The Subtle Propaganda Of Hollywood

How Hollywood violently defends the status quo
7 min readMay 30


Anything that changes the world order — which is permanent imperial war — is bad. Screenshot from F9

I was watching F9 (of the Fast & Furious franchise) and I was struck by one line. The Fast crew is working for the CIA now (who are somehow the good guys) and the bad guy’s plan is to “reboot the world order within minutes.” As if that’s a bad thing. As if this world order is anything but permanent imperial war. But that’s Hollywood for ya.

The Fast Crew then proceeds to trash random countries willy nilly because that’s the world order. This is why I root for the villains in movies now.

The full line in F9 is, “if you take Aries and upload it to a satellite, then it’ll be a matter of time before someone can control any weapon system, traditional, nuclear, stuff we haven’t even seen yet, and just point it wherever they want.” Of course this is what the American government, who they’re freelancing for, already does. They already have massive weapons systems pointed wherever they want. And they have already used them to kill millions this short century alone. They have already dropped nukes on civilian populations twice, invaded multiple countries and constantly assassinate and torture people — including American citizens and journalists — at will. This is the system the supposedly rebellious Fast & Furious crew defends, against imaginary opposition. Even more horrifying, this is the status quo we actually live under.

Defending this world order is the general plot of every Hollywood blockbuster. Some villain tries to change the status quo and gets violently put down. The superheroes of Avengers work with a US government department and many of this scripts have to be cleared with the Department of Defense before they’re released. The core propaganda message is that the way things are is fine, and any change is evil and must be violently resisted. This also matches the general perception on the western news, which is that bad guys are everywhere and America/NATO just has to be bombing/occupying/sanctioning everyone all the time.

There is actually no reason for this in the real world, but in Hollywood propaganda there’s always…



Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at, or just email me at