Go Your Own Way: The Producer as Moral Author in Entertainment
Moral authority is a moral derivative of authority, which in turn is connected to religion and tradition. In today’s Western society, both religion and tradition are fragmented in our increasingly diverse society. This is nowhere more apparent than it is in entertainment. So where does moral authority lie in entertainment? Producers in entertainment hold moral authority. Authority is the ability to create action, versus power, which is the ability to force action. Because producers create content, which in turn has the potential to enact change, they possess moral authority. Different producers have differing amounts of moral authority. Disney has much more authoritative heft to influence the public than another company, for example Reel FX Creative Studios. Both companies hold moral authority, although this is proportional to their size. This is relevant to us because social media places each of us in the unique position of being an individual producer. Any material we release for public consumption has the effect of making us producers, therefore giving us moral authority. If you are the CEO of a mass entertainment industry such as Pixar, moderator of your own YouTube channel which reaches 30,000 people, or a mom posting recipes on her Facebook to her 150 friends, you have moral authority proportional to your ability to create content, and inspire action. This is why understanding the moral authority of producers in entertainment is so important, because now we share that responsibility as producers of our own media.