Kendall Phillips

Professor - Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University
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Kendall R. Phillips' research focuses on controversies and conflicts arising around topics like public memory, popular film, and popular culture. He has published several books, including: A Place of Darkness: The Rhetoric of Horror in Early American Cinema; Controversial Cinema: The Films that Outraged America; and Projected Fears: Horror Films and American Culture. His essays have appeared in such journals as Quarterly Journal of Speech, Communication Monographs, and Philosophy and Rhetoric and he is Co-editor for the book series "Horror and Monstrosity Studies" at the University Press of Mississippi and “Rhetoric, Politics, and Society” for Palgrave Macmillan.

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  • The whole ‘wokeness is hurting box office’ claim seems very bizarre to me. It just doesn’t seem to track onto the actual numbers. If you take Marvel as the gold standard of big contemporary box office, one of their first major inclusive films was ‘Black Panther,’ which grossed over $1.3 billion. Same for ‘Captain Marvel,’ which was heavily criticized as too woke but ended up over $1.2 billion. The reality seems to be that big franchises like the MCU are trying to expand to include a more diverse set of characters and that the majority of global audiences are showing up for it.

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