Photo: Getty Images (Whedon); Courtesy of Lionsgate (Captivity)
Now this is why Joss Whedon has such a rabid female fan base. Not just because his TV shows (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Serenity) are awesome, or even because they so often feature cool female characters, but because they so clearly reflect a personal philosophy that women are strong, important, and brave. It’s a philosophy, Whedon points out in an impassioned post on his fan site, that’s surprisingly rare in the world, and depressingly rejected by much of the entertainment industry.
In particular, Whedon calls out Lionsgate’s upcoming horror movie Captivity, the film that raised the MPAA’s ire recently with its ad campaign, comparing its disregard for women with the recent captured-on-Web-video “honor killing” of Dua Khalil, a 17-year-old Kurdish girl in Iraq:
Coincidentally, right before I stumbled on this vid I watched the trailer for “Captivity”. A few of you may know that I took public exception to the billboard campaign for this film, which showed a concise narrative of the kidnapping, torture and murder of a sexy young woman. I wanted to see if the film was perhaps more substantial (especially given the fact that it was directed by “The Killing Fields” Roland Joffe) than the exploitive ad campaign had painted it. The trailer resembles nothing so much as the CNN story on Dua Khalil. Pretty much all you learn is that Elisha Cuthbert is beautiful, then kidnapped, inventively, repeatedly and horrifically tortured, and that the first thing she screams is “I’m sorry”.
He continues, later:
Women’s inferiority – in fact, their malevolence — is as ingrained in American popular culture as it is anywhere they’re sporting burkhas. I find it in movies, I hear it in the jokes of colleagues, I see it plastered on billboards, and not just the ones for horror movies. Women are weak. Women are manipulative. Women are somehow morally unfinished … And the logical extension of this line of thinking is that women are, at the very least, expendable.
We look forward to Lionsgate’s response!
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