May. 25th, 2017

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Without going into essay-length discussion of it, I think it’s a two-pronged thing: one is that a lot of people just plain don’t enjoy his storytelling, like the way in which he makes movies/tv and the themes he incorporates (I think one of the main complaints is that he doesn’t have a real breadth of skill – he tends to repeat old tropes and character archetypes a lot – and I think that complaint is 100% valid). Still, that’s aesthetic; the much more widespread reason is that Joss Whedon has not got a great record when it comes to social justice, despite being hailed as a giant feminist icon. 

Which, in the 1990s, the work he was doing with Buffy the Vampire Slayer I think genuinely was pretty feminist for television, at the time (and at first – in later seasons that was less the case). But culture moved forward, and Joss sort of froze where he was. His behavior toward Charisma Carpenter, who got pregnant during the filming of Angel, has been the subject of a lot of controversy (he wrote a really ugly episode about pregnancy and then killed her off) and since Buffy his treatment of women in his work has just kind of sledded downhill. Most recently, his spec Wonder Woman script was leaked and it’s pretty unpleasant; all about how Wonder Woman isn’t human because she’s invulnerable, and how she needs to be humbled, I guess? I haven’t read it. 

I watched Buffy and enjoyed the earlier seasons; I watched some of Angel but it got dull. I tried watching Firefly, gave up because I thought it was kind of appalling, and stopped watching media Joss made after that (I found the idea of Dollhouse super offputting). I went back several years later to rewatch Firefly with the hope that I’d been too immature to understand it, or that the out-of-order episode airing had impacted my viewing, but I ended up understanding better than ever why I disliked it. (I wrote an essay about it here if you want more meat on why.)

Imagine the man who wrote a space western and could only conceive of the Native Americans within that story as a ravaging, sub-human race whose sole emotion was rage – and now imagine how he’s going to look at an Aquaman played by a person of color. Imagine a man who was so enraged that one of his actors got pregnant that he killed off her character after writing an entire episode about how horrifying pregnancy was – imagine the man who wrote Natasha’s story in Age of Ultron, for that matter – and now imagine how he’s going to control the future of Wonder Woman. (I’m aware that Justice League is mostly in post, but he’s still going to be writing and shooting additional scenes. And if he’s in on it now, there’s no guarantee he won’t be asked to step in more permanently.)

I think the upshot is that Joss Whedon tends to poison things he touches in ways so insidious that he gets acclaimed for doing it. And that couldn’t stay unnoticed forever. 
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athousanderrors: from 'Spirited Away' - soot sprites, clutching confetti stars, running about excitedly. (Default)
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SPACELEGS! #lotusleggings #space
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athousanderrors: from 'Spirited Away' - soot sprites, clutching confetti stars, running about excitedly. (Default)
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Those days when you don’t want to be too much in people’s faces, but you still wanna be a #mermaid #lotusleggings #gothmermaid
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