Three-time Oscar winner Oliver Stone admits that in today’s fascist cancel culture, “[I]f I made any of my films, I don’t think I’d last. I’d be vilified.”
During an appearance on SiriusXM’s Jim Norton & Sam Roberts to promote his autobiography (which should arrive in the mail Monday), Stone added: “I mean, it’s just impossible. I would have had to step on so many sensitivities. You have to have some freedom to make a movie, unfortunately.
“You have to be rude. You can be bad. And you’re going to have do to these things like step on toes. Holy cow. Do you think I could have made any one of those films?” Stone asked. “I can tell you that if I made any of my films, I don’t think I’d last. I’d be vilified. I’d be attacked. Shamed. Whatever you want to call that … culture, cancel fucking culture.”
Of course, he’s correct.
Although he didn’t direct Midnight Express (1978), he did win an Oscar for his screenplay, and today the movie (which was directed by Alan Parker, who died Friday) would be vilified as homophobic for excluding the fact the protagonist had gay relations in prison.
Scarface (1983), are you kidding? Again Stone only wrote the screenplay (Brian DePalma directed) but brown villains?
Salvador (1986): Where to begin… Just the opening scene… Pretty much every frame would make a wokester’s head explode.
Platoon (1986) is too white and ignores the plight of the Vietnamese — other than as victims-symbols of American imperialism.
Wall Street (1987) would be vilified (and was criticized by some at the time) for not indicting all of capitalism as opposed to just Michael Douglas’s Gordon Gekko.
JFK (1991) frames a homosexual for Kennedy’s murder.
The rest of Stone’s films would be trashed as male-centric, testosterone-fueled, too white, sexist, and entirely too sympathetic toward abusive men, like the Jim Morrison character in The Doors (1991).
For decades, starting with his first masterpiece Salvador (1986), Stone has served up complicated and extremely flawed alpha males who we forgive, either because they are prisoners of circumstance or their own flaws (Richard Nixon), or because, in the end, they are honorable men searching for truth and willing to be scorned and ex-communicated for daring to do such a thing.
While I’m no fan of Stone’s politics (not that he’s wrong about everything), it is those themes that made me a rabid fan, starting in 1986 when I first saw Salvador on HBO.
But let’s say that during my career writing commentary that instead of praising Oliver Stone and defending Oliver Stone (not that I have not been critical when necessary), I had spent the last 15 years attacking Oliver Stone for making “harmful” and “problematic” movies — movies that harmed America and Americans, “dangerous” movies that should not be made… And let’s say my arguments won the day and all of a sudden, some 15 years later, Oliver Stone said what he said above, that in today’s “moral majority” climate he could never get his movies made, and even if he could, it would be at the expense of his vision…
I’m telling you right now that if I in any way believed I had contributed to a climate where an artist believed he could not express himself, I would be horrified and ashamed.
Heaven knows I’ve been critical of left-wing Hollywood, but come on…
You would think Stone’s words — which are absolutely true — would give pause. Not to the mob, not to the fanatical wokesters — they’re lost forever — but to those in the entertainment world, those cowards in the media and in production who know better but who have still bent the knee to this McCarthyism.
Anyone who loves movies, who truly loves the art form, should be horrified that we now live in a world where an Oliver Stone is not possible, where Oliver Stone would be blacklisted if he refused to conform.