Hollywood’s Favorite Villains

Once upon a time, Cold War enemies, white supremacists, and evil geniuses reigned supreme as Hollywood’s favorite bad guys. No more. Today, it is multinational corporations that are increasingly being cast as the über-villains of our globalized world. For all their subliminal paid promotions and subtle product placements, corporations are getting drubbed in the main story lines of our popular culture.

This treatment goes far beyond documentaries like Michael Moore’s polemical Fahrenheit 9/11 or The Corporation , an earnest if somewhat paranoid portrayal of multinational companies’ role in globalization. It extends to mainstream hits like The Constant Gardener , in which the idealistic protagonists do battle with a malicious global pharmaceutical company that is bent on exploiting Africa’s misery to test experimental drugs.

To be sure, sociopathic corporations have populated books and films for more than a century. But corporate villains, typically multinational companies, have never been so ubiquitous as today.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To read this article from our archive, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/KVIc6sU;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.