I think the article misses the mark by supposing that movies have more than a vestigial social impact.
I used to think the same thing, then discovered a very good friend of mine has never watched a single episode/movie/anything of Star Trek. His father declaimed it as "too political" so it wasn't approved to watch. Since then, I've watched that (and a few other things) from a different point of view: that of injecting present-day politics into what is ostensibly escapist entertainment. And Star Trek is easy to flag as one that wore its politics on its sleeve--Roddenberry very intentionally went out of his way to show his view of a Utopian human future, and how we'd get there, which coincidentally agreed 100% with his own beliefs. I could go down a massive rabbit hole with this, so I'll just pull the famous Whoopi Goldberg anecdote
"Well, when I was nine years old Star Trek came on," Goldberg says. "I looked at it and I went screaming through the house, 'Come here, mum, everybody, come quick, come quick, there's a black lady on television and she ain't no maid!' I knew right then and there I could be anything I wanted to be."
We old dinosaurs are fixed in our ways and it takes a lot to shake up our notions into something else, but for those young/sheltered/ignorant, popular entertainment is the only way they get a window to a larger world. I re-read Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide
series last year (something I used to do much more often, but after 20 reads maybe it's best to put them aside for a while) and was more than a little startled to realize many of the ways I thought I thought were ideas pulled straight from his writing. There's a verse in a Police song (I had this album when I was maybe eight and listened to it A LOT):
Hide my face in my hands, shame wells in my throat
My comfortable existence is reduced
To a shallow, meaningless party
Seems that when some innocents die
All we can offer them is a page in a some magazine
Too many cameras and not enough food
If you're eight and the best you have are a couple of tapes and a vestige of a conscience, that's gonna stick.