'Lightyear' and the weaponization of "woke"
Right-wing media spent weeks trying to torpedo the Disney film. As usual, their freak-out was based on next to nothing.
In 2018, Republicans raged at Samantha Bee for referring to Ivanka Trump, who was working as a senior adviser to the president/her dad, as a “feckless c*nt.” In 2017, the right threatened to boycott ABC after it canceled the Tim Allen sitcom Last Man Standing, which had become increasingly expensive for the network to air (Emily St. James wrote a piece for Vox explaining why the right’s freak-out and paranoia about the cancelation being related to Allen’s support of right-wing politicians like Donald Trump was unfounded). Also in 2017, Trump supporters raged at Starbucks (as they had done a number of times before), this time for pledging to hire 10,000 refugees over the course of five years.
It used to be this straightforward. A company would take an action, and people on the right would respond by saying how much they hate what the company did and demand that they change it back. That’s changed a bit recently, and I wrote about it a bit earlier this week:
Yes, yes, yes, the right has always been just as much about “canceling” things it doesn’t like as the left. In fact, it’s possible that they do it even more than the left does it (as I wrote back in this 2021 Media Matters piece). In today’s newsletter, I want to talk a little bit about how and why they dramatically changed their approach to this in just the past few years.