Hollywood strikes out: The Amiable Skeptics with Adam Baldwin!

What’s wrong with Hollywood these days? Well … what isn’t? From Prince Charming-hating Snow Whites to the threat of endless AI regurgitation, Tinseltown has big problems, including an inability to address them. Adam Baldwin comes to the defense of Zachary Levi, who complained about “garbage” products coming from studios and got pilloried for it. “Zachary Levi demands excellence of himself and of the people he works with,” Adam says, and has grown as frustrated with green-screened quasi-AI recycling as the audiences. Adam also discusses the strike, why he’s solidly supporting it and why it matters to audiences.

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Welcome back to our VIP video series “The Amiable Skeptics,” featuring my friend Adam Baldwin! Adam is well-known for his long and storied Hollywood career, starting with My Bodyguard, and especially for his roles in Full Metal Jacket, Firefly, its film sequel SerenityChuck, and The Last Ship.

Highlights from today’s episode include:

  • Why is Rachel Zegler not getting the same flak Levi’s getting? “There are other examples of actors that will speak out against their franchises. The Rachel Ziggler is a perfect example,” Adam points out, “the new Snow White. She’s coming out and slamming the franchise itself and she’s getting away with it in the press and she’s claiming that, Oh, I’m a victim, I’m a victim. People are giving me death threats online. I’d like to see the police reports on those.”
  • Zegler’s getting away with it, Adam says, because she’s touting the Marxist/militant feminist line. Levi just wants his industry to do better. Which is more threatening to the power structure?
  • Some original thinking still breaks through to audiences, and Adam cites Barbie as an example. “We were all surprised by the success of Barbie,” he says. “It’s funny to see Michael Knowles and Ben Shapiro butt heads on it,” he adds. “Knowles loved it and Shapiro hates it. So I think that means it’s worth watching.”
  • Both of us agree that we’re secure enough to deal with a little political commentary in movies as long as it’s not “wall to wall.” I mention the most recent Charlie’s Angels film as an example of overreaction to the “girl power” element. Adam then presses me on which Angel I liked best in my teenage years, and I toss in my Three’s Company confession as a bonus.
  • The magic of a film, Adam says, can mainly be found in the silences, both literal and figurative. Political lectures erase the silences, an insight I find compelling.
  • We also discuss Alec Baldwin’s renewed legal risk in New Mexico. Hollywood hasn’t canceled him, even though his actions resulted in an on-set homicide. Why should Levi get the cold shoulder over valid criticisms instead?
  • As for the strike, the AI issue is real for the actors and writers but more or less a leverage point for the studios, Adam says. The real issue is honest accounting, and we discuss just how long that has been an issue in Hollywood.

Be sure to watch it all, and extend the conversation in the comments!

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