By Peter LaBarbera,
‘The whole house has kind of collapsed upon itself’
A Hollywood icon and powerful media mogul says the theater-movie industry is “finished” and “it’s never coming back.”
In an interview with PBS, Barry Diller, former CEO of Paramount Pictures where he oversaw the production of such TV hits as “Laverne & Shirley” and “Cheers,” and well-loved movies including “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Beverly Hills Cop,” says the rise of the movie-streaming company Netflix combined with theaters getting slammed by the COVID pandemic put an end to the dominance of major Hollywood movie studios.
He said about seven or eight years ago, just as cable TV company profit margins were shrinking, along “comes a company called Netflix, which says, ‘We’re going to stream things and deal directly with the consumer. And we’ve got a better proposition than you cable folks do. You can watch things whenever you want. You can watch all of it at once. It’s on demand, on your personal demand.'”
Then came COVID and the lockdowns, and while Netflix subscriptions grew because people were staying at home, “The entire movie business crashes because there’s no movie theaters, because people can’t go to the theaters,” said Diller, chairman of the media conglomerate IAV and Expedia Group.
“And that whole infrastructure… the hegemony, let’s call it, of Hollywood, which had ruled for 75, 80 years, it only took three or four years for it to…totally disappear in the sense that it’s over. There is no hegemony anymore of… those major motion picture companies. It’s truly finished. It is never coming back,” Diller told host Margaret Hoover on “Firing Line,” the program originally made famous by the late conservative intellectual William F. Buckley, founder of National Review.
Asked about the Oscars, Diller, who was CEO of 20th Century Fox from 1984-1992, said the film academy awards show is doomed because there is “no longer a national audience” for it. In its glory days, people liked the Oscars because it rewarded popular movies and their actors, he said.
“It used to be that there was congruence between the movies that people went to see and the awards that were given to those movies that were most popular,” he explained.
“But that disappeared a while ago, and the awards went to movies that nobody watched, nobody went to see. And then no one went to see anything because the pandemic came. So the whole house has kind of collapsed upon itself,” he said, adding that the Oscars should transition to become an event for “the industry and not for consumers.”
WND and other media have reported year after year about the plummeting Oscar TV ratings. In 2021, fewer than 10 million people watched the film awards show, a deep drop from the previous year’s viewership of 23.6 million.
In another portion of the interview, Diller, a Biden supporter and strong critic of Donald Trump, condemned “woke” cancel culture and said people need to learn to tolerate speech and ideas they don’t agree with.
Ironically, the left-leaning Diller is seen schooling the “conservative” Hoover — who comes off as a passionate foe of Trump — on how Twitter was wrong to expel the former president from its platform. (Hoover, a strongly pro-homosexual libertarian, is married to CNN political analyst John Avlon, who was editor-in-chief of the left-leaning, anti-Trump Daily Beast, which is owned by Diller’s IAV, a fact she acknowledged in the PBS interview.)
“As far as free speech is concerned, as far as ‘woke’ is concerned, as far as shutting down healthy talk because it’s too sensitive for some, I abhor that,” he said, adding that “as much as I do not like Donald Trump, I did not think that Twitter should shut him out. ”
“Look, the woke thing swung too far,” said Diller, who just turned 81.
“The beginning process of it, which is, we should be more aware and more sensitive, is rational and reasonable. But when you take it to the extremes that that woke community has taken it, that pendulum got way swung all the way up and to the side of the socket. And it is now starting to come back.”
He attributed the cultural pendulum swinging back from leftist extremism to the “ordinary, normal thinking folk who say, ‘Well, gee, that’s ridiculous.’ You know, it’s ridiculous to shut off speech because [for] one person out of two thousand, it will be too sensitive for that person to hear that. I think … it just went too far.”
Diller said it is not the role of corporations to shill for “woke” causes. After Hoover reminded Diller that he has described Google as an “absolute monopoly,” he said the search-engine giant needs regulation to check “the excesses that come to any enterprise that has great market power.”
“And I think that is now starting to come. I think that’s healthy,” he said.
A transcript of the interview is available on the Firing Line website.
EDITOR’S NOTE: What is behind the current war against America’s children? Why are so many adults killing their unborn children right up to the moment of birth, or even after? Why are millions of kids sexualized virtually from birth, and injected with an experimental “vaccine” proven to be both ineffective and dangerous, then as toddlers transported to events glorifying mentally ill, demonically possessed men dressed as women?
Why are America’s children systematically sexualized at school, and by transgender recruiters on social media platforms like TikTok, seducing many into “identifying” as the opposite gender, or a brand-new imaginary gender, then encouraged to take powerful drugs and hormones and have their healthy breasts amputated or undergo chemical or surgical castration?
Why are our children simultaneously indoctrinated with toxic Marxist ideologies like “critical race theory” intended to condition them to hate and reject their own country, parents, faith, race, gender and themselves? Why are they simultaneously being frightened of the future by being fed lurid, terrifying – and groundless – apocalyptic tales of the imminent destruction of the world due to global warming?
No wonder youth suicides have skyrocketed, as have depression, anxiety, addiction and drug overdoses. Indeed, fentanyl, the No. 1 cause of death of younger Americans 18 to 45, destroys multitudes of children annually.
Make no mistake: The harm being done to America’s children in this multi-front war is not accidental: Children are the primary target.
WHY? How can all this be happening in the greatest nation on earth? Who and what is behind it? And HOW CAN IT BE STOPPED?
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