Simon Pegg Calls for Better Roles for Women in Movies
Fingers crossed for the next Star Trek.
Those of us who’d like to see better representation and treatment of women in our entertainment have been happy to see that conversation become fairly mainstream and unavoidable lately, but writer and actor Simon Pegg really wishes that all that talk would translate into more actual change.
Speaking to BuzzFeed News, Pegg said, “I personally don’t feel there are enough female voices in film. I hope that the recognition of the lack of well-written female characters will be followed by change.” It’s great to have male allies in Hollywood speaking out about the lack of real change in terms of representation, but the solution still may be addressing another well-known problem in the movie industry: lack of female creators.
Pegg mentioned that when he and Edgar Wright were working on Shaun of the Dead, they tried to make Liz, Shaun’s girlfriend, more than just a stereotype, but that it wasn’t easy to “step into the skin of a different gender.” He said,
Me and Edgar [Wright] always said that our Achilles heel was writing women. I think with Shaun of the Dead, we worked so hard not to make Liz the voice of reason, or a drag, or an obstacle to Ed. Ultimately, the romance in Shaun of the Dead was about Shaun and Ed and not Shaun and Liz.
While it’s certainly possible to write a good character of a different gender—Pegg also isn’t an alien yet I’m sure has no problem writing them in Star Trek 3—an easy way to get authentic female characters who don’t immediately fall into tropes would be to hire women to write them.
It also wouldn’t hurt if society in general got over its stereotypical masculinity problem instead of insisting that any movie with emotion instead of explosions is “for women.” A romantic comedy written by Tess Morris, Man Up, opens this weekend with Pegg in a starring role alongside Lake Bell, and he’s got some words for people who think that movie genres should be divided by gender:
Romantic comedies are about the dynamic between men and women—or men and men or women and women, depending on what the movie’s about. To say ‘oh I don’t want to go and see that because it’s a girls’ film’ is shutting yourself off from some big laughs.
Not to mention how the idea that a “girls’ film” is somehow less worth seeing is a problem in itself. You’ve got your work cut out for you, filmmakers. Now do something about it.
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