(Update to this article can be found here.)
Here’s proof reported by Nikke Finke.
Warner Bros president of production Jeff Robinov has made a new decree that “We are no longer doing movies with women in the lead”.
Because a few recent movies with female leads haven’t done well at the box office. One of the producers who reported this to Finke wondered, ha ha, what would happen when Gloria Allred heard about this (that remark reveals the mentality here all by itself), so Finke called Allred and got the following insightful remark:
If that’s what he said, when movies with men as the lead fail, no one says we’ll stop making movies with men in the lead.
She’s right. If Brad Pitt’s movies flop, they cool off on making movies with Brad Pitt, not all men. (I’m leaving aside for now the debate of how insane it is to credit/blame actors for the success of a project that involves multiple writers, a director, producers and studio execs shaping the final product. I can only deal with so much stupid in one post.)
I’m not sure I can adequately express how angry I am without getting this site flagged by the FBI for possible terrorist activity. Even if Robinov sincerely believes a few flops comprise evidence that audiences just don’t dig women leads, he needs to pull his head out of his ass and question the rationale. Most film students do. We make points like the one Allred made. We point out that a lot of female-led flops are feeble shrugs compromised by behind the scenes disagreements about what they’re supposed to be and who will be targeted as an audience. We (and Baz Lurhman) point out that a lot of female stars are so compromised by appearance expectations they can only meet through Botox and cosmetic surgery that they can barely form facial expressions anymore, and this just might plausibly have something to do with audiences not buying their performances. We point out that the lead roles delegated to women are the leads they don’t think are good enough for men, and wonder aloud how the same movies would have performed with men as leads.
But we’re just making excuses, aren’t we? Truth is, the chicks just can’t cut it and we need to face that and “go with the dollar”. This business ain’t about bein’ politically correct, ya know. /parody of what I was told in film school
Boycotting Warner won’t suffice. This is an undeclared war against women, and it’s time we recognize it as such. It’s not ignorance. It’s not a misinterpretation of data. It’s misogyny with every rationalization in the book backing it. It’s the industry showing once again that it is actually more resentful of women than a rabidly conservative Capitol Hill.
I wish I was surprised. I’m not, because I already heard all of this in film school. If anything, I’m sort of hopeful – maybe now that it’s been said right out in public where everyone can hear, more people will get pissed at this blatant bullshit.