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Study Disproves the Conservative Slogan ‘Go Woke, Go Broke’ in Hollywood

A recent study proves that the ridiculous conservative slogan, “Go woke, go broke,” does not apply to Hollywood. In fact, Hollywood is actually losing a substantial amount of money each year by failing to increase diversity in film and TV.

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The film industry has been a frequent target of conservatives’ “anti-wokeness” campaign. Essentially, anytime a movie or TV show acknowledges the existence of minorities, women, or the LGBTQ+ community, it leads to disgusting conservative backlash as they decry the supposed “wokeness.” Soon, conservatives started touting the saying “go woke, go broke” to push the narrative that studios and companies that support diversity will face serious losses in sales or even go bankrupt or out of business. However, there’s no evidence to back up this saying; it’s just what conservatives want people to believe to try to spook businesses into bowing to the right-wing agenda.

Recently, conservatives have been trying to twist various box office failures into proof of the “go woke, go broke” slogan. For example, bigots were gloating over The Marvels‘ supposed failure at the box office because it was considered proof that female-led films will fail. However, these bigots all ignored other relevant context, like that the film was released at the tail-end of the SAG-AFTRA strike, which hindered promotion of the movie, and at a time of high franchise and superhero fatigue. Additionally, they all strangely ignored how Barbie and The Little Mermaid were among the highest-grossing movies of 2023. Now, a recent study has further confirmed that “go woke, go broke” is a bunch of nonsense.

Hollywood loses billions annually due to lack of diversity

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the consulting firm McKinsey has been tracking diversity in Hollywood and analyzing the financial revenue that greater investment in representation and inclusion could generate. The conservative meltdowns over diversity are bizarre because it is well-known that Hollywood is severely lacking in diversity on all levels and has failed to follow up on goals set to improve in this area.

Meanwhile, the lack of diversity is hurting the film industry. According to McKinsey, Hollywood could potentially earn $10 billion annually from “closing the Black inequity gap.” Additionally, it estimates that Hollywood could earn an extra $12 billion–$18 billion yearly from tapping into Latine markets and $2 billion to $4.4 billion from Asian and Pacific Islander markets. In total, the industry could be turning down the opportunity for an extra $30 billion in revenue per year.

While these enormous amounts of potential lost revenue may be difficult to believe, the matter is actually quite simple. The communities that Hollywood is excluding have money, but they are not going to invest money in an industry that doesn’t include them. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that Asian Americans earn 30% more than non-Asian Americans, on average, but spend 35% less on media. McKinsey surveys have shown that, understandably, most of these consumers would spend more on film and TV if they were represented.

Hollywood isn’t just missing out on consumers but also colleagues. Some of the biggest movies and TV shows in recent years, such as Everything Everywhere All At Once, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Beef, Barbie, and Squid Game, are from or about the very communities that Hollywood has failed to adequately represent. In failing to hire more female or minority directors and filmmakers, the industry is also failing to tap into a larger pool of creativity.

Ultimately, “wokeness” is not the problem in Hollywood. The problem is that it has consistently failed to do better when it comes to representation and inclusivity. No one should care about the small, inconsequential group of right-wing extremists who get scared if they see a woman in a movie. What the industry should care about is a massive group of potential consumers and talented filmmakers whose absence actually is significant enough to impact the industry.

(featured image: igoriss / Getty)


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Author
Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.