Every year in recent memory has had a number of controversial stories related to movies, but none more so than 2015. It seems like barely a few weeks have gone by without somebody being offended by something, whether it’s a minor detail of a tiny indie movie, or a major development with a billion dollar blockbuster. This won’t be my first time discussing topics like these within the movie industry, but this time I’m going to be doing things slightly differently, listing five controversial stories from the last year, and discussing whether or not the storm around them was worth it. Spoiler warning – they probably weren’t.
This one was big. Certain groups of people (specifically, idiots) weren’t very happy about the fact that Charlize Theron’s Furiosa, scientifically confirmed as being female, had equal, and possibly even more screen time than Tom Hardy’s Max, IN A MAD MAX FILM! A woman! As the main character! Well…Not exactly.
This is not only the opinion of somebody who didn’t watch the film, but somebody who thinks that a character being a man is more important than a character making sense. Furiosa is one of the coolest, most badass characters we’ve seen on-screen this year, and I can’t help but feel like the same people who had this opinion wouldn’t have said anything had Furiosa been a man. That is quite simply stupidity and narrow-mindedness, and the real joke’s on them, because Fury Road is one of the best films this year.
Controversy rating – 0/5
This storm hit twice, and it hit hard. Both when the Oscar nominations came out, and after the actual ceremony, a lot of coverage pointed out the fact that almost every nominee and winner was white and male. Most people also pointed to the fact that David Oyelowo and Ava DuVernay, lead actor and director of Selma respectively, both missed out on nominations.
Well, it is true that the overwhelming majority of nominees this year were white, and it is the case that the Academy voters are mainly older white men, and this might just have an effect on who gets voted for – in other years. But as I’ve spoken about before, in this article, this could simply be because all the people who did get nominated were the best this year. Yes, I think the academy should have a more diverse group of voters, but I also think people should watch the films and performances that do get nominated before they voice their opinions.
Controvery rating – 2/5
Pixar, the super friendly studio, who make films for everybody, are trying to tell you (yes YOU) what you should look like, because you’re fat and ugly. Inside Out’s portrayal of Joy as being a slim, tall woman, and Sadness being a short, chubby woman offended some people, and seemed to imply that only thin people are happy, and unless that’s what you look like, you have no chance in life.
Believe it or not, this one I give a little bit of credit, but not much. The way the media and pop culture represent body image is a big deal to a lot of people, and having this issue somewhere children are going to see it does seem like it could be damaging. Having said that, the overall message of Inside Out completely negates that point, and enforces the usual Disney message that being different makes you special, and that everybody is important, no matter who you are inside or out (get it?!?!?!).
Controversy rating – 2.5/5
When the trailer for Zoolander 2 was released, one of the jokes that was presented to us was Benedict Cumberbatch as the character All, an androgynous model who is neither male or female. Being a wide release, Zoolander 2’s depiction of this character was considered by some to be offensive to transgender people.
No. This joke has absolutely nothing to do with transgender people, but instead is a look at modelling, and the increasingly ridiculous places that industry is going to. Admittedly this one is just a reaction to the trailer, so when the film drops it might be an insensitive mess, but what we’ve been given so far is nothing to get upset about.
Controversy rating – 1/5
5 – A Black Jedi
Star Wars has always had white male characters in the lead roles, but here we are with The Force Awakens, a film with Jon Boyega (not white), and Daisy Ridley (not male) in the two lead roles. Some people were unhappy about this, because it was CLEARLY promoting white genocide. This was such an issue to one man that he was driven to suicide, because if he can’t have Star Wars with a white man in the lead, he doesn’t want any Star Wars. Or to be alive.
What the hell world. Is this a thing? If you’re the kind of person that doesn’t want to see Star Wars, or any film ever made because of this, please rethink your existence. I will be watching The Force Awakens in IMAX with a big ol’ bucket of popcorn while you’re, well, not, therefore your life is terrible.
Controversy rating – Attack of the Clones/5
What did you think about these stories? Have I missed any of the biggest controversial stories of the year? Share any thoughts in the comments.
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