"This month, cast members (of the upcoming Tom Cruise movie sequel) have appeared on ABC’s The Bachelorette and MTV’s The Challenge — two shows I watch and also two places where I was not expecting Top Gun actors to randomly pop up — in order to promote the film, while putting contestants through Top Gun-ish tests of strength," says Samantha Grasso. "On a Nov. 2 episode of The Bachelorette, Top Gun actors Jay Ellis and Glen Powell put all the Bachelorette contestants in what appeared to be an airplane hangar filled with military jets. They then outfitted them in jumpsuits and sat them in a spinning chair to fight G-forces while they 'professed their love' for Bachelorette Michelle Young. Then, they made them 'dogfight' by jousting one another." Grasso adds: "This isn’t a random relationship — Hollywood’s extensive history of joining forces with the U.S. military to create American entertainment has been documented by researchers such as Tom Secker and Matthew Alford. And I must emphasize, what benefits Maverick at the box office also ultimately benefits the U.S. Navy, not because of money specifically, but because time and again film and TV that valorizes the U.S. military and Department of Defense normalizes the existence and necessity of the military and U.S. empire. (It also acts as a recruiting drive.) That is generally speaking. More specifically, these Hollywood projects often rewrite historical narratives on foreign policy and otherwise literally promote the military (see: everything Captain Marvel)."
TOPICS: Jay Ellis, The Bachelorette, The Challenge, Glen Powell, Reality TV, Top Gun: Maverick