I think Brie Larson is afraid of critics.
I believe she’s been afraid of critics for a long time. Her actions are as easy to read as a book with a third grade reading level. Well, this is assuming you’re capable of reading at that level. So for those of you who are regular viewers of The Young Turks, I’m afraid you’re out of luck there. If you take notice of her comments since the release of A Wrinkle In Time, there’s a constant line being drawn in the sand if you’re a critic. It’s why she uses the intersectional line of eliminating criticism. She uses specific qualifiers to nullify someone’s opinion right out of the gate, as if these sorts of things have an effect on how someone perceives films.
“Too many white males.” The first line of a racial determination rings a bit hollow coming from Larsen who is as pale as I am when it comes to skin tone. One thing that Larsen and I share with a majority of Americans is that we’re Caucasian. The second disqualifier is whether or not you’re a male. So apparently the possession of a pasty penis dangling between one’s legs somehow means something about your ability to criticize a film or the value of said opinion? How exactly this means anything is a bit lost when you think of the way that Larsen tried to save herself from this statement.
“I want to know what that film meant to (insert x group here)” is a follow up from someone who seemingly doesn’t understand the purpose of criticism. The phrase “what this film means to me” doesn’t belong in a review of anything. It belongs in a Tumblr post. It’s the musings of a pre-teen listening to My Chemical Romance and thinking about how awesome it’s going to be to say “you’re not my real dad” to their stepfather in between watching episodes of Steven Universe. The point of film criticism is to point out the strengths and weaknesses of the film. It’s not an easy thing to read or hear, but it’s necessary.
The top critics on @RottenTomatoes are OVERWHELMINGLY white and male. The newest report from @Inclusionists @USC shows a vast underrepresentation of diverse voices: https://t.co/WyvVNR0XkU #InclusionCrisis #30302020
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) June 11, 2018
This has been a constant since Captain Marvel’s been announced. You’ll find people on Twitter who are fervent supporters of this film they haven’t seen yet clashing with those who aren’t interested. Statements of racism and sexism for disinterest in the film plague the Marvel Studios board on Reddit. What’s worse is that this isn’t the worst offense yet. The worst offense (so far) is that Rotten Tomatoes has removed the ability to voice your interest level on their website. They have effectively muted an entire section of the fanbase, and why? To shield their star from criticism. To try and drown out dissent. It won’t work, and it’s a formula for losing money.
When you have Brie Larsen denigrating men for being men, and Samuel L. Jackson comparing the sitting president of the United States to a “plantation owner” people have a right to get angry. I’m going to use an analogy that I used when I had a sit-down conversation with Ethan Van Sciver some time ago. Imagine you’re driving up to a restaurant called Marvel’s House of Tasty Burgers. This restaurant has had a history of great service and a great product. Suddenly, the cook and the waitress come outside as you pull up and start throwing bricks at your car. Personally, the only time I would consider coming back is when those two aren’t working and that awesome cook Thanos was back to satisfy my taste buds with a snap of his fingers.
There is going to come a point in time where Brie Larson is going to have to realize that she cannot avoid critics. It’s impossible in the arts. They will always be there. Beyond that, you especially cannot avoid the audience. If you want to make a living in entertainment, you have to be smart enough to realize your audience is your lifeblood. Do you want to make the big bucks? Be gracious to the fans. Why? Because there are things that unite all of us. Americans love movies. We love the box office. We love the excitement of a new film, and seeing actors who we enjoy on the silver screen. I don’t agree with the politics of stars like Chris Evans or Scarlett Johansson, but you can bet your ass I’ll be there if Evans plays Captain America again or when the inevitable Black Widow film drops in the future. Reason being is I don’t see hostility when it comes to promotion of Avengers: Endgame. I get the feeling they want my money, and I want them to entertain me.
As not just a critic, but also a fan of the MCU, I feel like the people who are starring in Captain Marvel don’t want my money. They don’t want me in a seat. What’s unfortunate about this is that I actually enjoy the character of Carol Danvers. I know, it’s hard to believe. If you were to read the character back when she was Ms. Marvel/Binary/Warbird you might start to see why. Under the pen of writers like the legendary Chris Claremont and the seasoned Brian Reed, Carol was a character was a grounded person who just wanted to do right by people despite her past screw-ups. The character can be incredibly compelling. I was hoping to see that same Carol in film.
Now the only reason I’m going to watch it is to review it for my podcast, and likely so other people don’t have to spend their money for a small itch of curiosity. C’est la vie.