Have you seen the new flick Spiderman?
I guess, judging from the boffo box office returns, the appropriate question should be "have any of you not seen Spiderman?
I did and I have to tell you, while it's a cute, classic good-versus-evil story, it does something Hollywood loves to do. It paints business as the bad guy.
Without giving away the plot line — what there is of it — let me just say that Spidey's nemesis is a nasty corporate mogul turned even nastier. He runs this evil conglomerate called "Oscorp" — or something like that. It stands to lose a government contract and later the guy heading it stands to lose his job, period. He revolts, then gets revolting.
I'll leave it at that.
But, let me cut to the chase: why do we keep doing this? Why does Hollywood love to paint business in an evil light?
Practically all the James Bond flicks feature some evil corporate dude bent on taking over the world. Even Good Morning Vietnam chastised big U.S. defense companies for dragging the war out.
And don't forget television. From Dallas and Dynasty years ago, to a recent West Wing episode featuring corporate pressure on an unwavering President Bartlett.
Don't get me wrong. Some companies are bad and some bosses are real beauties.
But all of them?
Tell me one time — just one time — that you saw a company boss portrayed in a good light? I'll save you the trouble. You won't find one.
This isn't a recent phenomenon. It's been going on in Hollywood since there was a Hollywood, right down to Jimmy Stewart fighting a sinister banker in It's a Wonderful Life.
Well, it's not a wonderful life for business.
It's ironic too, because most of these films are bankrolled by the very fat cats these artsy guys hate.
I know it's not nice to say something nice about business. But let me remind you that if it weren't for business, there'd be no jobs, no movies, no chance to call them evil, no chance to call them anything.
I'm not asking Hollywood to get rid of villains. Just don't have them all wearing pinstripes.
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