A slap at the Oscars tarnished Will Smith’s legacy. What about him did Hollywood treasure? Is this institution just a screen for projecting our own social anxieties and cultural debate? Culture critic Soraya McDonald joins to take a deeper look at the roles Hollywood allows us to play, on screen and off. Plus, breaking down the exhausting reaction to Pixar’s defiantly Asian film, Turning Red, with Jeff Yang, the co-author of Rise: A Pop History of Asian America from the Nineties to Now. Read his piece for The Guardian here.
Companion listening for this episode:
A Year of Performing Humanity, Reviewed (12/13/2021)
A.O. Scott, co-chief film critic of the New York Times, helps us review the year in culture. What can we learn from 2021’s art about our struggling effort to live together?
“The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on WNYC.org/anxiety or tell your smart speakers to play WNYC.