OIL, Still Hollywood’s Favorite Villain

Trailer for new TV show premiering fall 2015 on ABC shows drillers and aspiring oil millionaires as corrupt, ‘dirty.’

When it comes to Hollywood, Proverbs got it right: there is nothing new under the sun.

Trailers for ABC’s fall TV lineup are being released and the new show OIL appears to be more of same anti-gas and oil propaganda television networks and movie producers have been dredging up for years.

With narration that sounded like it came straight from a 1990s disaster movie, the narrator said, “Welcome to a town with oil fields so vast a new millionaire is made every single day.”

The story is about a couple that moves into an oil boomtown, supposedly like towns in the Bakken oil fields region of North Dakota, to try and make their fortune.

“They came looking for the American Dream, what they found was rock bottom,” booms the ‘90s narrator.

The racy trailer showing sexual encounters, gambling and violence doesn’t give much away. It only sets up the potential partnership or rivalry of the new couple and oil kingpin by the name of Briggs, played by Don Johnson.

And it shows Briggs feuding with his son after after “a million-dollar mistake” with an oil rig which begs the question how is this a different show than Dallas?

The closing point from the booming narrator: “When you’re building a fortune, you’re bound to get a little dirty.”

Well, certainly because it’s Hollywood that’s doing the mudslinging.

Hollywood’s been portraying businesses, corporations, CEOs and businessmen as criminals, killers or plain old dirty liars and cheats for years. In 2015, some of the most popular television shows included attacks on business. In 2006, MRC Business examined primetime television drama’s treatment of business and found 77 percent of the stories were anti-business.

— Julia A. Seymour is Assistant Managing Editor for MRC Business at the Media Research Center. Follow Julia A. Seymour on Twitter.