Hollywood may be an entirely different planet where the biggest movies come to life and celebrities live as over-glorified human beings. But Hollywood didn’t come to such a powerful status without having influencing society in America in several ways.
The historical evolution of the biggest film industry in the world is too broad to pinpoint but it probably starts from an era where Hollywood came to explosive prominence and solidified its place as an American landmark of tradition during the 1920-40s. During this time, Hollywood became very good at three things–entertainment, influence and profit.
The main objective and goal of Hollywood has always been to entertain and it has done so for decades. Throughout the course of black-and-white silent films of Charlie Chaplin to the 3D-rage that is bludgeoning theaters, we always gain some memorable experience (either good or bad) from watching production films or cinema blockbusters. Throughout history, Hollywood has also given birth to some of the biggest entertainment studios such as Warner Bros and Paramount Pictures. Hollywood also brought us talented performers from musical geniuses Frank Sinatra to Oscar award-winning actors such as Gregory Peck and Michael Douglas. As a result, Hollywood consistently churned out many other celebrities who have become household names because they have given great performances that have entertained millions. Celebrities such as George Clooney have also created their own wave of influence and that is another reason why society looks up to Hollywood movie stars as role models, highly respected figures or people with crazy drug addictions. Point is, celebrities become a part of our lives in some way. Oprah anyone?
Apart from serving as a channel of entertainment, the Hollywood industry is one of the most powerful and influential enterprises in the world. Its voice is heard around the globe. From recollection of the Roaring 20’s and the Harlem Renaissance, Hollywood brought about trends that has impacted society heavily. Which other institution promoted smoking cigarettes as cool, attractive and “fashionable” and sent the tobacco industry laughing all the way to bank?
Icons such as Marilyn Monroe have even transcended a whole unique sense of fashion that people have copied for years. Because of Hollywood, there will always be parts of society that want to dress up or look like their favorite idols through make-up and work-out tips. In fact, Hollywood will always be an industry that can promote anything deemed stylish as a result of their influence. But fashion trends are not the only things Hollywood is known for but it has always been an industry that has created its own propaganda and political statements that affects governments, industry and communities.
It’s become a prerequisite for Hollywood to have some sort social responsibility. Labeled mostly as liberal-thinking syndicate, Hollywood has projected political messages of anti-war when George Bush opted to move troops to Iraq in 2003 after 9/11. Celebrities such as Alec Baldwin, Sheryl Crow and Martin Sheen made outspoken anti-war statements such as avoiding threats of nuclear warfare and pleaded with the US government to bring troops back. Such statements were also reiterated by every possible news outlet because of Hollywood’s extensive influence. Secondly, Hollywood can asks society to come to a call of action or engage in social responsibility. One simple example comes from the disaster of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Celebrities and the Red Cross came together in a campaign to help victims of New Orleans and also pleaded with the public to make donations that helped in anyway. In summary, Hollywood marks itself as a great contributor to the American society that always voices its belief in political issues or worldly events.
Finally, despite its role as a leader in trends and a core landmark of influence, the most important thing that has always mattered to Hollywood is making money. Hollywood is objectively a business and a multi-billion dollar industry. The cost that goes into entire production of films is to just generate box office receipts in which you the consumers spend money on tickets that costs more than a Hanes T-shirts these days.
Currently, the American film industry is worth over $754 billion dollars, making Hollywood one of the largest and entertainment media markets to date. Thus its success marks a symbol of great capitalism and a free market which the American society greatly appreciates or can’t do without.
Ultimately, Hollywood’s impact on society is undeniable because of its ability to entertain, influence and continually make profits forever.