There’s one thing studio execs probably didn’t count on: Fox News.
Reporting that followed the film’s cancellation illustrated just how afraid the studio is of right-wing media and their followers.
That exact scenario played out nearly word-for-word last week — only with the sides neatly reversed. Buckling under pressure from outraged conservative media and Trump, Universal Pictures first paused promotion of an upcoming movie and then scrapped it altogether. The brief, bizarre controversy was an instructive example of how right-wing media outlets are waging the culture war under Trump, all while constantly claiming that it’s liberals who promote outrage culture.
The truth is that our society has an extremely asymmetric view of outrage culture, and that’s largely thanks to the ever-efficient right-wing feedback loop. To combat this one-sided perspective, journalists at mainstream news organizations need to start looking at complaints and popular outrage in a much more macro context. Until they do so, Fox News and others will continue to utilize selective political outrage to advance their agenda unchecked.