Woke is Become a Safe Word for Hatred Filled People

One of contemporary society’s most defining and poignant issues is political correctness. Political correctness, or alternatively termed as the “Woke perspective,” holds such potent sway that it possesses the power to mobilize millions and sway votes at the ballot box. Whether on any social media platform, television channels, YouTube pages, or virtually anywhere else, you may hear the term “woke” used and witness individuals engaging in debates and hurling insults at each other on this subject. Even the wealthiest and most followed figures in the world have engaged in this trend, escalating from mere verbal attacks to outright warfare. Especially noteworthy is how the conservative right associates it with leftism, labeling it as an affliction and going so far as to characterize it as “woke mob” and denouncing it as “forced.” But what exactly is this “woke” phenomenon that has become so ubiquitous? What underlies this wave of animosity?

“Woke is an adjective derived from African-American Vernacular English, signifying being “alert to racial prejudice and discrimination.” Beginning in the 2010s, it evolved to encompass a broader awareness of social inequalities such as racial injustice, sexism, and the denial of LGBT rights.”

As articulated in Wikipedia’s description, political correctness, or the woke perspective, is a movement born out of the desire to give due recognition to communities that have suffered injustices for centuries. Fundamentally, this movement aims to redress the grievances of marginalized and oppressed groups and relegate those responsible for injustice to the sidelines, replacing them with individuals who have long been excluded from positions of power. Especially in the last 14 years, this perspective has permeated many parts of the world, leading to significant changes from the streets to the business sector. Sometimes, this change arises from the desire to eliminate existing inequalities, while at other times, it stems from change for the sake of change itself.

A Historical Perspective on Individuals Excluded During the Golden Age through Netflix’s Hollywood Series

– The Artifice

In brief, many industries were refusing to hire, promote, or give due importance to individuals solely based on their gender, despite their qualifications and experience. So much so that many women had to resort to disguising their identities as men just to continue their careers. Similarly, black individuals were facing the same issues as women. Director and writer Oscar Micheaux had to release his book anonymously because he knew that his skin color would overshadow his ideas. Likewise, gay and transgender individuals were not only being sidelined in various aspects of society but also in the workforce simply because their sexual preferences were not considered traditional. Many prominent figures in Hollywood, some of whom were known as symbols of masculinity, had to conceal their true identities to avoid losing their careers.

However, the global changes that began particularly after 2000 have dismantled these antiquated attitudes across all fields. The woke movement and other similar trends have been pioneers of this change. While we have not fully resolved all existing issues, we are far removed from the old traditional perspectives. Society now strives to give a voice to those who deserve it. Our intentions are better than ever before.


With the onset of the technological revolution in the early 2000s, the world underwent a significant transformation. Looking back today, despite not being an elderly person—I am 32—I see that life has changed drastically. Particularly, with the advent of what we call social media and its facilitation of communication with the world, change has occurred faster than ever before. Upon reflection, I find myself somewhat bewildered by the world I once inhabited despite not having grown up with a particularly traditional mindset. I notice that we were raised with entrenched perspectives and taught with ingrained biases. Change has not only occurred in the world but also within us as individuals. The person I was ten years ago is entirely different from who I am now. While the “me” from a decade ago was molded by what was imparted to me, today’s version of myself has been shaped by utilizing opportunities born after the 2000s, by reading, watching, listening, and evolving. Consequently, as I look back now, I can discern how erroneous and perilous my previous perspectives could be. This personal transformation has compelled me to support the transformation of others because knowledge and experience reveal the stark inequality and ruthless injustice prevalent in society.

Women were marginalized for thousands of years, blacks were enslaved, and foreigners were ostracized from the societies they inhabited. Life is not as colorful as depicted in films. Edgar Wright‘s film “Last Night in Soho” may be the most beautifully designed example of this perspective. Some things were not right and needed to be changed. The Woke perspective, which took root in the 2010s, is just one of many currents of change. It is not the first, nor will it be the last. The misunderstanding begins here. We must first understand that the Woke movement is merely the latest piece in the century-long wave of change.

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In the early 1900s, Suffragette women took to the streets for the right to vote, enduring beatings and egg peltings; Flapper Girls openly expressed their sexuality and burst out of the confined spaces they were relegated to; those who spearheaded the sexual revolution in the 60s; women who took to the streets again for feminism; hippies spreading love and peace; the Me Too movement striving to end sexual harassment… All of these were rebellions against thousands of years of injustice that occurred within a century. Despite facing challenges, each movement led to some laws and perceptions changing in society, pushing back the traditional approach of the past, albeit not entirely achieving their goals.

Sometimes, one must wait for the right time to rectify injustices. The 2010s were the opportune moment for the Woke perspective. We are in an era where people are much more understanding. More importantly, we are in a time when laws are much more robust, and individuals cannot simply do as they please without consequences. Consequently, those opposed to those advocating for their rights are no longer as at ease as they once were. Taking advantage of this, the world has embarked on a whole new transformation.


The movements preceding Woke addressed certain gaping wounds in society, instigating change. Woke, however, plunged headfirst into society’s most taboo topics, exerting influence over a much broader spectrum. This movement, initiated to reintegrate unfairly marginalized segments of society and, more importantly, to normalize them, has now achieved significant success. Its success is rooted in the power of social media, a force not possessed by other movements.

Women are now more than ever an integral part of society. Racism has become more taboo than ever. The mindset that viewed gays and transgender individuals with hatred, considering them as diseased, is gradually giving way to acceptance. As I mentioned earlier, of course, we have not entirely resolved all the issues. But it is evident that we have made significant progress.

Thanks to the influence of the film and television industry, the Woke perspective has managed to reach every corner of the world. With many platforms, especially Netflix, occasionally injecting this perspective forcefully into their projects, our attitudes have completely changed. Many people who would have been uncomfortable seeing gay characters on screen ten years ago have now normalized the situation. Whether willingly or unwillingly, they have accepted the world they inhabit.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the Woke movement is that sometimes, the change has been enforced. While these changes may not fully reflect society, they have become one of the fundamental reasons for today’s norms while also giving rise to the vociferous voices dominating social media. What initially advocated for giving rights to everyone, regardless of gender, skin color, or beliefs, gradually turned into a tool of advertisement, leading to significant opposition.


Social media is filled with individuals and organizations that have waged a comprehensive war against the woke perspective, especially those supporting the right-wing. If we focus on cinema and television, these individuals argue that the woke perspective has gone too far, surpassed the limits of change, and turned into propaganda. This is where my conflict with these individuals begins precisely. Because the projects they label as woke and those I label as woke are not the same.

As someone who has dedicated their life to cinema, I value narrative coherence. I am against anything that undermines narrative coherence. If this change is being made for the woke perspective, then I am also against it. However, as I mentioned, the aspects I oppose and the aspects opposed by the right-wing are not the same.

Fruitvale Station

If you google “Woke Films” right now, you will find that almost none of the films listed are woke. This is where the confusion begins. What exactly is the woke perspective in cinema? For example, does Ryan Coogler‘s film “Fruitvale Station” qualify as a woke film? Does depicting the struggles of the black protagonist and his conflict with a white police officer in the finale make the film woke?

Firstly, it is essential to understand that films carry the ideologies of their creators. Films have been carrying the ideologies of their creators since 1895, and they will continue to do so in the future. The messages that today’s films, the most significant defense of the right-wing, attempt to convey are not new. Films have been conveying messages for 129 years. Films are not only entertainment tools but also forms of expression for directors and screenwriters. Therefore, it is unfounded for the right-wing to claim that films have turned into propaganda tools. Films have always been like this and will continue to be so. It is as usual for a director to inject their perspective into a film as it is for a director to depict the life and struggles of a black character; however, labeling a film as “woke” can lead to discrimination. While I always emphasize the need for more films like these, I find it unnecessary to label them.

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I followed with amazement the debates revolving around Barbie, for instance. A few women have recently started making films from their own perspectives, joining the men who have dominated 100 years of the 129-year-old history of cinema, yet somehow, this has become problematic. It’s as if films never contained messages before, and suddenly, when Greta Gerwig makes a film from her perspective, it becomes a propaganda film. Both the left and the right have engaged in a ridiculous fight over this situation. Films contain messages. There is nothing as normal as this. Everyone has the freedom to make films from their own perspective.



So, what exactly is a woke film? As I mentioned, the films labeled as woke today are not the same as the ones I consider woke. Let me explain with a few examples. 

One of the best examples is the 2017 Netflix production “Death Note.” It was a complete disaster. Not only did the film fail in its narrative execution, but it also resorted to forced approaches, such as making the most crucial character, L, black, which garnered criticism from all quarters, regardless of the audience.

Death Note

Here, we need to ask ourselves: How much does changing the character’s skin color or gender affect the story? What if James Bond were a woman, for example? Is it essential for him to be male? After all, isn’t the message essentially the same?

However, the woke perspective sometimes doesn’t even ask these questions. One of the best examples is Amazon’s billion-dollar failure, “The Rings of Power.” This series, which turned J.R.R. Tolkien in his grave, made one of the most controversial moves in this trend by adding a black elf to the universe. Not only that, but they also threw in a black dwarf. Here, the dynamics of the universe come into play. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote his universe quite thoroughly. But of course, there are gaps. If someone could interpret these gaps correctly, I don’t think anyone would complain.

For example, a black dwarf could have been placed in the story quite logically. There are seven dwarf clans in the universe, and we have no idea what three of them are doing. Therefore, the writers and creators of the project could have easily said that one of the missing clans was black-skinned. But they didn’t do that. Why? Because they wanted to forcefully import their perspective into the story. They thought they could insert today’s perspective into a classic and solve the problems of the past. While a black dwarf could have had an explanation, unfortunately, there is no explanation for a black elf in the universe. But as I said, Patrick McKay and John D. Payne didn’t feel the need to provide any reason for the black elf.

The Rings of Power

I hear those asking, “Why do you care about having a black character in a world with orcs?” BBC’s 2018 production “Troy: Fall of a City” comes to the rescue here. BBC dared to turn Achilles, known for being white-skinned and blond, into a bald black character, challenging known history. For me, this series was the last straw.

Of course, it doesn’t stop there. The transformation of a white man into a black woman in “Vikings: Valhalla,” the utterly ideological approach taken in “The Matrix Resurrections” to highlight the importance of women, the addition of irrelevant changes to a story already diverse enough in “The Wheel of Time,” Netflix’s “Cleopatra” series, which even stirred up Egypt, and many other examples show how the trend sometimes appears forced.

Instead of creating space for everyone at the core of change, it has progressed to knowingly changing what exists and adding unnecessary details. There was a need to develop a habit. Even if irrelevant, it was intended to say, “These people exist” by adding them to the story. The series “Messiah,” which was removed from airing after its first season, is an excellent example of this approach. A phone call comes to the character playing the police officer, and we learn that he is gay. We never encounter any conversation related to his relationship again. This small detail added has no contribution to the story. But perceptually, we receive the information that the tough police officer is gay.


So, are those who oppose the woke perspective criticizing the same projects as I am? Of course not. The ambiguous parts of the issue actually begin here. This group, which initially criticized details unreasonably inserted into stories like me, has now wholly derailed and broadened the scope of criticism. They have begun to criticize anything they dislike, regardless of their personal preferences. What’s more, they do this openly. They criticize anything they don’t like under the woke label while hiding their true identities. This has become quite a disturbing situation.

In essence, what this group is fundamentally doing is directly attacking the segments of society that have been embraced over the past ten years. And that’s where the problem starts. In the movement’s early days, this group, which criticized the excesses of change, is now uncomfortable because they see that the change has reached a serious level. They express whatever they are uncomfortable seeing today under the woke label and hide behind it. Essentially, it might be a bold approach, but the situation is precisely this: they express their racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia by hiding behind the woke word.

The Marvels

At the core of this sharp change are, of course, political reasons. Especially those over 50-60 years old who do not share the same views as the changing world, particularly right-wing individuals, are trying to spread their hatred by using the woke word as a suspension. They turn people’s discomfort into a weapon, mercilessly politicizing them and causing this fight to escalate. With the help of social media, they can easily spread their hatred. Through the names and platforms they finance, they drag those who genuinely hold these feelings behind them, causing the sharp polarization we are currently experiencing.

So, what films does this faction call woke? They attack almost all projects with a black character or a woman in the lead role without exception. “The Marvels,” released in 2023, was also among those criticized. The film even became the least successful financially in Marvel history, sinking at the box office. Some will claim that the film is terrible. Tastes and colors vary from person to person. I must note that I had a lot of fun watching the film, even though I have problems with Marvel these days. However, the criticisms started even before the film was released. Just the fact that all three lead roles in the movie are women and the fact that the villain is also a woman was enough to upset a certain segment. Marvel being criticized by this particular segment is nothing new.

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Marvel’s mega-adventure, which began in 2002, continues with 44 films to date. The universe’s first film with a female lead role, “Captain Marvel,” was released in 2019. The first film in the universe to feature a female lead came 17 years later, in the 21st film. And this particular segment labeled the movie as woke right from the first film and accused Marvel of being woke. Because Brie Larsson, who portrays Captain Marvel, is a solid feminist. Of course, the debates didn’t end there. They also labeled the later-released film “Black Widow,” starring beloved Scarlett Johansson, as woke. All of Disney’s projects with women in lead roles have already been criticized for being woke.

Film and television are actually the parts where a wave rising from the bottom is most pronounced. A large crowd gathered under the woke label is trying to express their discomfort with the changing world in the ugliest way possible. Essentially, what they are doing is trying to bring back the oppressive mentality of the traditional, old world. They don’t want to see powerful female characters on screen, they are uncomfortable with black individuals saving the day, and they are disgusted by two women or men loving each other. But knowing the problem that directly expressing these views would cause, they evade it by labeling the projects they watch as “woke.”


Woke,” as I’ve mentioned before, is just one of the many changes that have occurred over the past 100 years. It’s a movement, a mindset. When we look back on history, we see brand new movements, perspectives, and thoughts emerging every decade. These approaches not only shape their periods but also bring about changes in everything from the attitudes of the people living in them to their clothing styles. People adapt to these movements, giving themselves a new appearance as required.

In my childhood, the streets were filled with metalheads. Everyone would dress in all black as per the trend, adorning their faces with earrings and piercings. Those who donned black weren’t just metalheads. Emos also held a significant place with their depressive outlook on life. Their perspective on black was a bit more emotional. In the same period, there was also a “Apache” movement in the country where I lived. Specific segments of society would distinguish themselves with this movement’s extreme and somewhat irritating attire. Their way of representing themselves was through stylized techno music and dances. Essentially, they were harmless individuals.


In the early 2000s, there were metrosexual men. Going back in time, we encounter hippies. They stood out with their brown-toned clothes adorned with flowers. Going back a bit further, we encounter the sharp lines of Art Deco.

Today, when we look at the streets, we see people with purple or green hair. Men dress like women, and women dress like men. Clothing is more revealing than ever. Again, as I mentioned above, this particular segment, mainly from the right-wing, sees these people and claims that society is being pushed into immorality, that most of them are worshipping Satan. They said the same thing about metalheads in the early 2000s. My mother felt the need to ask me, listening to Linkin Park in my room, “Are you a Satanist?” Yet, compared to what else I listened to, Linkin Park was quite soft. But my mother wasn’t accustomed to this music and style. The fear of the unknown pushed her into conservative thinking.

In the early 2000s, people were astonished when they saw the clothing of emos. Most likely, the same thing was said about hippies. Because going back a bit further, we know that Flapper Girls were also criticized just like they are today. If social media existed in their time, there would likely be derogatory terms used for hippies and probably Flapper Girls as well.

Time flows, things change, but history actually repeats itself constantly. The subjects may differ, but what we do, how we criticize, and our fights all remain the same. The only difference is that the number of critics is decreasing day by day. And that’s where the conflict arises. They are aware of being few and being pushed back. They think their traditions are in danger and feel the need to fight, especially by highlighting the extremes of movements and trying to discard the entire movement.

But the problem is that every movement has its extremes. Every movement lays its foundation on a purpose. It brings about changes. Then it begins to decay. As it begins to decay, it also begins to cause harm. Every movement goes through the same process. The woke perspective has now entered the decay phase. It has made all the changes it can, and now it has left the stage to confused individuals who use the movement for advertisement. The right-wing is also trying to damage the movement by using its extremes and discomforts with distorted political guidance.

And now they’re not just content with causing harm. The world is now completely polarized. We witness a struggle between those who want the traditional way of life and those who prioritize individual freedom. Despite being fewer, the efforts of the right-wing are quite significant. They try to overshadow all the movement’s achievements by pointing out the extremes of the decaying woke perspective, using kids on ze-zir-zem TikTok as examples. And I must say, they are quite successful at it.

In my observations, the majority of the hatred gathered under the name woke is directed towards women. They have sidelined black individuals and LGBTQ individuals for some time now. Especially in recent years, the increasing misogyny is being instilled in children through social media like never before. Similarly, politicians support the war by fueling this misogyny and reversing laws. The fact that women, who are supposed to be in the kitchen, have spread to every aspect of the business world has seriously disturbed men on the right-wing. Fifty years ago, the myth of the “man” who could be the master of the house by simply sitting in the living room armchair without doing anything has now turned into an equal relationship. And this creates discomfort. They cannot swallow their pride, and what’s worse, most of them don’t even have the capacity to adapt anymore. Therefore, they need to somehow express their hatred, and they have a perfect camouflage for it.


Woke is just a trend. Like any trend, it not only changes the way people see life but also their lifestyles. Every trend has serious advocates who uphold its beliefs. These individuals usually drive the actual change. At the same time, there are those who use trends to create a circle for themselves to gain attention. Although sometimes they go too far and damage the cause, change happens despite them. Change is inevitable.

Woke, like other trends and fashions, is just a phase. Just as hippies disappeared and metalheads started wearing colorful clothes, today’s TikTok woke warriors will also eventually set aside their identities. There are two main reasons why the woke trend lasts longer compared to other trends. The first is, of course, social media. Social media both amplifies the impact of the trend and prolongs its duration. At the same time, it is now causing harm.

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The second reason is the artificial intelligence that has plunged into our lives headlong since 2023. Artificial intelligence has vividly shown us how biased and prejudiced the data we have is. The short video released by Runway is the best example to illustrate this situation. AI’s biased approach showed us that although we may have solved problems on the streets, we haven’t been able to solve them in internet data.

Essentially, what we call Woke will one day disappear into history. A brand new word will emerge, a new understanding will arise, and this understanding will try to solve the unresolved problems left over from the past. The new trend will introduce new people into our lives, bring new fashion styles, and create new laws. When that day comes, the right-wing will wage war on this new ideology, just as they waged war on It Girls, Suffragettes, and feminist women. Just as they labeled emos as sick, metalheads as Satanists, and Me Too activists as opportunists.

These warmongers caught me years ago, as well. I used to take the woke perspective and black elves too seriously. I listened to some people who actively used social media and found their arguments reasonable. But as time passed and their intentions sharpened, I had to turn my head and see the truths behind the curtain. Eventually, as I understood history and its consequences, I decided not to blow the issue out of proportion. Knowing that the benefits outweigh the harms already changes your perspective from top to bottom.

What did I say? Time marches on. The subjects change, but the debates remain the same. Be prepared for the next one.


Ukrainian Creative Director | Motion Picture Writer | Horror Freak

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