This past summer, Maisie Williams addressed the irksome difference between the way male and female characters are described in scripts, and added that hope that if actresses stopped playing those roles, it would affect the writing.
“There are a lot of roles that come in that are ‘the girlfriend’ or ‘the hot piece’ in a movie or TV series. That’s something I’ve seen first-hand and read all the time. It will say ‘Derek: intelligent, good with kids, funny, really good at this’ and then it will say ‘Sandra: hot in a sort of cute way’ — and that’s all you get. That’s the way your character is described, so going into an audition you are channelling ‘hot’, which isn’t like a person, that’s not who a person is. That’s what I see and that’s what needs to change…I just hope that if we stop playing those characters, they’ll stop being written. It’s a very big thing to say for me, on behalf of all the women in this industry.”
And, if producer Ross Putman’s tweets are representative, it looks as if a hell of a lot more script rejections are needed. Putman runs @femscriptintros and sends out quotes from real scripts he reads every day, and seeing en masse the way women are described is rather distressing. (Note: any names in the script are changed to “Jane.”)
JANE pours her gorgeous figure into a tight dress, slips into her stiletto-heeled fuck-me shoes, and checks herself in the dresser mirror.— Ross Putman (@femscriptintros) February 10, 2016
Though drop-dead beautiful, JANE (40) has the appearance of someone whose confidence has been shaken. She is a raw, sexual force, impeded.— Ross Putman (@femscriptintros) February 10, 2016
His wife JANE is making dinner and watching CNN on a small TV. She was model pretty once, but living an actual life has taken its toll.— Ross Putman (@femscriptintros) February 10, 2016
A gorgeous woman, JANE, 23, is a little tipsy, dancing naked on her big bed, as adorable as she is sexy. *BONUS PTS FOR BEING THE 1ST LINE— Ross Putman (@femscriptintros) February 10, 2016
JANE stands next to it (30's) dressed in a paramedic's uniform - blonde, fit, smokin' hot.— Ross Putman (@femscriptintros) February 10, 2016
My first thoughts — other than WHO IS WRITING THIS DRIVEL? — are more like hopes:
a) I hope Ross Putman is reading super low level stuff, and the scripts are from idiots whose material is never actually produced.
b) Where is Jemaine Clement so we can create the male script counterparts with gifs?
Maybe I can do it myself? *pulls up high-waisted granny panties, scratches ass*
Apologies for my feeble attempt to find humor in the situation; some things are just so inexplicably idiotic, nervous laughter is my first response. But seriously, who is writing that crap (and can I steal his job)? I do hope others in the industry follow Ross Putman’s lead in making public these ridiculous, terrible ideas that are being submitted for real projects. The more we bring such things to light, the better to beat the senseless stupidity into the ground. And, a big shoutout to Maisie Williams and all the actors willing to step up and turn down scripts with sexist, one-dimensional characters. For every person who’s already broken into the industry and seeing scripts like that, you can be sure it’s worse for those just starting out.
Take it, Jemaine!