Elizabeth Banks Will Not Direct Pitch Perfect 3
During Sunday’s panel at the PGA’s “Produced By” Conference in Culver City, California, Elizabeth Banks confirmed that she would not be directing the film Pitch Perfect 3. When asked why she would be taking a backseat this time around, Banks stated that her parental duties were a big part of her decision.
“We’ve been in development and it’s taking longer than we thought,” Banks said. “I thought I was going to direct the movie in the summer. It was really important to me to direct the movie in summer because if we pushed into fall it bumped up against my parental responsibilities, which made me feel uncomfortable.” Banks has decided to stay on the film as a producer.
Image by David Shankbone from Wikimedia Commons
We can’t say we’re not disappointed, and not just because only 7% of Hollywood directors of women. Banks aims to create diverse, well-rounded female characters, and has a passion for sharing women's stories. Banks spoke about this passion at the panel, saying that she “can’t in [her] soul develop female characters that are arm candy or incidental.” She went on to say that “When you get in this business as an actress, if you’re ambitious, the roles are not that interesting after a while. You play a lot of girlfriends and wives. I wanted more control over how to tell stories.”
However, as feminists, we remember that it is all about choices. Banks’s decision might be disappointing to all of us Pitch Perfect fans, but there’s no denying that this is her choice, and one that we hope will make her feel fulfilled and content. Way to go, Banks! (But also, please reprise your role as Gail because your chemistry with John Michael Higgins is our favorite).
Zendaya Fires Her Publicist For The Right Reasons
It shouldn’t surprise you that Team THINX loves a #girlboss (have you met Miki?), so you know we’re alllllll about Zendaya, the actress who is taking charge of her career and brand at the age of 19.
An example? The current Cosmopolitan covergirl told the magazine that she recently fired her publicist after some racially insensitive comments were made. When Zendaya expressed concerns and frustrations during a prior cover story, her publicist told her to be grateful. "I didn't like my hair and makeup one time on a photo shoot, and my publicist told me, 'You should just be happy with it — they haven't had a black girl on the cover since forever.' She's no longer my publicist," she said.
Zendaya's decision to fire her publicist is v. important to us for several reasons. A) It shows that she has a true sense of self, and makes her own decisions and choices when it comes to her career. B) Her influence means that other black girls can read Zendaya’s interview and know that they don’t have to settle--that they do not need to “just be happy” for simply being seen. She is setting a standard for herself in an industry where young women, especially young women of color, are often talked down to. We’re going to guess that Zendaya’s next publicist will not make the same mistake. As Beyoncé once said, “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss.” Looks like we can say the same for her friend Zendaya, as well.
Maisie Williams Rewrites A Headline For The Daily Mail and Nails It
A quick note to clickbait media: do not mess with the woman who slays dragons for a living.
Maisie Williams took to Twitter yesterday to call out The Daily Mail for an irrelevant headline that had nothing to do with the actress’s talent or interests. The original headline read, “Unveiled: Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams Goes Braless in Sheer Lace Dress and Quirky Headpiece At Charity Masquerade Ball.” The affiliated article shows a picture of Maisie in, um, a dress (like, that’s it; literally a normal photo of a woman in a dress) and states that “In a daring move, the English actress appeared to go braless under the ensemble, flashing her bare legs in the transparent dress.” The article continued describing the charity event, Maisie’s current projects, and her history of success. Basically, nothing correlating with the title. So, why the whole “braless” bit? Williams apparently wondered the same thing.
On Twitter, she created a new caption for the Daily Mail; one that made a lot more sense to us. “Alternative:” it read, “Game of Thrones actor, Maisie Williams, helps raise thousands at a Summer Masquerade Ball for @NSPCC .”
Twitter has exploded for Williams, praising her for addressing the issue of how women are treated by the media. Williams was raising awareness about a cause she’s passionate about,, and yet, the headline was click-bait central--puhlease. Let’s talk about the things that matter, like the NSPCC, and leave the under-garments out of it. (That may be the only time you hear us say that!)
Amandla Stenberg Speaks Out On Intersectional Feminism in Rookie Video
Actor Amandla Stenberg is known for more than superb acting skills--they're also a frequent contributor to a lil publication called Rookie Mag, by friend Tavi Gevinson. Amandla has a segment called Ask Amandla (a part of Rookie’s “How We Live” series), where they answer questions and drop some serious wisdom. This week, the topic was intersectional feminism, which stirred the pot--in the best way..
Stenberg, who is openly bisexual, pansexual, and is gender non-binary (preferring the pronoun “they” rather than “she” or “her”) talks about intersectional feminism and it’s importance in media today.
For those of ya’ll who don’t know (bc all of these terms can be a lil confusing, there’s no harm in a quick review!) intersectionality is the following: the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.
Amandla is a firm believer in intersectional feminism, and speaks openly in the video about their passion.
“When I’m speaking out about gender, I’m also speaking out about race, and feminism. Because I am all of these things, and they are a part of me,” they said. Amandla has been open about their passion for speaking out on intersectional feminism in the past. The Ms. Foundation for Women named Stenberg feminist of the year, along with Girl Meets World actress Rowan Blanchard.
“Just remind yourself. Your identity is valid--say it 100 times,” said Amandla. Will do, and thank you for the reminder!
Chelsea Handler Doesn’t Have Kids & Absolutely Loves it
Chelsea Handler is not only open about her lack of interest in having children, but she is sharing a PSA for other women who feel the same way.
The actress’s activism came in the form of a clip for her Netflix talk and sketch show, Chelsea, and mirrors her blunt and truthful tone.
“Oh, hello. Guess what? I just woke up and it’s 1 o’clock in the afternoon,” she says, waking up in what seems to be the most comfortable and cozy bed on the planet, while looking straight into the camera. “I get to sleep into however late I feel like, because I don’t have any f***ing children.”
Handler’s 30-second sketch provides a laugh (and some intrigue for her “Adventures in Parenting” episode) but also provides a very honest commentary for women who do not want children. There is still a stigma that affects women who decide not to be a parent, or choose their career or freedom over procreation. Handler has never been one to scurry around the truth, and her video is perhaps a response to the many questions she has received regarding her relationship status and whether she wants to be a mother (interestingly enough, though, the latter question doesn’t seem to come up to often with male celebrities. Just sayin’).
Whether or not the viewer wants to be a parent, Handler’s humor will remind them that there is nothin’ wrong with not being a parent--as she says in the video, you don’t have to go to Legoland! Seems like a fair argument to us.