Hannah Ruth
Hannah Ruth

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Emma Thompson Is Right: The Word ‘Content’ Is Rude

[...] studio and streaming executives, who are perhaps the primary users and abusers of the term, love to talk about “content” because it’s so wildly diminutive. It’s a quick and easy way to minimize what writers, directors and actors do, to act as though entertainment (or, dare I say it, art) is simply churned out — and could be churned out by anyone, sentient or not. It’s just content, it’s just widgets, it’s all grist for the mill. Talking about “entertainment” is dangerous because it takes talent to entertain; no such demands are made of “content,” and the industry’s increasing interest in the possibilities of writing via artificial intelligence (one of the sticking points of the writers’ strike) makes that crystal clear.

I think the one of the most relevant problems in the "creator industry" right now.

Discussion (3)

brandysousa profile image
Brandy Sousa

I was always skeptical of the title “content creator”. It seems both so non-descriptive and has a negative association at the same time.

Creators are so diverse, and the term creator is almost absurd as well, but maybe the best way to talk about people? It’s tough because it’s a broad group, and it’s an easy way to talk about people who are more in-control of the means of distribution.

firesquid profile image
Jeremy Beckler

“Content” is extremely rude.

A meme and a painting would both be described as content when placed on a platform. But outside the bounds of a platform, they totally have very different levels of effort, thought, skill, and meaning.

It breaks the nuance in an effort to simplify unnecessarily.

ha_ruh profile image
Hannah Ruth Author

Best quote: "In practical terms, “content creator” neatly accomplishes two things at once: It lets people who make garbage think they’re making art, and tells people who make art that they’re making garbage."