Does the new information you have on both of these guys put you off future projects for them? Are you still willing to give them the benefit of the doubt?
Shana: I wasn’t exactly a fan of Cameron to begin with, so I’m not running out to look for his films anyway.
Joss, though? At some point, there’s no more benefit of the doubt. The man may fashion himself a feminist, but he just. doesn’t. get. it.
Some of his characters — yes, even and oftentimes especially the female ones — will always be special to me. But am I going to rush out to see films or start new television shows just because he’s involved? Nope.
It’s kind of like how I defended Jared Leto for years, even paid to go to some of his concerts after getting royally fucked over…But at some point, an asshole is just an asshole. I don’t care if someone came swooping in to his defense to try to mansplain it away: The behavior was gross and not being done for “the art.”
So, Whedon wants to slut-shame female characters to try to make them more “flawed,” or if James Cameron thinks a strong female character has to be ugly and “troubled,” that’s not them trying to do more for women. That’s them showing women what they really think of us: You have to be fucked up and ugly, or if you’re pretty and have a sex life you must be shamed. Otherwise, you’re not a “strong, female character.”
And I, for one, am not having it. As Maya Angelou said, “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Well, Joss Whedon has shown us multiple times that he’s got some weird ideas about women, especially when it comes to sexuality. And Cameron’s showed us that he has no idea that women can be many things at once.
Luci: Eh, I wasn’t running to theaters to watch his movies before, and I certainly won’t be now. When I think James Cameron, I think Titanic and how much I loved this movie growing up. But that’s how far it goes for me. The only change here is that now I know he is a misogynist pig, who thinks his opinion is the Holy Grail and everyone should bow to him. So at least this whole debacle served to open my eyes to who this “celebrated” director really is.
Will I stop watching his movies? Eh, I didn’t really watch them before, so I guess I don’t really care either way. As long as he keeps his mouth shut about topics he has no business sticking his nose into, he can go on his merry way — preferably far, far away from us.
As for Whedon, I already didn’t watch much of his stuff, so that certainly won’t be changing any time soon for me. I guess his brother, Jed Whedon, is doing a much better job at handling strong, independent female characters – have you guys seen Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD? The show is amazing and littered with kickass women – so I’m sticking with the younger Whedon, and go on not caring about Joss.
Lizzie: I’ve gone way beyond not rushing to theaters, and I’m now actively in the “I will tell people NOT to rush to theaters, and I will be vocal about it” category. For both these guys. There are many filmmakers out there who deserve our support and praise more than these guys. I’m going to try not to let what I know about these two affect how I view some of their characters, especially Buffy, who’s meant so much to me for so many years
But I can’t even promise that.
I don’t believe art should be totally separate from the artist, not in this respect. I do know that, for most of these guys’ projects, there are a lot more people involved, people I might want to support, so I will take that into account before I say no. But the days of me giving them the benefit of the doubt are long gone. I will basically treat them like they treat female characters: sometimes great, sometimes in a problematic fashion and sometimes not at all. It’s what they deserve.
Sarah: To make it simple: yes. I’ve become picky about the movies I see in theaters these days, and I’m not going to bother wasting my time seeing films that’ll likely butcher their female characters if either of these men is behind it. It doesn’t take away my love of Buffy or the Titanic (I’m a sucker for the history of that ship — plus Leo Dicaprio), but I certainly won’t hold my breath on any future works that involve any supposedly “feminist” characters.
Whedon and Cameron each have their own ideas of it, but just because you’ve written what a lady is going to say off a script doesn’t mean you truly understand their perspective. That requires effort and heart, which neither of them seem to be capable of given their words and actions. If they get called out for it, so be it.
That’s what you get for pretending.
Laura: I could copy and paste what Sarah said because I agree wholeheartedly. I didn’t care about Cameron movies before; that won’t change. But I’m scared about Batgirl. Besides Diana, she’s one of my favorite superheroes; and if Barbara isn’t treated right, or there’s some of this double discourse, I will be heartbroken.
I’ve obviously lost faith in Whedon’s talents. He’s a great director, but so is Woody Allen — and I can’t watch his filmography without thinking of what women represent to him.
Agree? Disagree? What are your thoughts on these two “questionable” allies to feminism? Share with us in the comments!