Navigating the press world and all promotional tours has become increasingly tricky these past few years, as pretty much everyone takes offense to everything. And filmmakers have to seriously watch their words in not upsetting potential ticket buyers. There have been some quite colorful guffaws on the promotional circuit throughout 2015. And J.J. Abrams' recent slip was a mild one, to say the least. Yet his statement about the Star Wars franchise had the potential to alienate half the consumers who may possibly partake in his highly anticipated sequel Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
We're just 14 days away from the December 18 release of Star Wars 7. And the press tour for the movie is in full swing. The cast is hitting all the stops, with the world premiere happening in Los Angeles on Monday, December 14. Fatigue is already starting to set in, and as we saw last night, when Harrison Ford dropped a big spoiler, they are starting to unravel ever so slightly. One of the major stops on this promotional roadshow has been Disney owned Good Morning America, where most of the cast has been seen talking about their roles in the movie. It was this past Monday that director J.J. Abrams stopped by. And he said something he maybe shouldn't have. He called Star Wars a Boy's thing. Though his statement only caused a minor uproar. Here's what he said, trying to make it a point that this new film is as much for girls as it is for boys.
"Star Wars was always about ... it was always a boys thing and a movie that dads take their sons to. And though that's still very much the case, I was really hoping that this could be a movie that mothers can take their daughters to as well. So I'm looking forward to kids seeing this movie and to seeing themselves in it, and seeing that they're capable of doing what they could never imagine was possible."
Overall, it sounds like he was attempting to champion himself a filmmaker with a feminist bent. But it sorta backfired. The first half of his statement did a giant belly flop, and he definitely felt the sting. There was some fierce criticism aimed at his head this past week. But last night, he attempted to make up for it. He took part in a Star Wars: The Force Awakens Twitter Q&A with members of the cast. And he took it upon himself to bash his own statements. Here's what he said.
"Because I was stupid and exhausted. I meant to say that so many have perceived SW as a boys' club & it ain't. Never has been -- and I hope girls and women see themselves in Rey (and not Phasma)!
Disney and LucasFilm have gone through great effort to collect the most diverse cast possible. Though they have an African-America, British Female and Guatemalan-American in the three new leads, they couldn't find it in themselves to cast an Asian or Mexican, which has also riled up other members of the potential audience. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is attempting to rectify that with the casting of Diego Luna and Donnie Yen. But no matter what the studios do, they aren't going to make everyone happy.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is unique in the live-action film series in that it has four main female cast members, with Daisy Ridley taking the lead role as potential Jedi Rey, Carrie Fisher reprising her role as General Leia, Gwendoline Christie stepping into the heavily armored villain role of Captain Phasma and Lupita Nyong'o playing Cantina proprietor and former space pirate Maz Kanata. What do you think of J.J. Abrams' statements?
Because I was stupid and exhausted. I meant to say that so many have perceived SW as a boys' club & it ain't. (1/2) https://t.co/6YytJd5Mqt— Star Wars (@starwars) December 5, 2015
(2/2) Never has been -- and I hope girls and women see themselves in Rey (and not Phasma)!— Star Wars (@starwars) December 5, 2015