Entertainment Through A Screen

Entertainment has gone virtual, but will it stay this way?

Maddie Richardson, Reporter

Trevor Noah turned in his suit for a hoodie and sweatpants, Jimmy Kimmel traded his extravagant studio for his living room, with his kids occasionally seen running around in the background. The way we once did things has changed drastically and continues to change on a daily basis.

Over the past two years, shows like MasterChef and American Idol have been affected by COVID-19 greatly. MasterChef was postponed between March 2020 to Oct. 2020. American Idol only had video submissions, but by April 2021, live performances were held again without an audience. Television shows aren’t the only things that’ve been affected, as many movie releases have also been pushed back the past two years.

Senior Mayleen Guardiola was waiting to see the new Batman movie, but unfortunately the release date in theaters was pushed back.

“I was extremely disappointed when I found out the new Batman movie was being postponed due to COVID in the Hollywood scene,” Guardiola said  “It was upsetting because I was really hoping to watch the movie with my friends.” 

One way people have been able to avoid postponed movies was to swap the in-person movie experience for watching the newest movies on streaming platforms such as Disney Plus and HBO. These services have also increased the amount of ads shown on cable because they claim that the future of entertainment is streamed.

According to the Hub Research LLC, around more than 33% of people in June 2021 used streaming services, as opposed to July 2020. This is mainly due to accessibility while stuck at home or even the increase of ads seen on websites or cable television for these platforms throughout the pandemic.

Along with the general ads for the streaming services, there’s been a major increase in ads for movies that are exclusive for streaming platforms such as ‘Luca’ on Disney Plus.

Many have taken the ads advice and purchased streaming services, gaining access to some of the newest movies.

“Me and my family enjoyed being able to watch newly released movies from the comfort of our own home,” Guardiola said. “It was a safe, COVID free environment and not only were we able to stay safe, but services such as Disney Plus benefited from it as well”

Unfortunately, the addition of new movies on streaming platforms originally supposed to be released in theaters raised some issues with actors that benefit from their movies being played exclusively in theaters. Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney because her movie “Black Widow” was released on Disney Plus at the same time that it was released in cinemas. According to her contract, Johansson makes most of her money from box office sales, but since people were able to watch it at home, Johansson had a large deduction in her earnings from what she was expected to make.

“It’s definitely not fair for actors such as Scarlett Johannson because if you are an actress for a movie, you should be getting paid for doing so,” Guardiola said.

Along with that, actor Sean Penn has mentioned in an interview that he will not return to the set of ‘Gaslit’ unless there are necessary COVID precautions taken, such as the cast getting vaccinated.

“I think that it’s affected actors a lot, especially more popular ones in the sense of getting sick and not being able to work, but also being able to get more jobs for actors that are unknown,” Guardiola said. 

With the pandemic slowing down, and many people ready to go out to movie theaters and concerts, the future of entertainment is moving back to in-person events. Though the virtual events have had their benefits and drawbacks, it has been interesting to see our world gone virtual. Through it all, COVID-19 has greatly impacted the entertainment industry, and though in-person events are being revived, I believe the effects COVID has had on entertainment will continue to affect our daily media.