What is it about wealth in entertainment?
Remember Occupy Wall Street? It's interesting to sit here and think that was nearly 10 years ago when in 2011, a group of people marched to protest the social and economical disparity of the United States. "We are the 99%" referred to the inequality between American's wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population.
Then, the protests were highly criticized for their lack of direction, but the grassroots movement didn't just disappear. Instead, it plotted, planned, and strategized, sparking a movement to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2012, according to The Atlantic, and in 2014, several states voted for higher pay. Today, there are no signs of it more focused groups slowing down.
Our environment influences story no matter the genre, and wealth as a story point is nothing new in movies or in television. Entertainment is a form of escapism, and as the audience, we tend to embody the characters on screen. To live the moments as they are. You don't need to be a genius to understand that being wealthy has its perks. Look at the smile on Tim Cook's face. Ear to ear, baby.
But even in the social media era, where Insta models try to pass off glamorous photos as not being #ads, or influencers are making $10,000 a post to rep a brand, Hollywood has seemed to change its course when telling stories of what it means to be wealthy. Instead of Wall Street and Boiler Room, you have Hustlers, Joker, and Knives Out, where characters call out the economical disparity rather than chase it.
The Take explored the subject of wealth in a deep dive about why audiences are so fascinated by it. Check it out below.
As the video points out, while money can't buy you everything, it sure can feel that way on screen. But as storytellers is there a way we can change that? Is there a way we can add to the discussion without wealth being glamorous?
What are some of your favorite movies that flaunt the money people trope? How would you change that story for today's audience? Let us know in the comments below.