Lady Problems is a weekly column that looks at how the entertainment industry — and its corresponding culture and constituents — is treating women in a given week. (Hint: It will almost always be “poorly.”) Every Friday, we’ll review the week’s most significant woman-centric conflicts, then provide a brilliant solution to each problem that nobody in Hollywood will ever listen to or enforce.
The Lady Problem: Remember The Revenant? That movie where Leonardo DiCaprio, ever obsessed with recycling, uses the rotting corpse of a horse as a bed? That movie where the only two female characters are 1) a ghost and 2) a rape victim? Turns out there was actually another woman involved in the film -- which is great, except it's a woman who had no idea she was involved in the film and received zero credit, financial or otherwise.
According to the Alaska Dispatch News, Doreen Nutaaq Simmonds was at a Fairbanks theater, seeing The Revenant of her own volition (a mistake), when she realized she was hearing her voice emanating from the speakers. The ADN describes the scene in question as the one where "a friendly Pawnee builds a shelter for a trapper left for dead by his companions"; said scene includes a voiceover of a woman speaking in a Native American language, specifically the Inupiaq language of Arctic Alaska.
Decades ago, Simmonds had recorded herself reciting a poem by a Canadian Inuit in hopes of preserving the language. The translation: "The great sea has set me adrift. It moves me like a weed in a great river." The 69-year-old, who's currently finishing her bachelor's degree, said she was "shocked" to hear the recitation in The Revenant. Because nobody told her about it. And nobody paid her for it. As a reminder, this movie cost more than $130 million to make and has made over $400 million worldwide. As another reminder, this movie is the Crash of 2016, in that aliens will one day point to its Oscar glory as proof that we deserved to be obliterated as a species.
The Solution: Alejandro González Iñárritu will, first and foremost, walk to Alaska from wherever the hell he is right now. He will not film this walk, nor will he be allowed to speak to the press about how "difficult" it was. He will find Doreen Nutaaq Simmonds and he will hand her $10 million in cash, and also pay off any student debt she might have. He will donate the other bajillion million to the Alaska Native Language Center and a handful of other nonprofits that work to preserve Native culture. He can keep $1 million for his "troubles" and his beard maintenance. Then he will walk to L.A. and film Titanic 2, which sees Jack rising from the dead, but still hot and virile, not zombie-ish. The frigid sea preserved him.
The Lady Problem: In the grand tradition of the Lady Problems subjects who came before her, Difficult People's Julie Klausner took time out of her Saturday night to publicly remark upon the body of a total stranger.
Zendaya, owner of the body in question, did not take Klausner's flagrantly speculative and insulting analysis lightly.
Klausner, who is 37-years-old, replied to Zendaya, who is 19, by firing up the George Foreman Grill to ensure that this inexplicable celebrity Twitter beef stayed gross and unevenly cooked.
Later, Klausner seemed to recognize how and why her tweets might be #problematic, inviting Zendaya's fans to tear her to shreds in her own Instagram comments.
Klausner occasionally waded into the fray to defend herself/insult herself in the face of commenters telling her to "die, Jew" and, even more horrifyingly, referring to her as "old." "My turn!" wrote Klausner. "Ok-I suck because I am jealous and...oh, my breath stinks and my ass is a face!"
The Solution: This whole thing has devolved into a Roman Empire-era nightmarescape. What's next, hurling Klausner from the Tarpeian Rock? The motivation behind Klausner's comments wasn't malevolent; it's nice to want to remind young women bombarded with images of impossibly thin celebs that their bodies are just as beautiful. The problem, though, is that Klausner reminded young women that their bodies are beautiful by attacking the body of a young woman, which makes perfectly no sense. But the other problem is that people are attacking Klausner for doing this by attacking her body. What fresh hell is this? The only solution here is for everyone to delete their social media accounts, then delete their bodies, and exist merely as shafts of light in a dusty hallway. And as penance for her original crime, Klausner will travel back in time and add her name to the writing credits of "Shake Santa Shake."
The Lady Problem: Henry Cavill, who loves money and isn't afraid of going into a shop and saying "Yeah, I want that for the house," told the Sunday Times he believes there's an unfair double standard when it comes to catcalling. "If a girl shouts something like 'Oi love, fancy a shag?' to me as I walk past, I do sometimes wonder how she’d feel if a builder said that to her. Although I wouldn’t feel physically threatened, as she might.”
I don't know about y'all, but my mind is BLOWN. (Don't worry, I didn't mean that as a come-on, Henry Cavill.) How have we women been so busy hurling sexual epithets at Henry Cavill that we haven't even stopped to consider how we might feel if somebody sexually objectified us? Just yesterday, as I was shrieking, "More like Super Penis!!!" at Henry Cavill as he scurried into an alley, weeping, I didn't even wonder whether my comments might be hurtful or scarring if a builder were to direct them at me. I guess it's hard to imagine, as I've never been walking to work, minding my own business, and had a strange man stop me to tell me I'd be so much prettier if I smiled or that I had a nice ass or that he'd totally fuck me or that he'd like to usher me into his van and chain me to his radiator for the rest of my natural life. I should probably spend less time begging Henry Cavill for a piece and more time thinking about the unique plight of the white, rich, famous male.
The Solution: All women across the world will solemnly swear to never ask Henry Cavill if he'd "fancy a shag" ever again.
The Lady Problem: As Jezebel reports (via Business Insider), during a panel at SXSW, Silicon Valley producer Alec Berg defended the primarily white, primarily male makeup of the cast by claiming the show is just "satirizing the reality of the tech industry." "Tech is 87 percent male. VC at the partner level is 96 percent white and male," said Berg during the panel, which was made up of all white men. "The world that we’re depicting is very much off kilter." Berg also shot back at an editor who blamed Berg for recent women-free crowd shots at an event called TechCrunch Disrupt. “Those were real shots of the real place, and we didn’t frame women out," said Berg. "The world we’re depicting is fucked up."
Even after saying this very true and disturbing thing out loud, Berg argued that it wasn't the show's responsibility to address or fix this thing, but rather, the responsibility of the tech industry. You know, the same industry that courted and ferried Berg to the all-male SXSW panel, and has a wildly popular HBO series modeled after it. So go fix your sexism, tech industry! Even though you've got HBO S'ing your D just the way you are!
The Solution: Everyone on Earth will agree to revert to the Stone Age. Tech and its accompanying bros will be rendered obsolete and everybody will be Paleo, with radiantly white eyes and the body fat of a Swedish bookshelf. We will all sleep inside horse corpses. Nobody will watch Silicon Valley because we'll all have melted down our televisions and turned them into crude tools.
The Lady Problem: A few minutes have gone by, which means another Leonardo DiCaprio film has been revealed as having treated women poorly. Olivia Wilde appeared on the Howard Stern Show on Tuesday to promote Vinyl, her new HBO show that, like vinyl itself, is fine. Stern asked Wilde if she'd ever lost out on a role for being "too beautiful," which sounds like a line of questioning that might make Henry Cavill uncomfortable. Wilde replied, "No, I don't think so. The funniest thing I heard recently was I had heard for a part that I was too sophisticated. And I was like, oh, that sounds nice. I like that feedback. I didn't get the part, but I'm a very sophisticated person. And then I found out later that they actually said 'old.' I want to make a translation sheet for Hollywood that's all the feedback your agents give you and then what it really means ... I did not [have to audition for Vinyl], because I had auditioned unsuccessfully for Wolf of Wall Street — [Margot Robbie's role is] the one I was too old for."
The Wolf of Wall Street was released in 2013, which means Wilde was likely around 28 when she auditioned for it. DiCaprio was 37. Robbie was 22. The real-life couple the movie was based on are the exact same age. The New York Stock Exchange is 224 years old. The earth is 4.5 billion years old.
The Solution: Alejandro González Iñárritu will cancel Titanic 2 mid-filming and instead direct The Wolf of Wall Street 2: The Reckoning, starring Olivia Wilde as a 4,000-year-old demon dating Leonardo DiCaprio's unborn son.