On Conan O’Brien last night J.J. Abrams was asked about the recent controversy over a moment of contrived near-nudity in Star Trek Into Darkness. And I actually respect Abrams’ response: he says that his intention was to do a quick joke in the midst of a bunch of action, but says “I don’t think I quite edited the scene in the right way,” and of those that felt the scene was exploitative “I can also see their point of view.” There are ways that the scene could have been directed or edited in a way that actually made it appear that Carol Marcus’ reaction to Kirk being a supercreep shamed or cowed him in, well, any way. If Abrams felt this scene was really the “balance” to a brief scene of Kirk post-coitus with two alien women, where his nudity before the opposite sex is a product of his sexual prowess, not something that he has just expressed a clear desire to avoid, I just wish he’d executed that better.
Abrams also shared a few seconds of Benedict Cumberbatch‘s character taking a shower, which was not included in the final cut of the movie. And since Cumberbatch is kind of a rising nerd property now (particularly among women), that clip is getting spread around quite widely, touted as the end to the argument. And I’d like to, just for a moment, talk about what this clip isn’t: it isn’t evidence that men and women’s bodies are treated equally in the movie.