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Pandering Isn’t a New Thing

I think I just realized something. Perhaps a hypocrisy in my former criticism that television was pandering too much to every single group.

Basically, what was television like before? Television had been pandering to white males for a long time, right? Am I right? And when we say that some things are unrealistic, or they are going out of their way to pander to a particular class... didn’t they do that with white males also? (mostly?) Unrealistic and even cruel depictions of male masculinity dominating everything? This still doesn’t excuse some movies and shows for being poop based purely on their writing and execution, but I think the whole “they’re pandering” accusation is- while right in many cases- hypocritical cause television has always pandered. If not to the White male, then to ideals like patriotism, capitalism, and whatever ideals were championed at the time.

Coming out of it, you know what the current brand of people who accuse hollywood of pandering seem to be? They’re like the guy who doesn’t have a girlfriend who watches his friend and his friends girlfriend necking it up and he’s like “god, can you guys get a room or something? How soggy can you get?” But he wouldn’t have that complaint if he had a girl doing that to him.

What I’m saying is not that the current accusers are jealous, but that they noticed the traditional focus of attention has changed. We see these cheesy, blatant forms of pandering and were exasperated by it, but we don’t realize that Hollywood has always pandered to people’s vain images of themselves, their group, or their beliefs. It’s just that now the umbrella spreads to include many more groups, and it’s happened so fast that the shift leaves us a bit sour. It doesn’t help that many of the examples we harass are also just terrible, professionally. But like all things the fad will mature and the craft will be honed. The new and irritating liberal thing- like short skirts- will be accepted and life will move on to bellyaching about something else.

This isn’t a total apology for every accusation based on pandering. Sometimes there’s just blatantly ridiculous suggestioning incorporated into some of these works. It’s just to make a claim that maybe we are being a little too hyper-reactive about this whole pandering thing.


What about women? Years ago, in the old
days, 50’s,60’s... women were portrayed
as meek, submissive, wholesome mothers
and the weaker gender that had to be taken
care of because...well lots of reasons...and
men were strong, providers, business worthy
and worldly as well as great dads...
By the seventies, the sexual revolution was
in high gear as well as women’s lib and tv
commercials reflected some of this. Also, and
this is big, until the 70’s there no black
newscasters or hosts on tv....not sure of the
exact year but prior to the 70’s, black people’s
tv and movie roles were limited to servants.
It’s been along road and taken too long. Bill
Cosby as I recall, was the first big success.

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