FX Chief John Landgraf Condemns Internet Culture, ‘Daily Three-Ring Media Circus’

TCA 2018: “Instant gratification makes us grow down, while processing the frustration of delayed gratification tends to make us grow up”

According to FX CEO John Landgraf, society and the entertainment industry are in many ways worse-off then they were before the internet. “We’re much more connected in superficial ways, and much more isolated in profound ones,” Landgraf said during his state-of-the-television-industry talk Friday morning at the Television Critics Association winter tour.

“We’re much more connected in superficial ways, and much more isolated in profound ones,” Landgraf said. “All the world’s knowledge is at our fingertips but the same technology that makes this possible is robbing us of deeper insight and distracts us hourly with hourly doses of bite-sized half-truths and clickbait come-ons explicitly designed to stoke our most prurient instincts and incite bitter tribal outrage.”

Landgraf also blamed “internet culture” for making people more “entitled and lazy,” constantly in search of instant gratification.

“Internet culture has elevated many voices that deserve to be heard but is also elevating voices of many people who have nothing of value to say,” he said, noting that those who control the things that are seen and heard online “are not held to any standard of legal or moral accountability in return for the huge profits and power.”

Landgraf also laid into television as an industry. “To be honest, as incredible as television is becoming, it sometimes feels to me like a sideshow in what has become a daily three-ring media circus,” he said.

At this point, Landgraf said, he’d prefer people to watch FX’s shows, but he’d even be happy if audiences “take the time to watch even our competition’s television series, as long as it demands their sustained attention and challenges their knee-jerk assumptions.”

“As the father of three sons and a person who has lived 55 years, I can tell you with conviction that instant gratification makes us grow down, while processing the frustration of delayed gratification tends to make us grow up,” he said.