Christian Toto, Columnists, National

Toto: Guilt replaces gold in Hollywood’s Woke Olympics

Guilt replaces gold In the Hollywood Woke Olympics. It’s a lesson stars are learning the hard way.

You almost feel sorry for today’s progressive players. They try oh, so hard to be aware and inclusive. Yet despite their best intentions it doesn’t always work out that way. And then it’s time for the Apology Tour.

Said tours usually don’t last long, though. The media isn’t interested in holding liberals’ feet to the fire. Just ask the man who continues to serve as Virginia’s governor despite a blackface scandal that would have chased any Republican out of office.

“Will & Grace” star Debra Messing is as active as any of her peers on social media. Messing’s micro messages regularly tie to her hard-left values. So it’s not surprising she tried her darndest to honor International Women’s Day in the wokest way possible on Instagram.

She shared a visual featuring a number of vagina-shaped cupcakes.

“Powerful, beautiful, and sweet!” she typed. Take that, President Donald Trump! Only the pic backfired. Big time.

Social Justice types screeched in resistance, saying the image didn’t honor trans woman who may not have a traditional vagina – or any female private parts at all. It’s one reason the uber-feminist “Vagina Monologues” is no longer a campus staple.

Messing broke a land speed record with her backpedal:  “I did not, however, think ‘but there are innumerable beautiful, unique and powerful women who don’t have a vagina,'” she added, “and I SHOULD have. And for that I am so so sorry. Thank you for righting my wrong.”

Phew.

Fellow ex-Women’s Marcher Alyssa Milano got caught in a similar web. The “Who’s the Boss” alum attempted to outwoke her peer with calamitous consequences.

Once again, International Women’s Day inadvertently set the cultural trap. Milano sent out a message to her 3.5 million Twitter followers:  “I’m trans. I’m a person of color. I’m an immigrant. I’m a lesbian. I’m a gay man. I’m the disabled. I’m everything. And so are you…”

News flash: She’s none of the above.

And, just like Messing, she quickly apologized for offending her fellow SJWs. She didn’t feel their intersectional pain, apparently.  “I’m glad this Tweet invoked conversation. I’m so sorry it offended some. I see you and I hear you,” she responded. Her mea culpa made USA Today.

It’s only the tip of the Never Woke Enough Iceberg.

The recent SXSW film festival strained to be more inclusive, more diverse. And, in many ways, mission accomplished given its fair share of projects featuring women and people of color. The festival still caught flak from a disabled rights group.

The Ruderman Family Foundation slammed the SXSW film “Come as You Are” for hiring two able-bodied actors to play people with disabilities. Once upon a time that was dubbed, “acting.” These aren’t those times, though. Just ask “Breaking Bad’s” Bryan Cranston. He, too, caught heat for playing a quadriplegic in the sleeper smash “The Upside.” For the record, Cranston is a proud progressive, but that didn’t protect him from some cutting media attacks.

How absurd has it become? Last year Amy Schumer apologized for starring in an Amy Schumer movie. The actress told an interviewer that her film, which she produced, cast the wrong lead actress. “It would be great if my role had been played by a woman of color and there were more trans people in it, more people with disabilities … But it’s a step in the right direction, I hope.”

The film features a white, abled woman who bonks her head and wakes up thinking she’s model thin. Schumer took the role but later felt shame for doing that … and, presumably, cashing the accompanying check.

Oscar winner Natalie Portman endured a similar guilt trip last year. Her box office dud, the fascinating sci-fi thriller “Annihilation,” cast her as part of an all-women team investigating a land anomaly.

Empowering, right?

Only her character, based on a fictional character by author Jeff VanderMeer was written as being half Asian. Portman is not Asian. The issue flared around the film’s release date, and even Portman herself called her own casting “problematic.”

Sometimes woke stars dodge the SJW fire, albeit barely. Brie Larson blazed the most intersectional product push in modern history while championing “Captain Marvel.” Larson demanded under-represented scribes interview her and talked up the film’s empowering message far and wide.

Yet for all her diversity blather she managed to grace the stages of “The Late, Late Show” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Those shows are hosted by, gasp, cisgender white males.

She better think harder by the time “Captain Marvel 2” graces theaters.

Meanwhile, she remains the exception to the woke rule. Even the biggest, most empowered stars know they’re only one “wrong” tweet away from getting caught by the PC Police.

Christian Toto is editor of the Colorado-based hollywoodintoto.com, The Right Take on Entertainment.

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