We are going to do some things to combat this problem because some of the numbers on DUIs and domestic violence are going up and that disturbs me. When there’s a pattern of mistakes, something has got to change.
Given that Roger Goodell said this in 2012
, and then made his Ray Rice decision in 2014? I feel that a great deal of what he says is lip service.
I had to be very patient, because there were always very nice prop guys telling me how to work the Tardis, and I was like: ‘I know how to work the Tardis! I’ve known for a very long time how to work the Tardis. Probably longer than you. So you don’t need to tell me!’
A white person could write a great character of color, and a man can write a great female character — but ability doesn’t equal intent and execution. Matt Reeves recently exemplified this problem. When Dawn of the Planet of the Apes came out, some noted that the film had exactly two female characters — neither of whom had much screen-time or value in the narrative. It wasn’t on purpose; when asked, Reeves said, “Gosh, I don’t know…it’s sort of a shame that, as you say, that’s sort of true.”
Like many habitual problems, this comes down to close-mindedness: if no one forces the creative to think outside the box or explain themselves, the practice will continue unchecked. It’s one of the best arguments for the value of diverse creatives — to break out of the habits that unintentionally create women-free or white worlds, reductive characterizations, or Bechdel-failing narratives.
Hollywood also has to be willing to retain diversity when it is present. As Ursula K. Le Guin wrote when her Earthsea was whitewashed: “With all freedom comes responsibility.”
A little over 50 years ago, in the last days of a summer something like this one, a woman returned home from her publishing job to find a literal bloody mess. She shared the apartment on East 88th St between Madison and Park with two other young women in their early 20s. She took a few steps into the living room and saw a knife perched on the edge of the bathroom sink. Then she called one roommate’s father, Max Wylie, who lived nearby, and ventured no further. When he got there he went into the bedroom and saw his daughter, 21-year-old Janice Wylie, lying dead and bloody in the other room along with 23-year-old Emily Hoffert. Hoffert, who was in the process of moving out, was supposed to start work as a schoolteacher soon; Wylie was an aspiring actress whiling away her time as a researcher at Newsweek. They were found tied together with strips of bedsheet, facing away from each other. Hoffert was still wearing a skirt, blouse, shoes and socks. Wylie was nude. And the scene was as gory as it gets. Wylie was disembowelled, and the girls stabbed 60 times between them. A piece of one of the kitchen knives used to do it was buried in Hoffert’s chest.