Identitarian Politics and the Suppression of Artistic Freedom

Chad Felix Greene’s oped Chris Pratt’s ‘Guardians’ Character Just Came Out, Prompting Renewed Leftist Bigotry Against Christians is insightful. I encourage you to read it. The author is correct to imply that while Islam is celebrated in Hollywood, Christian actors, adherents to a faith far less sexist and far more tolerant of bisexuality and homosexuality, as well as other religious standpoints and secularism, are mocked and ridiculed, even marginalized, if they don’t espouse the correct political doctrine. The left says it wants diversity. It’s not true.

Chris Pratt’s ‘Guardians’ Character Just Came Out, Prompting Renewed Leftist Bigotry Against Christians
Actor Chris Pratt, a Christian in Hollywood

On this business of only the real life identity playing the same on-screen identity, the Green nails the absurdity of identitarian politics. “As an actor, Pratt pretends to be things he is not. Right now, he plays a character in an imaginary world where he is in love with a green, alien woman—it’s all fictional. There is also no indication that Pratt as a straight man would have any issues playing a gay or bisexual character, something only LGBT activists seem to be outraged over these days.” He continues, “He is a married Christian, yet he portrays a sexually roguish, half-god character who has never been married to the character his character frequently has sex with. This isn’t a Bible story.”

There is no reason why a gay man shouldn’t play a straight man or a trans-woman shouldn’t play a woman on stage or screen. The only quality required is to be reasonably believable in role. Of course, we the audience have to work to suspend our disbelief. That’s our role in the performance. There is no need to change the character or script. It’s called “acting” for a reason. Acting in the context of movies and plays means playing somebody you’re not. We don’t need serial killers to play serial killers. We don’t need old people to play old people. We don’t need Germans to play Germans. The hand up the Swedish chef muppet’s ass isn’t really Swedish. He’s not even a chef.

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Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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