USA Today Finds OWS Theme in Movies, Ignores Villainy

Drawing examples from Batman, Cosmopolis and Arbitrage, newspaper sees Occupiers in Hollywood plots, but finds little to criticize about OWS.

Although things are relatively quiet in Zuccotti Park these days, the anti-capitalist fervor of Occupy Wall Street hit the silver screen in a big way in 2012.

USA Today noticed this trend on Aug. 16, saying “in movie theaters, the voices of the 99-percenters are just starting to get loud.” USA Today’s Bryan Alexander labeled Batman’s Bane “the ultimate occupier” and mentioned protests in upcoming movies "Cosmopolis" and "Arbitrage." Richard Gere’s character in "Arbitrage," “represents the 1% poster boy to the dissatisfied,” according to the story.

Of course with the many celebrity 1-percenters who joined the OWS protests against capitalism, it was only a matter of time before that became the focus of Hollywood films. But USA Today didn’t criticize the Occupy movement, on screen or off. Alexander’s story ignored most of the ugly realities associated with the Occupy protests including arrests, threats toward police and allegations of rape. The closest Alexander came to admitting any of that was when he wrote: “The crowds in the film vandalize Pattinson’s limo, brandish a dead rat and cause mayhem. But like the real occupiers, the Cosmopolis protests fizzle.”

Not only did Alexander fail to include any critics of the movement, he didn’t even label fictional Bane as a villain.

In "The Dark Knight Rises," Bane and his cronies act much like occupiers, but armed with heavy artillery set on getting the masses to overthrow the rich and powerful. Some scenes were reminiscent of the French Revolution, as rich people were ripped from their homes and their possessions trashed. But Bane was not the hero of the film, he’s the antagonist and when he takes over Gotham City he reigns with fear, manipulation and violence (and secretly promises destruction with a timed nuclear bomb).