Three-time Oscar-winner Oliver Stone told the far-left New York Times he’s no longer “anxious” to make movies in a Hollywood that’s “too fragile, too sensitive,” and “like an Alice in Wonderland tea party.”
The Times interviewed Stone to promote the release of the 73-year-old director’s upcoming memoir, Chasing the Light. The outspoken Stone admits that after a near-15 year run of films that captured the zeitgeist and drove the national conversation, those days are over. But he also admitted, in so many words, that there is no real place for him in mainstream Hollywood anymore, that the industry’s “politically correct [expletive]” means he is no longer welcome.
How can a true artist fully express himself with a “sensitivity counselor” on the set?
OLIVER STONE: The problem is in Hollywood. It’s just so expensive — the marketing. Everything has become too fragile, too sensitive. Hollywood now — you can’t make a film without a Covid adviser. You can’t make a film without a sensitivity counselor. It’s ridiculous.
NEW YORK TIMES: Why is that ridiculous?
OLIVER STONE: The Academy changes its mind every five, 10, two months about what it’s trying to keep up with. It’s politically correct [expletive], and it’s not a world I’m anxious to run out into. I’ve never seen it quite mad like this. It’s like an “Alice in Wonderland” tea party.
NEW YORK TIMES: In what respect?
OLIVER STONE: Oh, David, don’t go there. That’s going to be your headline. You know, I just read something about how films are going to be very expensive to make now, because you need to take all these precautions, and a 50-day shoot becomes a 60-day shoot, and social distancing for actors. That’s what I’m talking about.
While Stone and I don’t agree on much, none of this changes the fact that I’m one of his biggest fans, someone who considers Salvador (1986), Platoon (1986), Wall Street (1987), and JFK (1991) to be four of the best movies ever made.
I’m also a big fan of Born on the Fourth of July (1989), The Doors (1991), Nixon (1995), U-Turn (1997), World Trade Center (2006), and Savages (2012). And I really need to see Talk Radio (1988) and Heaven and Earth (1993) again.
Though he might not have appreciated it at the time, especially during the Reagan/Bush/Bush years, Stone was lucky enough to work in the movie industry when the industry was still free, when an artist could still fully express himself. Those days are long over. Stone’s genius would be suffocated today. Woke wants no part of masculinity, most especially white masculinity, and above all, Stone is a masculine filmmaker with masculine protagonists. He tells stories about men. That is no longer allowed.
Stone also promotes heroes who dare to challenge the establishment, who question authority, bristle at the way things are supposed to be, and walk a path of their own choosing, even if that path leads to their own destruction. That sure as hell cannot be allowed.
What’s more, Stone often creates parts where women act like women. They’re not weak or meek, quite the opposite, but they are womanly, they frequently look amazing, and sometimes we’re treated to a little skin. That is no longer allowed.
Good grief, can you imagine the blacklisting and canceling that would go on if JFK were released today, a movie where Stone pins Kennedy’s assassination on a couple of homosexuals? The movie could never be made today.
And so, in order to express himself, Stone has embraced the documentary; sympathetic documentaries about Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, and Vladimir Putin, among others… Which is a shame. Even though I find Stone’s politics ridiculous and reactionary, the world was a much better place when this genius was allowed to say whatever he wanted to say on the larger-than-life canvas of the movie screen.
Stone is one of history’s greatest filmmakers, and we were lucky to have him when we did. And no matter how much you might disagree with or even loathe his politics, Oliver Stone never told anyone to shut up… His movies and his voice were always about expanding the conversation, engaging in a dialogue, as opposed to shutting others down, as opposed to bullying others into silence.
Stone always wanted and still wants to engage with us, to have it out, to debate and argue…
That’s as American as it gets.
Hollywood used to be great, now it’s fascist, bigoted, small-minded, and more interested in instructing and virtue-signaling than exploring the human condition through complicated characters and challenging stories.
Thank God for Oliver Stone and DVD.