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Vin Diesel Stands By Michelle Rodriguez in Support of “Showing Love” to the Women of the Furious Franchise

Last week, Michelle Rodriguez had some words about the lack of nuanced female representation in the Fast and the Furious franchise, but made it clear over the weekend that co-star Vin Diesel has been one of the biggest supporters of women in the films.

When The Fate of the Furious, the eighth installation in the franchise, became available on Digital HD, Rodriguez used the occasion to bring up an important topic on Instagram:

For those who can’t see the embed, she says, “F8 is out digitally today, I hope they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one. Or I just might have to say goodbye to a loved franchise. It’s been a good ride & Im grateful for the opportunity the fans & studio have provided over the years… One Love”

She kinda sounds like she’s saying goodbye right now, just in case. Back in May, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Rodriguez went Bechdel-Wallace on us by bringing up the fact that, though there have been “strong” female characters sprinkled throughout the franchise, that they don’t really ever talk to each other. “I’ve been making movies with Jordana [Brewster], who plays the sister of Dom Toretto, for 16 years,” Rodriguez explains. “And I can count on one hand how many lines I’ve had to her.” She later called the situation “pathetic.”

So, Rodriguez has been talking about the lack of adequate female representation in the films for a while. This weekend, however, she wanted Furious fans to know that her leading man has always had her back:

Diesel posted the video to his own Instagram saying, “Proud of Our saga… but we must try to reach higher each time. The challenge is what makes it fun and exciting. Its also why this saga has reached the level that it has… you have been the best fans in film history and we are forever grateful…Dom and Letty.”

It’s always great to know that there are male celebrities out there who get it and who, when their female peers speak out about inequality, stand by them and speak up with them. Here’s hoping that both Rodriguez and Diesel will use their considerable star power and leverage to make changes as the franchise continues forward (there’s already a 9 and a 10 in the works and planned through 2021.).

The Furious franchise is already making changes in Hollywood by showing that people will pay big money to see an ethnically and racially diverse cast. I would love to see them continue to teach those lessons with regard to their female characters, too.

(via The Huffington Post, image: Universal Pictures)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.