Hollywood executives have detached cultural works from cultural meaning, losing sight of the anchor of their business. They’re currently chasing the enshittification cycle down, down, down, dreaming that AI will allow them to cut all their costs (people) while pocketing even more profit because they’ll be able to produce endless “good enough” content.
It’s somewhat cliché, but Hollywood is not concerned about creating interesting, or good, or unique content, but more content that can be used to make more things that can be used to make more profit to increase the stock price. It’s not about whether something’s good, or new, but whether or not it is marketable and “good enough” for consumers…
As Tim Carmody highlights, studios are barely entertainment companies anymore as they move into streaming, with the entertainment they make merely the hook for their real profit-centers. They make culture, but they value culture only insofar as it makes them money. The end game they envision is generating content for next to nothing; with an endless supply of content, everyone will find something good enough to watch, letting them maintain a vast customer base.
Towards that future, studios are self-cannibalizing their own industry by destroying career development for writers. They don’t value storytelling or recognize script-writing as a craft needing industry knowledge. As Dave Karpf writes, studios will satisfice their processes and products using AI if they can get away with it, accepting mediocre scripts as the price of profitability.