ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Revising Hollywood: Matching Changing Social Standards

Updated on July 26, 2014
jes732 profile image

Jamal is a graduate from Northeastern Seminary and writes on a broad range of topics. His writings are based on other points of view.

The 1984 movie regarded as a classic, depicts a group of nerds' struggle for acceptance at their school
The 1984 movie regarded as a classic, depicts a group of nerds' struggle for acceptance at their school

Nostalgia

Revenge of the Nerds.

You hear that title and normally what would come to mind would be 80’s nostalgia. Ah, the 80’s, a time when everything was so much more straight forward and uncomplicated. Those of us who lived in that decade will remember Revenge of the Nerds as one of many of simplistic films displaying in comedic fashion the life of high school and college as one of angst and the eternal battle of the underdog vs. the popular kids.

Within in the last few years though, Revenge of the Nerds has begun to be seen through a more sinister lens. Nowhere is this more blunt than on AdultSwim’s Robot Chicken, where they use claymation and animation to do comedic parodies of pop culture references. The skit in question depicts the nerd frat house on trial for assault, rape, identity theft, and invasion of privacy. All of these are references to famous scenes from the movie; scenes we all cheered and applauded.

The recent events have created a push back against views and actions that are felt to be misogynistic. Anything that was seen as supporting the view of men being allowed to force women into relationships with them, or that women were obligated to enter into romantic or sexual relations with a guys simply because he treated her well, were interpreted as the underpinnings of long-term social acceptance of sexism.

Scenes like this were once considered acceptable for kids during a time many now would consider morally conservative
Scenes like this were once considered acceptable for kids during a time many now would consider morally conservative

Rewriting History

Similar revisionisms have occurred elsewhere. Old Tom & Jerry and Bugs Bunny cartoons dating back to the 1960’s are now banned from mainstream television as being too violent. Or that to use the word, ‘faggot’ that once wouldn’t even raise an eyelash are now bleeped out on reruns. Why would we ever find shows like these funny or consider them classics?

Though its moral compass may change, the one thing that has not changed about American society is our need to have a clear, moral boundary. Whether it’s us vs. them or right vs. wrong, we like taking sides that are unencumbered by details such as human complexity and that perhaps the people we judge to be on the wrong side see us the exact same way. Movies like Sweet Sixteen and Revenge of the Nerds were symptoms of how we defined those boundaries during that time. All movies are. We didn’t see stereotypical depictions of gay men and Asians, or misogynistic acts from guys who didn’t understand the meaning of, ‘I’m not interested’.

What we saw were underdogs struggling against the odds to gain acceptance or success. You can’t get more American than that! Our culture idolizes the underdog and though it maybe more politically correct now, that still continues today. You could even argue that it was the 80’s that first spawned the idea of anti-bullying campaigns, with their constant one-dimensional characterizations of muscle bound jocks and frat boys oppressing other people they thought lesser than them, yet always losing out.

Do you think Hollywood going politically correct is a good move?

See results

Ever-changing PC

Compare that to the recent college comedy, The Neighbors, with Zac Efron playing the role of the frat house president/enemy of his neighbors. Rather than playing the douche that we have come to expect in these movies, he instead shows a frat boy who can be mean spirited and loves to party, but is also a genuine nice guy when push comes to shove. This wouldn’t have worked thirty years ago. You can’t root for the underdogs when the antagonists are just as nice…or the underdogs are just as perverse.

Hollywood has a history of revising it movies to the changing moral standards of our society. People from the 80’s and even the 70’s would look back at movies from the 20’s and 30’s and their depictions of minorities and call them out as racist. Society had by that time accepted that making people who were not white as being less equal than they were as wrong. I do wonder at times if each generation thinks of themselves as the first enlightened people of the nation waking from a slumber of ignorance. In thirty years, that generation may look on today’s movies and ask themselves the same thing we ask those who enjoyed 80’s films;

How could they watch this garbage?

Party scene from the movie, The Neighbors. Might our grandchildren look at this and wonder what were we thinking?
Party scene from the movie, The Neighbors. Might our grandchildren look at this and wonder what were we thinking?

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)