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Oh Hollywood

Double-Standard Central: Everyone Needs to Stop Freaking Out About This Kristen Stewart Thing

I don’t really need to tell you what’s going on with Kristen Stewart right now. If you have an Internet connection, you know. She cheated on Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson with Rupert Sanders, the married director of Snow White and the Huntsman. The scandal has given birth to a plethora of gossip rag covers, a few awkward TV interviews and speculation on how the final film in the Twilight franchise might be affected by the break-up of its stars.

I don’t want to talk about any of those things.

With everybody—from gossip hubs like Perez Hilton and TMZ to legitimate bastions of entertainment journalism like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter—keeping the public informed about the (possibly career-ruining, if reports can be believed) scandal, what gets me most curious about this whole thing is why people care so much.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like this particular scandal is getting a different sort of media attention than those of, say, Tiger Woods and Charlie Sheen, which had more of an air of public entertainment. Hell, Sheen’s particular brand of craziness (which included domestic abuse, lest we forget) landed the man a high-paying TV gig!) With the Stewart scandal, on the other hand, there seems to be a current of THIS IS SRS BSNS running alongside the more typical paparazzi snaps and water cooler gossip.

To wit: A few days ago bloggers jumped on the report that Stewart was being dropped from the upcoming Snow White and the Huntsman sequel, with critics calling out the sexism inherent in firing the actress but not the director who made up the other half of the cheating equation. A valid point… if Stewart was fired as a result of the scandal, of which I’ve not seen any concrete evidence. Even before the scandal broke, Snow White (the character) was not intended to be the lead in the sequel, the focus of which would be on the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth). Of course, the point was rendered moot a few days later when Universal announced that they’d not yet decided whether they wanted Stewart to return to the franchise or not.

Maybe I’m being hopelessly naïve, but I for one believe them. Not because I think Universal treats its talent with any more dignity and respect than every other studio. You don’t need to look any further than the paucity of good leading roles in studio films for women to see how sexism is woven into the fabric of the film industry. But that’s not what it’s based on.

No, that would be money.

Let’s not mince words: For Universal to come out now and say they’re not bringing Stewart back for the sequel would be stupid. Does anyone honestly think the box office receipts of movie that probably won’t even be out for another two years, if then, will be affected by a scandal that’ll blow over next time Jennifer Aniston has relationship troubles? And yet everyone would assume—everyone is assuming—she’s being canned because of her affair. Even if she’s not being brought back, why mention it? Why speculate about the possible effect of the scandal on Breaking Dawn – Part 2’s box office receipts or how weird, OMG so weird guys, the press junket is going to be? This whole thing is entertainment industry gossip and rumor. It has no deeper meaning. It is not news.

There is absolutely a double-standard here, but it’s not how she’s being treated by the film industry. It’s how she’s being treated by the media. When a male star cheats, it’s almost like it’s expected. XYZ caught with another woman! Which was going to happen eventually, because he’s hot and rich and that’s just what guys do. Ooooh, the scoundrel!

Women make mistakes, too. But most people—men and women—don’t have said mistakes splashed across seemingly endless Us Weekly covers and then dissected ad nauseam by scores of bloggers and entertainment journalists.

C’mon, people. We all know this is ridiculous, right? Let’s just let this scandal die.

Though I have to admit there’s one good thing that came out of it, courtesy of The AvengersClark Gregg.

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  • Adam R. Charpentier

    While it was an awesomely bad time for her to be caught in an affair (considering that shes supposed to be promoting an eternal love with Pattinson this fall), nobody freaks overmuch when Brad Pitt switched Jennifers and idiots still buy Chris “I Beat Women” Brown’s albums. So, I agree. What the shit. Leave the woman alone. She doesn’t owe her audience a damn thing.

  • WellYesYouMay

    I knew next to nothing about this, and I pretty much live on the internet. I heard that searching for “Kristen Stewart Scandal” was returning malware infected sites on google, but that’s all I knew.
    Now that I know what the scandal is all about, I’m decidedly underwhelmed. Why DO people care so much?

  • Mavis

    This is pretty much a non-article in itself. “Leave her alone”. That’s what the article said in 689 words.  Though I have to admit there’s one good thing that came out of it, courtesy of The Avengers’ Clark Gregg.

  • Captain ZADL

    I didn’t know anything about it until now, but then I also avoid Twilight and celebrity “news” like the plague, and this is a double whammy of things I ignore.

  • Bri Lance

    I do wonder, though, if some of it isn’t due to the way the real-life couple are tied up with the fictional couple in Twilight.

    I’m not part of the Twilight fandom, but knowing how fandom works, I would bet that a lot of people who were emotionally invested in the Bella/Edward relationship also became very invested in the Rob/Kristen relationship.  

    I could see the breaking of that illusion as being a pretty big shock to a fairly large (and financially lucrative) group of people, so in that sense I can see why people care.

  • mildred louis

    When a male star cheats, it’s almost like it’s expected. XYZ caught with another woman! Which was going to happen eventually, because he’s hot and rich and that’s just what guys do. Ooooh, the scoundrel!”

    Honestly, this makes me wonder about how we perceive men in general if this is the attitude that it’s met with. Is it better to think that men are so low that they’re expected to cheat? Or to think that women should, apparently, be so good that they shouldn’t cheat? This train of thought seems to indicate quite a lot of issues that our society seems to have, and not just with women. 

    Admittedly, I’m in the “I have no pity for her whatsoever” boat because, I don’t know. She cheated? And Cheating’s not okay? And people who complain that she’s getting more publicity on this than the director also seem to forget that directors lives stop beyond the camera where as celebirties lives begin in front of it? I don’t know if it has anything to do with sex and gender so much as popularity. You hear about her and the stigma attached to her because people care -more- about -her-. 

    I don’t think their being celebrities automatically entitles everyone to know what’s going on in their lives but when you’re doing something that typically should be discreet in very non-discreet ways in non-discreet places and you KNOW that cameras, when they see your face, will start to flicker, it just makes me think she’s more of a complete idiot than anything else. 

    Though I agree, no one should care this much about what she does not because I feel bad for her, mind you, but because nothing she does is particularly interesting enough to get so much attention.

  • Anonymous

    I did wonder if TMS would write an article about this because Twilight, hello.

    I feel really bad for K-Stew. She occupies a small part of my heart. Not because I’m a huge Twilight fan (hate the books and the movies, think they’re creeps) nor do I think she’s an exceptional actress by any means. But she seems like a good person who’s awkward and shy and got way more fame than maybe she was expecting. Plus, she’s got really great legs and the girl can rock a mini. I thought she and Pattinson made a good couple.

    I would expect nothing less from the media and I think it’s disgusting. I think everyone should be left alone and the author of this article is very correct- where is the media-hounding and disgust at this director? Why is all the attention on his poor wife and her ring-less hand? What is wrong with this world?!

  • Greg Easton

    I think the fact that she was caught cheating with the director of her last movie has just validated for many of us that she only gets work in movies because of all the time she spends on her knees.  It’s CERTAINLY not because she can act.  So, for that, I take guilty pleasure in watching the Hollywood community and fandom in general flush her down the obscurity toilet and I look forward to the VH1 special 20 years from now about “Where are they now?” where she’s raising llamas somewhere.

  • Laura whisman

    I’d rather just focus on Kristen Stewart being a poor actor instead of what’s going in her real life…….

  • Anonymous

    That is an absolutely disgusting thing to say. Putting the word “certainly” in capitals won’t make your opinion about her acting talent more than just that, an opinion. She got very good reviews for many of the indie films she made and saying she gets work because she “spends time on her knees” is downright sexist.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Still disgusted by the whole Charlie Sheen thing.  But then, we live in a world where we don’t think less of actors who are willing to work with Roman Polanksi, so…

    Oh, but Clark Gregg, leave it to you to be adorable and give us all a good chuckle, whatever the drama.

  • Nikki Lincoln

    I’m not really sure there is a double standard. Tiger Woods faced a lot of backlash from his affairs. He lost a lot of sponsors and his reputation has been irreparably damaged. Sure, he has a lot of the sponsors back now and is still playing, but I’m sure the same will happen with Kristin. It’s still in the short term fury but in a few months people will forget about it and she’ll keep getting jobs because she gets viewers. 
    You can make the arguement that Charlie Sheen’s career didn’t face any damages but Charlie Sheen has also built his reputation around that persona whereas Tiger and Kristin portrayed themselves as more wholesome people. Not that I am justifying Charlie Sheen but I think it just wasn’t so shocking because he’s always been notorious for that kind of behavior.

  • Greg Easton

    Eh.  I stand by my statement.

  • Anonymous

    Would it still be sexist if the same were said about a male actor? 

    Not that I agree with everything he said (aside from the fact that she’s talentless because, seriously, how can you try to defend her acting with a straight face), but the speed at which people call out “Sexist!” when, in reality, it probably isn’t, is baffling.

    Sexist would be saying that she’s doing it because she’s a Woman.

    Sexist, however, is not saying that she does it because she’s talentless and somehow still gets work. 

  • Hannah M

    Ditto. I’m certain this is 95% of the why this “scandal” is so huge. A lot of twilight fans equated the fictional relationship of Bella and Edward with the real life relationship of Kristen and Rob. So for the two real stars to break up is like having Bella and Edward break it off–which would constitute tragedy in their minds. 

  • Anonymous

    You’re right about Tiger Woods, I was thinking the same thing. Of course, he’s also the first black man to succeed in a very white sport so that something else that could have influenced the coverage.

  • Anonymous

    Has there ever been a male actor accused of getting a job in return for sexual favors? I’m guessing no, because it’s an accusation that is pretty much only ever thrown at women. Ergo, sexism.

  • Anonymous

    Uh, I’m sure that male actors have had it tossed their way several times before. To try and even insinuate that male actors have never had to deal with that is a pretty high claim.

    But again, yeah, no, your argument still doesn’t work as the statement is not directly to do with her sex as it does her lack of skill. So I’d kindly ask you re-read what was stated. 

    Even as someone who doesn’t agree with what was stated, I wish people would realize how quick they are to label everything as being sexist, even when it isn’t, makes people not give a shit about sexism. ESPECIALLY if you can’t even back up the claim by showing examples from what was originally stated.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    “she only gets work in movies because of all the time she spends on her knees”

    I’m sorry, is this a proven fact? No. Didn’t think so. It’s a disgusting thing to say and you should think twice about coming here and saying something like that again.

  • Greg Easton

    I dunno.  Looking at Keanu Reeves body of work, I’d have to argue that he’s spent quality time on the casting couch.

  • Anonymous

    It is NEVER said about a male actor; that’s what makes it sexist! On one side, you have a director no one knew about before the incident, and on the other you have an actress who starred in one of the biggest franchise in Hollywood’s history. You’re telling me she’s getting advancement by sleeping with THAT guy?

    And even though it’s not supposed to be the point, I will say it again because I feel it’s important somehow: she did have great reviews from many people for many of the small movies she made, like Into the Wild, Welcome to the Rileys or The Runaways. Whether you agree or not with those reviews is up to you but the least you could do is to admit that some people feel different about her than you do, and that making baseless accusations about someone doesn’t making a point across.

  • Greg Easton

    This is the internet.  Since when are facts required in a comment?  It’s my opinion.  But if you don’t want me generating click-thrus and putting links to your page on my social media pages I’m sure I can find other things to do.  

  • Greg Easton

    Ugh.  The Runaways was so bad I was surprised that Joan Jett didn’t punch Kristen in the mouth.

  • Anonymous

    How is that an opinion? Saying she’s bad is an opinion. Saying she gave bj to get jobs is an accusation.

  • Anonymous

    God. If you’re going to provide that statement as a fact then please provide further information on it.

    Statistically it is impossible for a male actor to have never received that claim at any given point in history, especially considering how many more male actors in history there have been in relationship to women. So yeah. Go on. Sources please. 

    Like I stated in response to someone else. It’s okay to not like what was being said, it’s okay to not agree with it, it’s okay to be bothered by it but in no way shape or form was that statement made in direct correlation to her gender. There’s a clear correlation between the accusation made and the lack of talent present.

    Please, for the love of god, put your objective glasses on. From your last paragraph alone, it’s pretty clear that this has nothing to do with it being sexist so much as it having upset you because you may or may not have some attachment to her and that’s totally okay! But again, your emotions do not automatically make something sexist. 

    No one’s saying that there aren’t people who like her and from what I’ve heard about all the aforementioned titles, the reviews were rather lukewarm in relationship to her performance. I’ve yet to come across any review that hails her as this magnificently talented actress. Keanu Reeves received good reviews for some of his works but that still doesn’t make him a great actor. If you place someone in just the right role then yeah, they can pull it off. It’s called Type casting. Even Johnny Depp has problems with showing a great deal of depth in his acting outside of the very strange, quirky and off-set male lead.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    As Arrowe76 put it so well, claiming an actress gives oral sex to get a job is not an opinion, it’s an accusation, and one that could get you sued for libel in the right circles. 

    Personally, I’m asking you to not accuse an actress of something like that on a site dedicated to women in geek culture. You could see how this would be a touchy thing, no?

  • Brian

    You stand by your sexist and idiotic statement. Got it. Not sure what the commenting policies are here, but it’ll be worth breaking them just to say FUCK YOU.

  • Greg Easton

    She was sleeping with the director of the last movie she was in where she was quite amazingly so horrible that she didn’t even have any speaking lines in a single trailer for the movie.  I’m having a hard time not seeing the connection you’re choosing to not see.  

  • Brian

    Statistically it is impossible for a male actor to have never received that claim at any given point in history… So yeah. Go on. Sources please. ”

    So you are saying that something HAS happened, and we are saying that it HASN’T, or at least has a statistically negligible amount. And yet, we’re expected to come up with sources? You’re the one making a positive claim here. I can present evidence all day long of people not saying men sleep their way to the top. Any episode of Doctor Who, for instance, is full of people not saying it.

  • Greg Easton

    In 200 years, we’ve come from ”l regret but l have one life to give for my country” to ”fuck you”?  Bravo.

  • Anonymous

    I have to provide a source that proves that no actor in history has ever been accused of using sexual favor for advancement? How am I supposed to do that, give you a recording of every conversation ever made? Why don’t you find an example of an actor being accused of it, wouldn’t that be easier to do?

    FYI, I have no particular attachment to Kristen Stewart, having seen very few of her films (Adventureland is the only one I’m sure I’ve seen). I love movies, I love reading about movies and I love reading reviews. The examples I mentionned were given good reviews by Roger Ebert. This isn’t about whether I like her or not (or Keanu Reeves or Johnny Depp for some reason). This is about a sexist cliché being used against a woman because somebody didn’t like the way she was doing her job.

  • Matt Graham

    I feel bad for her, I don’t recall any other celebrity stories blowing up this bad. She’s 22, I know I’ve made mistakes like that when I was younger. She has the downside of everyone keeping a finger on the pulse of her life and it seems like more than ever people love to keep up with people not because they’re fans, but because they dislike them. I don’t understand it, nor do I want to.

    Myself, I think she’s a great actress with the right roles, and I hope she bounces back.

  • Anonymous

    Regarding your edit, I though my original post was perfectly clear but I’ll clarify.

    Saying a woman got a job because she used sexual favors to get it is a sexist cliché. Saying a man did, isn’t. That’s because it is way more frequently said to women than to men. You seem unaware of that, and that’s why you don’t think it’s sexist. But I can state for sure than I’ve had internet for more than 15 years and I’ve seen plenty of actresses being accused of that and no actor that I can think off.  The huge bias makes it sexist. Does that mean it is never said to men? No. I though it was pretty clear that my “never” meant “virtually never” but if you didn’t get that, I’m sorry but that’s what I meant. 

    I’m pretty sure I can find examples of white men being told they look like apes. It doesn’t mean saying the exact same thing to a black man isn’t racist.   

  • Anonymous

    Basically they cannot tell the difference between reality and fantasy. A dangerous thing to be sure…especially because the series these people are fawning over reinforces horrid morals.

  • Anonymous

    This has blown up because many of her and Robert Pattinson’s fans live their lives on twitter. Any thought that goes through their heads they write down, whether it is complete gossip or conjecture. Gossip sites troll twitter, they know which “fans” are going to give them the juiciest gossip and then they write an article using the fans tweets as “sources.” Hollywood Life is especially known for this and for some reason they are used as a source on respectable sites. Everything is for hits and comments. The more hits, the more articles they want to do on the same subject, the more trolling they do and the more gossip they get. No matter that it is completely spurious. This is the new age of journalism.

  • Mark Matson

    This is the first I heard of it.  I’m usually out of the loop on this pop stuff, but take that as a datapoint.

  • Jeremy Sadler

    It’s only a thing when people (“readers”, and I use the term loosely) make it a thing. The gossip rags report it and they see a sales bump. So they keep right on reporting it. And people keep right on reading it. Regardless if it’s a male or female central to the story.

    If these people stopped reading the drivel, well… the world would be a better place wouldn’t it because the media would focus on real stories.

    As usual eventually the media, starved for anything new to say about something that will get them ratings, starts talking about itself. That is to attract the more liberal, quieter majority who want to tsk tsk about how shameful the media is acting, and – you guessed it – sell more issues or bump ratings or increase pageviews.

    (And yes, I do see the irony of me contributing to a discussion about it.)

  • Totz_the_Plaid

    I hate Tiger Woods. I hate Charlie Sheen. I hate Kristen Stewart. Not because of what they did, but because I keep getting spammed by it all over the fucking place.

    Stop obsessing over celebrities’ private lives, people!!!

    For fuck’s sake!

  • Meghan Lea Murphy

    I just want to say… I agree. But Kristen Stewart should’ve been dropped from Snow White for being AWFUL in it. I mean… I liked her in other things.. and she doesn’t even bother me as Bella Swan (she was alright for what she was in the book) But Snow White was really brought down by her performance. (Perhaps that was how she was written, but even still, she brought nothing to the table.) 

  • Life Lessons

    Amen. :)

  • Shania

    Should there even BE a sequel? I mean, it’s like Snow White WITHOUT Snow White.

    I just don’t understand why we just can’t forgive the girl and move on to better movies….

  • Anonymous

    You forget the fact that nobody even knows who the hell Rupert Sanders is and nor does anyone care. Stewart is getting more headlines because she’s the famous one in a high profile relationship. That’s why all the heat has been on her. Nothing else.

  • Anonymous

    Narrowing the definition of sexism so that we can let certain sexist comments slide is what’s harmful. Not calling sexist things out is the absolutely worst thing you can do to solve sexism. You, in this conversation, are doing way more to belittle sexism than anyone else you are engaging with.

    You may want to look up something called privilege, and why, even if a certain bad thing happens to a person of a privileged party, it’s not nearly the same as when it happens to a person of the unprivileged party. You could help prevent sexism if you knew a lot more about it.

    Currently, you’re playing devil’s advocate, and it’s extremely … extremely unhelpful. Sexism, for a lot of us, doesn’t stop when we browse away from this page. It affects our entire lives. A lot of us have actually been accused of sleeping our way to the top simply for being female. Don’t tell us what is and isn’t sexism. Kindly butt out if you have nothing to helpful to say.

  • Saz Rainbow

    Some people have short memories. When Brad Pitt banged Angelina Jolie the fallout was MASSIVE. I was about 14 at the time and the coverage is what really turned me off the whole celebrity news thing once and for all. It was all over everything, every single party was reviled. It was sickening. And Brad got the worst of it. Because he. cheated.

  • Anonymous

    Those in the media and the thousands of supposed fans or just people who seemed to feel that they needed to voice out their feelings regarding this issue by bashing Kristen Stewart like she had done something that cannot be forgiven.  Did she cheat on them?!  Did she kill someone?! The answer is NO.  But that didn’t stop them from bashing her all over the internet and calling her all kind of names.  
    She doesn’t owe us anything.  She didn’t set herself to be a role model.  She is human.  Some of her ex-fans are calling her a liar.  As obviously they thought they knew the real her but in her recent action, she had made them felt cheated.  What I see is a young actress being taken advantage by someone older and in power.  It doesn’t necessary mean she is a liar.  These people are obviously not true fans.  They would believe shit written by the media and over the internet than to believe their supposed idol.  The photos doesn’t really showed us the whole situation.  Do they have personal details of all this mess came about?!  No.  Things aren’t always in just black or white.  

    Those fans that stayed on, are the true fans that she needs in her life.  Stay Strong Kristen! These people that brings you down, obviously have very little things to do in their own life.  Why would someone spend so much time bashing about someone they hardly know.  It’s such a waste of time and energy.  If you adore someone, I would understand.  

  • Anonymous

    I am guessing you mean to use the word “bad”, as she is hardly a poor actress. Though I have to disagree on that.  She may not be a top actress as of yet, I don’t think she is a bad actress.  

  • Anonymous

     ”When Brad Pitt banged Angelina Jolie the fallout was MASSIVE.”

    I wish we could reserve words like ‘fallout’ for events that had actual real-life consequences, like Watergate (and nuclear bombs). Let’s face it, no celebrity story has ultimately ever had any lasting effect on the real world.

    (I get what you mean though is that the media were talking of nothing else, which is probably true. But only until they found something else to talk about instead.)

  • Anonymous

    Ya know, I agree. Hemsworth really outdid his costar and I’m actually totally cool with a sequel with just Thor the Huntsman, lol. Stewart’s got some growing up to do before she’ll really make a good actress, imo.

  • Nikki Lincoln

    Ok – John Edwards then? I think the backlash has way more to do with the circumstances. 

  • Anonymous

    The John Edwards affair wasn’t a scandal for a very long time until it was known he had a baby with the woman he was cheating with while his wife was dying of cancer. That story is very extreme and it’s hard to make a parallel with anything.

    When I think of a cheating scandal involving Hollywood, I always think of the Pitt-Jolie-Anniston affair. Jolie was painted as the villain but Pitt, who actually was the cheater in this story, didn’t seem to suffer any consequences whatsoever. People were talking as if he had been “stolen” by Jolie.

  • Raven Little

    since when does kissing mean you’re having an affair?! If that’s true then Im in big trouble! lol Kristen apologized for a “momentary indiscretion” not for having an affair or a long term sexual relationship. The media is promoting hate and bullying against Kristen because it gets hits on their sites and that equals money. They don’t care she’s a real person and has real feelings. Gossip Cop is a perfect example. They post a story a day about her and give a forum to her haters to post thousands of negative and nasty comments that’s full of lies and rumors…there’s no accountability. It certainly looks like the media is promoting hate and bullying against her in an attempt to get her to harm herself or push someone else to harm her. Why is this happening? Makes no sense at all there’s no compassion for this young woman. Enough already!!