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Linkspam Hollywood FAIL edition

Is there ever a time when Hollywood is not FAILing? First up, What these people need is a honky syndrome goes off planet in:

James Cameron’s Avatar

Lawd ha’ mercy internets. Lord ha mercy. Because Hollywood sure as hell won’t. You know, a lot of those bullshit tropes that show up in movies like this are based on some real inaccurate history. If you haven’t read it yet, may I rec 1491? You’ll find that it goes a good way in clearing some of the…um…cobwebs.

EDIT: Just in case you were a bit iffy on whether Mr. Cameron was an asshole, he opened his mouth and removed all doubt.

PLAYBOY: Sigourney Weaver’s character Ellen Ripley in your film Alien is a powerful sex icon, and you may have created another in Avatar with a barely dressed, blue-skinned, 10-foot-tall warrior who fiercely defends herself and the creatures of her planet. Even without state-of-the-art special effects, Zoe Saldana—who voices and models the character for CG morphing—is hot.
CAMERON: Let’s be clear. There is a classification above hot, which is “smoking hot.” She is smoking hot.

PLAYBOY: So Saldana’s character was specifically designed to appeal to guys’ ids?
CAMERON: And they won’t be able to control themselves. They will have actual lust for a character that consists of pixels of ones and zeros. You’re never going to meet her, and if you did, she’s 10 feet tall and would snap your spine. The point is, 99.9 percent of people aren’t going to meet any of the movie actresses they fall in love with, so it doesn’t matter if it’s Neytiri or Michelle Pfeiffer.

PLAYBOY: We seem to need fantasy icons like Lara Croft and Wonder Woman, despite knowing they mess with our heads.
CAMERON: Most of men’s problems with women probably have to do with realizing women are real and most of them don’t look or act like Vampirella. A big recalibration happens when we’re forced to deal with real women, and there’s a certain geek population that would much rather deal with fantasy women than real women. Let’s face it: Real women are complicated. You can try your whole life and not understand them.

PLAYBOY: How much did you get into calibrating your movie heroine’s hotness?
CAMERON: Right from the beginning I said, “She’s got to have tits,” even though that makes no sense because her race, the Na’vi, aren’t placental mammals. I designed her costumes based on a taparrabo, a loincloth thing worn by Mayan Indians. We go to another planet in this movie, so it would be stupid if she ran around in a Brazilian thong or a fur bikini like Raquel Welch in One Million Years B.C. [Don’t ya just LURVE this part? I mean, the Mayans aren’t part of earth now? Or does he think they have all died off so its cool rip them off for his rather Native Americanesque aliens?]

PLAYBOY: Are her breasts on view?
CAMERON: I came up with this free—floating, lion’s-mane—like array of feathers, and we strategically lit and angled shots to not draw attention to her breasts, but they’re right there. The animation uses a physics-based sim that takes into consideration gravity, air movement and the momentum of her hair, her top. We had a shot in which Neytiri falls into a specific position, and because she is lit by orange firelight, it lights up the nipples. That was good, except we’re going for a PG-13 rating, so we wound up having to fix it. We’ll have to put it on the special edition DVD; it will be a collector’s item. A Neytiri Playboy Centerfold would have been a good idea.

Women are not supposed to watch this thing, apparently?How fucking skeevy it is in the face of the history and ever present use of rape as a tool of war, how fucking assholish is his attitude of “oooooooooooooooohhhhhhhh gotta have breasts! Must have fuck objects!!! Cant have a movie with fuck objects!!!! Can’t women NOT BE FUCK OBJECTS WHEN THEY ARE DEFENDING THEIR HOMES AND LIVES AT THE VERY LEAST!!!!

Shadesong also points put something I inexcusably forgot to mention:

For bonus oh please stop, the lead character is a wheelchair user whose only motive is To Walk Again, to have his legs restored. Because OMG being disabled is The Worst Thing Ever. Guys? Can we please have some stories where the disabled character has a plot arc other than being magically healed?

Meantime: Universal’s UK ‘Couples Retreat’ Poster Brings Cries of Racism by Removing Black Actors

The excuse was rather amusing, I must say.

While all this is going on, however, Heroes writers decided to show their asses in a very public manner.

White men, you see, are totes oppressed in Hollywood. Oh yeah!

It all started when Jim Martin (assistant to show creator Tim Kring and himself a writer on the show) engaged in conversation with (former, now disgruntled) fans about the show, and in the process uttered such gems as “Anyone who thinks they can do better… I dare you. Go ahead. :) I’d love to see it.” and “If you think that Racism and Sexism are thematically integrated in HEROES then you may want to check your intelligence before worrying about it being insulted.” That post has since been deleted, but a kind mouse saved it and shared it with us in wank_report. In his follow-up post about the whole mess, he whined about how he liked the internet better when it wasn’t so self-righteous, and left us with even more gems as “Look up the diversity programs for writers in tv. Ask anyone in the tv world. There is a distinct disadvantage to be a white male when trying to be a staff writer.” and “I’m fully aware of what you are referencing, but I don’t think its a problem on Heroes and I don’t think white privilege is an issue in Hollywood at this point.”

Sounds bad enough, right?

But no! Turns out that was just the start of a downwards spiral of fail, and it turns out that the fail reached new startling depths when Foz McDermott, a coordinating producer and writer of the show and perpetual bringer of anti-PC and misogyny fail, decided to use his own blog to reply to a particular comment that was left on Jim Martin’s blog. He starts charmingly:

“The idea that white privilege isn’t a problem in Hollywood at this point is an idea coming from a privileged standpoint.”

Holy crap lady… if you are indeed a lady… that is hilarious. In a business that is scared of and run by pussy organizations that are so scared of being sued about everything, being OVERLY PC is the actual problem. Being a white male in the business of Hollywood is NOT easy. There are programs and incentives to help everyone except white males.MORE

Well. If you were wondering why Heroes sucks… There’s your answer.

And then there’s the prospect of 2013, a television show spin off from the headache inducing 2012.

Let me get this straight. Africa and other points of interest were colonized and exploited. This thieving allowed the exploiting countries to get rich. These riches allowed them to save a portion of their own population, mostly middle class to upper class and (white). Poor people, especially POC, were left to drown. Now, they have come to recolonize Africa. Which didn’t drown after all but simply went up in the air 1000 feet? Does this strike anyone else as chock full to bursting with the potential for FAIL to the nth degree?

Finally Britain’s film industry does its share of FAILing too.

*sigh* Maybe if I go to bed I’ll wake up and find that this was all a bad dream?

21 thoughts on “Linkspam Hollywood FAIL edition”

  1. Kat says:

    Oh Roland Emmerich no. A TV series? I got dragged to 2012 over the weekend without knowing anything about it and concluded that I’d have been happier if I had just brought earplugs and watched the CGI, going to the restroom during all the parts of the movie with science, or plot. The plot was so problematic that I felt bad for enjoying the disaster CGI and the “geologist saves the world!” trope, but I didn’t even want to consider which was a more problematic hypothetical plotline after the Arks landed: that Africa (and other lands formerly filled with pesky brown people) were now “clean slates” to be colonized, or that the poor people who got left out of the loop (briefly considered an ethical dilemma, but no one really seemed to care after 5 minutes of weeping) might still be there. Woe unto the people whose homes get invaded by seasick rich people. Kick the leaders to the curb; they were pretty pathetic excuses for human being, let alone leaders, and are past their years of being vital to the survival of the species.

  2. Legible Susan says:

    I guess the Heroes people are talking about is one that hasn’t started airing in the UK yet (I’ve seen 3 seasons, 4 “Volumes”). I was going to watch the next season, mainly because I want to see Ice Woman come back and I’m still hoping Micah will get more screen time. It sounds as though I shouldn’t bother.

  3. aloysius says:

    Thank you for the link to the post on the Heroes writers! One of the reasons I posted it was that I was hoping it’d be noticed by blogs like yours (because while I do have a blog, like everyone else on the internet, mine isn’t very widely-consumed or influential).

    And I’m glad to see you mention Avatar; when I saw that trailer I couldn’t see anything but its issues…

  4. Karen says:

    I have seen the trailer before and it made me want to puke almost as much as The Blind Side. I posted a reply on the comments board that said

    “Wow, Hollywood fail. We’ve already? experienced Columbus slaughter and kill the indigenous people of this land. do we really need to make it into a movie? I dont need this awful movie to remind me that I live in a land of White takeover and supremacy…”

    and the following replies were the most interesting if not the most headache-making.

    thepenetrator2006: lol lol lol its white people who are the most accepting race now all u? others stick together and dont mix

    LargeHandgun: Not generalizing, FBI and DOJ statistics show that 12% of the population account for 60% of violent crime. Interracial rape is Owned by blacks, with 37,000 last year (based on FBI Stats) against Whites by Blacks, NONE the reverse (see also DOJ 2007 Interracial/Hate crime stats).

    With 70% illegitimacy rate, the highest child abuse rate, highest family murder rate, I am not sure how deep those “relationships” are.

    As a self defense teacher? I see the gritty truth of such “relationships”.

    Basically it proves what I have thought for a long time. People are stupid. but y’all probably know that already huh?

    1. Juan says:

      ick ick ick ick ick ick ick…

  5. Lucy says:

    I see a lot of parallels between criticism of Hollywood expressed by communities such as this one and the very conservative Christian right. It seems like the same fight but over slightly different principles.

    Do you (the reader of this comment) think that’s a fair characterization?

    1. Juan says:

      Do I think it’s a fair characterization? Not in the least.

      There’s a vast difference between a community wanting control over others and a community wanting to be treated & portrayed like human beings.

    2. unusualmusic says:

      What parallels are you talking about, exactly?

    3. Lily says:

      Lucy, your parallels probably are “objects to Hollywood” and “by community”, because other than that, they are directly opposed.

      Did you know that your posting had strong parallels to several speeches from the Westboro guys? For example, you used the words “I see” and “such as”.

      For shame.

  6. Julia Su. says:

    I see a lot of parallels between criticism of Hollywood expressed by communities such as this one and the very conservative Christian right. It seems like the same fight but over slightly different principles.

    What? No.

    This post is objecting to Hollywood treating some people—people who aren’t white–like second-class citizens.

    The Christian Right objects when Hollywood doesn’t treat everyone who isn’t white, Christian, heterosexual, cisgendered, and male like a second-class citizen.

    They’re the exact opposite, not the same. “Exact opposite” and “same” are not equivalent.

  7. dogsofwar says:

    I wonder what Paul Mooney has to say about Avatar, in which a noble parapalegic nobly adopts the noble guise of the noble blue savage 10-foot folk of Pandora and is enlightened by their authentic ways before leading these doomed (yet noble) savages to victory.

    Kinda sucks, since I generally have appreciated Cameron’s flicks, unless someone can point out other lapses of his on the FAIL-o-Meter?

    As for Couples Retreat, I realize that Faizon Love and Kali Hawk might not been as well known as some of the others they share billing with, but even the poster with them on it barely shows them! It’s like Where’s Waldo for them, peace/be out/okaibai. Which is a shame, since Hawk is twice as fine as the generic femmes they pair off with Favreau, Vaughn, and Bateman, but that’s neither here nor there.

    That I don’t have access to a TV lately may be a blessing–less chance to get attached to some seemingly well-written, well-meaning show, only to have it fail/flame out and disappoint yet again.

  8. Saladin says:

    “Kinda sucks, since I generally have appreciated Cameron’s flicks, unless someone can point out other lapses of his on the FAIL-o-Meter?”

    How about True Lies, which had its creepy misgynistic moments but was at its core TWO HOURS OF VIOLENTLY SLAUGHTERING ARABS FOR COMEDY!?

    That movie is one of the most vicious, mean-spirited things I’ve ever seen.

  9. silviamg says:

    Avatar’s whole premise is just … ick inducing for me. Same old tired story of “advanced” civilizations meeting the savages in loinclothes who are going to be exterminated and fucked (literally).

  10. hypatia says:

    wow on the heroes stuff… that makes me not feel bad about not even bothering to pirate it any more :/

  11. emma says:

    hmmmm, in some ways this is a more interesting study of how hollywood views men than women. according to cameron men are so disillusioned by women not being a species created to fulfill every sexual and nonsexual fantasy . . . that turning to virtual reality is a viable and healthy solution. avatar indeed.

    also, apparently the perfect woman can be blue and have a nose like a butter knife so long as she has breasts . . . because that is the end all source of male attraction right?

    i’m actually going to choose to give men more credit then cameron does and assume that most of them at least like their women human and three dimensional. and as far as what this means about how hollywood views women– what a boring rehash of the same shit. ugh

  12. jessica says:

    “We had a shot in which Neytiri falls into a specific position, and because she is lit by orange firelight, it lights up the nipples.”



  13. sideshowjim says:

    regarding True Lies (arnie shoots big guns at Arabic baddies) I always wondered how it went for people playing the extras/baddies in the whole vietnam genre of films?
    “Right your motivation in this scene is to run over there and then get shot. Yeah it’s a lot like the last 76 scenes but try and do something original with it…”

    I’d love to believe they used a different actor for each scene but this is hollywood… One of those guys needs to write a book someday. “I was a thousand ethnic communist baddies” as a working title?

  14. Saladin says:


    Funny — I’ve got an unpublished fantasy story (which may actually be finding a home soon) set in the 80s about a guy who plays an evil Arab terrorist in a Chuck Norris-ish flick. It was masochistic fun to write…

  15. Raven says:

    You know, before I watched that trailer, I was going to watch Avatar because my friends insisted the CGI in the movie was amazing. Now I won’t lie, I love the CGI effects, but there is no way in hell I could sit through that entire movie without being infuriated in the first 10 minutes.

  16. Illusions says:

    I dont know, isnt the whole rant about Camerons comments about his female lead in the movie a bit over the top? After all, I, a female own the movie “300” and my best friend and I have watched it more times than I can count. And while I am a fan of ancient Greek philosophy and culture, I assure you, our interest in the movie is less than scholarly. The fact that there are several very attractive men, in loincloths, sweating and yelling and flexing with spears, has everything thing to do with our enjoyment of the film. It would just not have the same effect if they were entirely clothed, or out of shape. Face it, humans enjoy looking at attractive members of the gender to which they are oriented. Its just good business to know that and appeal to it in films. And women are so totally not exempt from desiring “fuck objects” as I believe you described it. Have you alone never read a female oriented romance novel? Even I, who dislikes the genre, have read a few in my time. Pray tell me what all the “throbbing of manhoods” is meant to arouse in the female reader if not lust? And surely you are not going to argue that those men are fair representations of men as they really are and not idealized “objects” created for female pleasure? Lol.

  17. Lesley says:

    Will there be a follow-up to this post, now that the movie’s out?

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