Warner Bros. Officially No Longer Making Movies With Female Leads

This post, written by Melissa McEwan, originally appeared on Shakesville
Warner Bros president of production Jeff Robinov has made a new decree that "We are no longer doing movies with women in the lead". This Neanderthal thinking comes after both Jodie Foster's The Brave One (even though she's had big recent hits with Flightplan and Panic Room) and Nicole Kidman's The Invasion (as if three different directors didn't have something to do with the awfulness of the gross receipts) under-performed at the box office recently. ... Of course, Warner Bros has always been male-centric in its movies. But now the official policy as expressly articulated by Robinov is that a male has to be the lead of every pic made. I'm told he doesn't even want to see a script with a woman in the primary position (which now is apparently missionary at WB).
Gloria Allred is decidedly unpleased, saying if the studio "confirms that their policy is to now exclude women as leads, then my policy would be to boycott films made by Warner Bros." In that eventuality, I would hope that every actress in Hollywood does the same. Then Warner Bros. can go back to making movies the old-fashioned way. I'm sure Vin Diesel would make a lovely Lois Lane.

Shaker GayAsXmas, who gets the hat tip, says via email: "[T]here are actresses out there who could make credible action heroes (Angelina Jolie, Jessica Biel, Jennifer Garner, Gina Torres) but [aren't given the opportunity] due to a fundamental lack of imagination from the mostly male Hollywood culture. Just give Joss Whedon $50 million and let him play with it, dammit!" Sing it, brotha.

Of course, it's not just action films that WB is unwilling to make with female leads, but all films. Every genre is to be female lead-free--because, evidently, teh bitchez is Hollywood poison!

I know it's a crazy suggestion, but maybe WB could just try making movies with female leads that people actually want to see before giving up on teh womminz altogether. And, while you're at it, perhaps you could try something original. This precludes endless derivations of Steel Magnolias in which eclectic groups of sassy women are bound by their patronage of the same salon, a book/foodie/quilting club, or magical pants. It also precludes remakes and/or thinly veiled modernizations of Jane Austen's stories, especially Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, and Emma. It yet further precludes various bastard children of The Odd Couple and Cagney & Lacey. All of these things have been done, and often done well.
ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up