Let's get straight to the core issue:
Books, movies, and so on can indeed influence reality, and reality can influence them as well.
- 9/11 killed the appetite for disaster movies in American audiences.
- The annihilation of the Frontier Myth took any western that wasn't Blazing Saddles with it.
- POTUS, Woodrow Wilson's, screening of The Birth of a Nation in the White House resurrected the KKK.
- Jaws shifted the public's perception of sharks towards the negative, despite dogs causing waaay more deaths.
- Braveheart and another The Birth of a Nation movie romanticized historical rebellions and glanced over the crimes against humanity, committed by the rebels.
It's obvious I can't read Mein Kampf or watch The Triumph of Will for similar reasons. 9/11 truthism is slightly more acceptable but frowned upon, so are the myths of the Lost Cause and the Frontier.
There are two major arguments against holding creators accountable for what their work does in real life:
- It's just for entertainment: Simply put, these works are works of fiction and are escapist entertainment, not meant to be taken seriously.
- Intentional/accidental malice: The Birth of a Nation and The Triumph of Will were unmistakably malicious, whereas Jaws is the result of laziness and sensationalist appeal to emotion by materializing an irrational fear of man, which the movie is more of a result of than its cause. I'm sure at least one school of cultural marxism would consider that to be the case.
However, these are extremely weak arguments once you start to consider that people can lie about their intent, that there's Poe's Law, and that Jaws used just about every possible tactic under the Sun to make people scared; and as wetcircuit once famously said:
Half of the world's population is below-average intelligence…. HALF.
Combining the two results in one of those massive panic attacks when Dee Snider has to testify in front of senators so they wouldn't ban his music. People are dumb and have serious trouble separating fiction from reality to the point where you could build an entire genre of videos on debunking these circulating half-truths.
It just feels plain irresponsible and lazy to do scaremongering under the pretense of advertising.
Not to mention the intentional/unintentional also requires me to take it granted that the intent matters, not the results, which isn't the case.
My question is this:
Where does a writer's artistic/creative license end and where does Holocaust-denying/911-truthism/*-apologetism/Dennis-Prager begin?
(note: the glob (*) denotes the "any-string" wildcard.)