Stallone’s knockout blow to Disney’s $500,000 “Woke” proposal stuns Hollywood.
The guy who taught us all to “fight for what’s right” in a boxing ring, Sylvester Stallone, has turned down a staggering $500 million movie offer from Disney in a decision that has Hollywood’s elite holding their organic, sustainably sourced pearls. His rationale? He is tired of all this “woke crap.”
While some may view this as a squandered opportunity, others may wonder whether Stallone is merely attempting to avoid a sequel—this time, one that doesn’t include boxing gloves but rather a story oozing with political correctness.
Disney, the media giant famous for its enchanted lands and happy ever afters, has recently been trying to add a little more “wokeness” to its movie universe. Disney has been making sure every character receives a taste of 21st-century enlightenment, from princesses advocating for equal pay to princes participating in climate change marches. Simba is reportedly going to a sustainable grazing lecture in the upcoming “Lion King” sequel. Yes, hakuna matata.
However, Sylvester doesn’t seem to have been informed of the change in Hollywood’s focus. He responded, “I’ve fought against Russians, trained fighters, and even scaled mountains in my films,” when questioned about his choice. And this? This is the point at which I stop. Ah, the good old days, when Stallone had to cope with a rival boxer and not a script that included social criticism from the present era.
Hollywood, which is never short on opinions, has responded to Stallone’s choice in a variety of ways. A filmmaker who wishes to remain unnamed said, “I always knew Sylvester was a tough guy, but I didn’t realise he was this afraid of a little cultural relevance.” While this was going on, a well-known actress was heard stating, “If being woke means getting $500 million, then someone please hand me a script filled with as much political correctness as possible.”
Naturally, the supporters exploded on social media. When the hashtag #TooWokeForRocky became popular, many people shared memes depicting Stallone appearing perplexed by contemporary fads like plant-based diets and electric scooters. “Stallone rejects $500 million for wokeness?,” one admirer wrote on Twitter. He must be maintaining his meat-punching diet.
Stallone’s decision to reject a $500 million offer prompts more general inquiries about the function of culture and entertainment in society. Should films just be for entertainment, or should they also inform and enlighten? How can they avoid alienating audiences if they choose to do the latter?
There is no simple solution. But it’s obvious that as society changes, so will our expectations of the entertainment sector. In order to balance the requirement to be entertaining with the goal to be socially responsible, artists, producers, and businesses will need to carefully traverse this complex landscape.
It’s unclear how Sylvester Stallone’s opposition to “wokeness” will affect his career, but one thing is certain: in the always changing world of Hollywood, it’s imperative to keep up with the times, even if it means passing up a sizable salary. A different action star who is more in line with Disney’s strategy is reportedly in discussions with the studio. He is said to be an ardent supporter of zero-waste and own a turtle dubbed “Eco Warrior” as a pet. Watch this space for additional developments.