In response to a clip Universal Pictures released from Jurassic World featuring Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), Avengers: Age of Ultron writer/director Joss Whedon posted the following on April 10 to his now-defunct Twitter account: “I’m too busy wishing this clip wasn’t 70’s era sexist. She’s a stiff, he’s a life-force – really? Still?” Italian site Bad Taste had the chance to ask the Jurassic Park sequel’s director and co-writer Colin Trevorrow if he was bothered by Whedon’s remark, which instantly went viral and caused controversy for both filmmakers. (Thanks to Andrea Bedeschi for the translation.)
“I wasn’t bothered by what he said about the movie and, to be honest, I don’t totally disagree with him,” said Trevorrow. “I wonder why [Universal] chose a clip like that, that shows an isolated situation within a movie that has an internal logic. That starts with characters that are almost archetypes, stereotypes that are deconstructed as the story progresses. The real protagonist of the movie is Claire and we embrace her femininity in the story’s progression. There’s no need for a female character that does things like a male character, that’s not what makes interesting female characters in my view. Bryce and I have talked a lot about these concepts and aspects of her character.”
Howard echoed Trevorrow’s opinion two days ago to Huffington Post, saying of Whedon, “He’s a hero, he’s an amazing guy and a champion for women in this industry. Marketing for a film is tricky because you release stuff without context. Of course there was a part of me being such a fan of him that was like, ‘Nooooo!’ Especially because when you see the movie it’s not at all like that, but we make movies and it’s out there for public opinion and I hope he likes the movie!”
In a rare case of someone taking the high road in an interview, Trevorrow not only empathized with Whedon’s critique of the Jurassic World clip but defended him over the critical drubbing he took in sections of the press over the supposedly sexist depiction of Black Widow in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
“But I was upset about people’s reaction to his film,” Trevorrow continued. “Joss recieved an incredible amount of anger and vitriolic comments and he doesn’t deserve that, because if there is someone who has always paid due respect to the women of his movies that guy is Joss. I think he should be the last person in Hollywood to be accused of sexism and if you’ve seen something like that in his last movie it’s not his fault. We all know that Joss is too kind and polite to rise up and tell people to screw off, so I’ll do it on his behalf!”
To be fair, Whedon apologized shortly after posting the Tweet in April, and is probably glad to have quit Twitter seeing as how a sentence he typed two months ago is still haunting him.
“I shouldn’t have tweeted it,” Whedon told Variety. “I don’t ever say things about other people’s work that are negative. That’s bad form. It’s not what a gentleman would do.I forgot that I don’t do that because I was frustrated. I felt like I was seeing something that was problematic. What I said is pretty clear, but I think it was the wrong venue for me to be saying that. That’s dinner party conversation.”
Jurassic World hits theaters on June 12.