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Amandla Stenberg Sends Bizarre DM to NYTimes Critic over 'Bodies, Bodies, Bodies' Pan

By Dustin Rowles | Film | August 18, 2022 |

By Dustin Rowles | Film | August 18, 2022 |


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I don’t see a lot of movies in theaters post-pandemic because I mostly cover television now and the kinds of movies I prefer tend to premiere on streaming platforms or PVOD and I can’t be bothered to pay a lot of money to spend two-and-a-half hours with an assortment of superheroes in storylines that have been copy/pasted from other superhero movies and rearranged.

I do, however, still prefer to watch horror flicks in theaters, and I was pretty excited about Bodies, Bodies, Bodies, mostly because it was meant to mix slasher with scathing Gen Z cultural commentary. I also expected, naively, that it would do very well in theaters. It did not. I also didn’t love the film as much as I thought I would: There’s a great extended exchange near the end of the movie about trauma and therapy and class, and the twist-ending was genuinely fun and unexpected, but otherwise, it was fine.

I did not, however, dislike it as much as NYTimes critic Lena Wilson, who suggests in her review that the film is “perfectly tailored to one of A24’s key demographics: bougie 25-year-olds who value branding over substance.” She’s not wrong. The pan also did not go unnoticed by Amandla Stenberg, who stars in the film and weirdly and unfortunately sent the following DM to Wilson, taking issue with the review:

WTF?

I typically do not engage in the film twitter vs. celebrity discourse because I do not care, but this is messed up. It’s a 500-word review, and Stenberg inexplicably takes issue with this one fairly benign line near the end of it:

The only thing that really sets “Bodies Bodies Bodies” apart is its place in the A24 hype machine, where it doubles as a 95-minute advertisement for cleavage and Charli XCX’s latest single.

As she explains on TikTok, Wilson — who is gay — took issue with the DM of Stenberg — who is also gay — because of the social power differential between the two and because she didn’t want Stenberg to think “it’s f**king OK to do this.” Because it is not.

@neilsmom

unfathomably weird to get “i don’t want you in the locker room while i’m changing” bullying from a whole other lesbian

♬ original sound - Lena Wilson

Wilson, who was “devasted” to receive the DM because she is a “genuine” fan of Stenberg has subsequently blocked the actress — who believes that being canceled is “her fate” — on Twitter.