In the 1930’s, after a slew of Hollywood scandals, The Motion Picture Association of America (made up of the six most powerful movie studios) sought after the help of Will H. Hays to help rehabilitate Hollywood’s image. Afterwards, he produced a list of Do’s and Don’ts, formally known as the Hays Code, that was immediately implemented for Directors, Writers, Producers, Actors to follow.
The pendulum swung from the fringes and edges to the center. For 50 years, it held up. Until one day it didn’t.
Because soon, actors and directors were working their way around it. (Under the Hays Code, actors couldn’t kiss longer than three-seconds. Alfred Hitchcock’s 1946 film, Notorious, had the actors keep breaking away every few seconds. The scene lasted for two and a half minutes.)
And so the pendulum swung again back to the edges.
In 2017, Harvey Weinstein has been accused for serial sexual misconduct sparking one of the biggest movements we have ever seen against sexual misconduct. And now, Gillette tackles what masculinity means, in the process of becoming the 29th most disliked video on YouTube. That’s okay because 600,000 (and counting) still liked it.
Because it wasn’t meant to be for everybody. Just someone.
It might not be for you that Nike takes a knee with Colin Kaepernick. It might not be for you that Patagonia endorses political candidates. You might not want to know what the social views of the food you eat is.
That is the way the world is going. Because in a world of infinite choices with infinite products or services, we choose the ones that align with the way we see the world.
Hays Code could never last in our day because the market for masses continues to shrink. Every day. You can’t control the content that is being produced anymore when everyone walks around with a camera for video and photos.
Even though some keep trying, you can’t stand in the way of progress or art or change.
Because the pendulum keeps swinging towards justice and healing and awareness.