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Arnold Ahlert / October 17, 2019

Disney Embraces Identity Politics

Artificial intelligence will now analyze scripts for sufficient diversity markers.

The Left’s puerile obsession with identity politics has reached a new low. Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis and Walt Disney Company will partner on an artificial intelligence application that will “spellcheck” scripts — for gender bias.

The machine learning tool is call GD-IQ: Spellcheck For Bias. It was developed by the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering, and uses artificial intelligence to “auto analyze” scripts.

Auto analyze them for what? As the Hollywood Reporter puts it, “to determine its number of male and female characters and whether they are representative of the real population at large. The technology also can discern the numbers of characters who are people of color, LGBTQI, possess disabilities or belong to other groups typically underrepresented and failed by Hollywood storytelling.”

In other words, storytelling will no longer be about actual stories. Instead, it appears Disney movies will be propaganda exercises promoting the virtues of diversity and inclusion.

Davis, who was the keynote speaker at the New Zealand “Power of Inclusion Summit,” held in downtown Auckland on Oct. 3-4, used the opportunity to announce the collaboration. “I’m very proud to announce we have a brand new partnership with Walt Disney Studios using Spell Check for Bias,” Davis stated. “They are our pilot partners and we’re going to collaborate with Disney over the next year using this tool to help their decision-making, identify opportunities to increase diversity and inclusion in the manuscripts that they receive. We’re very excited about the possibilities with this new technology and we encourage everybody to get in touch with us and give it a try.”

Davis assured the audience this collaboration is not an effort to “shame and blame” writers, but rather is aimed at tackling the “unconscious bias” that ostensibly manifests itself, even in the most well-meaning screenwriter’s work.

In short, one is racist, sexist, or bigoted until proven otherwise. “The very next project somebody makes — the next movie, TV show — can be gender-balanced, Davis added. "We can make this change happen very fast. In the time it takes to create a new show or a new film, we can present a whole new vision of the future. Yes, there are woefully few female CEOs in the world, but half of them can be female onscreen immediately. How are we possibly going to get the number of women and girls interested in STEM careers that we need for science, technology, engineering and math? There can be droves of women in STEM careers now on TV and in movies, and then it will happen in real life.”

That’s a remarkable statement coming from anyone in the very same Hollywood community that uniformly insists the plethora of gratuitous sex and over-the-top violence they disseminate on a regular basis has no influence whatsoever on our increasingly coarse culture. Nonetheless, the mantra for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media the actress founded back in 2004 states that “If girls see it, they can be it.”

It gets worse. The new application will also assess the number of speaking lines various groups have, the level of sophistication of the vocabulary they’re using and the relative social status or power positions assigned to characters according to their grouping as well.

That’s quite a “vision for the future,” unless one is invested in a future where creativity takes a back seat to political correctness.

Nonetheless, Disney and Davis are a bit behind the curve in their effort to advance the Wokeness Agenda. When the movie [“Dunkirk”](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5013056/ came out in 2017 — as in the historical depiction of Allied soldiers surrounded by the German Army who were ultimately evacuated during a fierce battle during World War II — USA Today writer Brian Truitt stated that “the fact that there are only a couple of women and no lead actors of color may rub some the wrong way.”

“Black Panther,” a 2018 movie largely hailed as a great leap forward due to its plethora of black characters, was still assailed for it’s lack of LGBT representation. There was also a movement to make Captain America a homosexual, and in 2016 GLAAD (formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), released its fourth Studio Responsibility Index. Like Davis’s software, GLAAD carefully analyzed the movie releases to point out the lack of homosexual characters, with GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis warning that the film industry “must embrace new and inclusive stories if it wants to remain competitive and relevant.”

The lunatic Left was apparently satisfied by 2017’s “The Last Jedi” because it passed the Bechdel test, a.k.a. the Bechdel-Wallace test. Named after American cartoonist Alison Bechdel, who created the comic strip “Dykes to Watch Out For,” it is a measurement used to determine if a work features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. That the two women must be named is sometimes an added requirement.

Columnist Martin Daubney further illuminated the ongoing insanity, and where he believes it ultimately leads. “But the truth is that identity politics is the kryptonite that saps the joy out of all it touches,” he wrote in 2017. “How long before Harrison Ford comes out as Trans Solo? What price a zero-emissions Millennium Falcon? Will Jabba The Hutt be called out for ‘fat shaming’ the obese?”

It will be far worse than that. Writers — as in the lifeblood of any creative endeavor — will no longer feel free to tell a story as they see it. Initially this will precipitate resistance, at least among those writers with enough integrity to be committed to creating a vision as opposed to an “identity road map.” But in the end, pressure from studios, and even the Writers Guild of America — which has its own obsession with identity politics — will bring too much pressure to bear, and writers will begin censoring themselves.

And yet as always, garbage in yields garbage out. An intelligence application that analyzes scripts — created by whom? What are their prejudices and priorities? Who’s “auto analyzing” them? A Hollywood community dominated by leftists who still view half of America as “religiously backwards” at best, or throughly deplorable at worst?

Going forward, Disney will create a hermetically sealed echo-chamber where those who take self-aggrandizement and virtue-signaling to absurd levels can reinforce their own absurdities. With any luck, the market will reveal the error of the identity-obsessed ways. Hopefully it will happen before America is bored to death.

If not, there’s a cornucopia of old movies created by people who put creativity at the forefront of movie-making — unless the same leftists knocking down statues decide to destroy Hollywood’s (often glorious) past as well.

If they did, would anyone be surprised?

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