesday, “Wonder Woman” hit the domestic $400 million milestone and became the highest-grossing film by a female director, Patty Jenkins.
The news of the Koch brothers’ passive involvement in “Wonder Woman” presents a sticky wicket for liberal Hollywood and feminists alike. There is chatter that Warner Bros. wants to launch an Oscar campaign for “Wonder Woman” as Best Picture and for Best Director, but I’m sure today’s revelations merely change the nature of the chatter, not the content. Feminists are already being shamed by their own, although their disposable income has been spent and it’s still a win for women in the male-dominated comic-book film industry.
Sorry, Adorable Little Girls Aren’t Problematic
Slate columnist Christina Cauterucci even went so far as to say, “But it’s just so rich to consider that the money it cost to send these little girls who ‘might make your heart explode’ to see Wonder Woman now support the Koch brothers’ efforts to call climate science into question, making it measurably less likely that those little girls will grow up with a livable Earth to inhabit. The price we pay to see a woman kick ass with killer CGI effects is the continued electoral dominance of Koch-funded politicians who want to force women to give birth against their will.”
This leap in logic requires Olympic-level gymnastics and to say the butterfly effect of these little girls going to a movie will result in them living in an uninhabitable Earth as well as the dystopian future imagined in “The Handmaid’s Tale” is well, pretty screwed up. That’s a high price to pay for going to a movie and quite a lot of pressure to put on adorable little girls, don’t you think?
First of all, what isn’t funded by the Koch brothers? When you’re as rich as the Koch brothers are, your money is in everything, and as soon as they figure out how to charge us for the air we breathe, they probably will. Yes. That’s the nature of capitalism. It creates a lot of problems and it solves a lot of problems too. Someone is making money every step of the way.
It would take a concerted effort to go a day without using a product that puts money in the pockets of at least one if not several of the world’s richest billionaires. You’d literally have to go off the grid, go live in the woods, and subsist off bark and grubs in order to do so and no thanks, I’d like to enjoy myself in an air-conditioned movie theater eating popcorn before I’m forced to live that way in a post-apocalyptic hellscape.
Feminists Are Capitalists, Too
Money has no loyalty. Money goes where money can be made, and guess what happens when you turn your movement into a brand? Guess what happens when you make some posters and get a fancy logo designed by a slick, Silicon Valley creative agency and have a huge march with celebrity guests? Guess what happens when you sell your knitted vagina hats on Etsy for $20, then turn the “p-ssyhat” into its own movement?
Your “movement” is now a product that can be easily commoditized and leveraged. In this instance, the men with money realized feminists had turned Feminism™ itself into an extremely lucrative brand and did what smart businessmen do—they invested in it. I’ll never judge anyone’s hustle, be it the p-ssyhat girls on Etsy or even the Koch brothers.
Their hustle is in a different league entirely. Theirs is the hustle that moves the world, and my hustle simply lives paycheck to paycheck. Granted, you might not approve of the Koch brothers’ values and investments, but a lot of other people do. This is the nature of the free markets. Theoretically you’re free to spend your money however you choose, and so are they.
Cauterucci concludes, “In other words, if you bought a ticket to see Imperator Furiosa bust the heads of a bunch of sexual abusers, you may have helped America elect one.” Please stop. Just stop right there. If you’re going to hold everyone to those standards, what about all the movies made with monetary ties to the Clinton administration or JFK?
If we’re going to play the “Follow the Money” game, turn in your smartphone, get offline, and exit from society. Go live on an ashram where they don’t have TVs and you’re vegan and completely devoted to the spiritual path. Don’t whine about capitalism from behind the glowing screen of your Mac. And don’t mess with my summer blockbusters. I need an escape from the hard realities currently facing humanity.
Full disclosure: I did not see “Wonder Woman” yet. But you can bet I’m going to now.