As corporate progressivism vies against Trumpian nationalism for the future of America’s Empire, celebrities are inciting their own upheaval within Hollywood.
American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis warned for years of an impending shift against progressive values in a town long touted as a bastion of liberalism. Following Kanye West’s controversial break with liberalism over Twitter and TMZ, Ellis is seeing his premonition unfold.
“As someone who considers themselves a disillusioned Gen-X’er, I think there IS a backlash brewing against leftist hysteria,” Ellis told Observer over email. “What I used to semi-align myself with has no answers for anything right now, just constant bitching and finding ways to delegitimize an election.”
“That is not a plan for 2020, and if I was a hardcore Democrat I’d be very worried despite the blue wave of 2018, that may or may not fully arrive,” added the controversial novelist.
Though West’s initial pivot drew from New Right ideology—and promoted maligned conservatives with questionable pasts—the rapper has since sparked debate over the relationship between social movements and groupthink.
“I don’t know if Kanye was red pilled exactly,” said Ellis, referencing how individuals are converted to conservatism online similar to Neo’s awakening in the Matrix. “Kanye does not do this in a systematic or literal way: it’s sweeping, metaphorical and inchoate and in the age of digital literal-mindedness.”
In the age of digital literal-mindedness, Ellis and West, who were reported to be collaborating on a film together during the Obama years, became contrarian thinkers of the entertainment industry by flirting on the edges of the Overton window—the range of topics and viewpoints widely viewed as socially acceptable.
As the Overton window in media, academia and Hollywood shrinks—ejecting conservative voices like Kevin Williamson, while opposing centrists in the vein of New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss—that on the right grows.