Sometimes, Joe Biden gets it right. Really.
A few years back, the then-Vice President noted the cultural wake left by NBC’s hit sitcom “Will & Grace” regarding gay marriage.
“I think Will & Grace probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody has done so far. People fear that which is different. Now they’re beginning to understand.”
Now, Hollywood is banking on that principle to promote open border policies. In recent months, we’ve seen a flood of TV storylines, films and related content designed to connect audiences with illegal immigrants.
Consider the failed “Party of Five” reboot,” Selena Gomez’s Netflix docuseries “Living Undocumented” and TV show episodes where ICE agents are the villains.
Why? Ask ol’ Joe.
No matter where you stand on gay marriage, seeing shows like “Will & Grace” as well as “Modern Family” (featuring the lovable gay couple Cam and Mitchell) likely softened some Americans’ views on expanding the legal definition of marriage.
Hollywood scribes will be looking for a similar change of heart regarding border enforcement … or the lack thereof. The newest example? “Borderline,” an upcoming rom-com series.
The single-camera show from ABC Signature follows a couple, Steve and Maria, whose whirlwind new romance is cut short when Maria is notified she’s being deported.
They have to decide whether to bail on the potential love of their lives or take a leap of faith and get married. Can the goody two-shoes Steve and the reckless Maria, who barely know each other, live happily ever after? Absolutely not, but they’re going to try.
“Borderline,” the Hollywood Reporter notes, is part of ABC’s commitment to tackle real-world issues with their shows. And, for what it’s worth, the word “illegal” isn’t mentioned at all. That’s no accident.
The show remains months away, but will we see a robust defense of border enforcement in the narrative? Unlikely. Might we spot immigration officials portrayed in a negative light? Probably.
The one guaranteed element? We’ll feel for the main characters and hope love will truly conquer all, assuming the writing is up to snuff. Plus, we’ll bond with this particular illegal immigrant and perhaps real-world versions, too.
Americans aren’t hard hearted about the plight of illegal immigrants. Many understand the immigration issue is complex and comes with unintended consequences ignored by some politicians and Hollywood writers.
The only real question remaining? Will ABC farm out some of the writing to “Define American,” a new group offering creative help to TV shows and films covering immigration issues. There’s a catch, of course.
The messaging must humanize immigrants, meaning the characters should be portrayed in a positive light. Hollywood is only too happy to oblige, of course.
It’s similar to how “Everytown for Gun Safety” has a sub-committee designed to counsel TV and film writers on the best way to cover gun-related themes. They teamed with “House of Cards” and other popular shows to hone the messaging portrayed within.
Again, it’s a progressive service working hand-in-hand with Hollywood.
What’s something Hollywood won’t create? Stories where innocents are hurt by illegal immigrants who flout or break existing laws. For example, the tragic story behind Kate Steinle, killed by an immigrant who was repeatedly deported but kept coming back, will never get a Hollywood closeup.
It’s why the recent documentary “America’s Forgotten” proved so contentious. The movie showed the truth behind the immigration debate, and it wasn’t pretty. That film came from outside the Hollywood ecosystem. The crew asked for their names to be removed from any film credits for fear of professional retribution.
“Borderline,” by comparison, hails from deep within the system.
Chances are we’ll see even more programming aimed at softening hearts regarding immigration, and they might just change enough votes along the way.
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