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It Starts with the Screenplays (Also, Aya Cash is Amazing)

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | November 10, 2016 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | November 10, 2016 |


After you account for unregistered voters, registered voters who didn’t vote (or were intimidated or suppressed), undocumented folks, and those under the age of 18, only 18 percent of those living in the United States actually voted for Donald Trump. On the one hand, it feels better to say that 18 percent instead of half the country voted for Donald Trump, but there were a lot of people who didn’t vote who expressed indifference to women, POC, Muslims, Jews, lesbians, gays, and transgender people through apathy.

Millions of those men who voted for Donald Trump did so because they consider women lesser people. Now, where would they have ever gotten that idea?

Oh, right. The entertainment industry, which still too often depicts women as fuck toys instead of, you know: Human beings. That starts in the writer’s room, with screenwriters and television writers. A good way to influence men into giving more respect to women is to show men giving respect to women in the media we consume, and if screenwriters refuse to do so, Aya Cash and hopefully many more actresses will refuse to take those roles.

In fact, here’s how Cash responded to her agent when she was offered a particular role in the wake of Trumpmerica.

I was scared to post this publically, not wanting to insult people who give me opportunity but this is my response to my agent asking me about my audition yesterday. Thank you to my artistic community who give me courage. I fail all the time but there is always opportunity to try again and be better. I am not usually so earnest in social media but I feel stripped and exposed and scared and I need to keep talking. Some of you are saying that you will no longer follow me. That is your choice, this is mine. PS: I'm lucky my agent is a great human who supported me!

A photo posted by Aya Cash (@maybeayacash) on

That’s how you start to break the cycle, one casting choice at a time. Now it’s up to screenwriters to deliver a part that women like Aya Cash feel comfortable accepting. After all, 108 million people watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the United States (almost as many people who voted). If every movie treated its women and POC like The Force Awakens did, those attitudes would eventually, hopefully filter down into the 18 percent of Americans who voted for Trump, or at the very least, millennials wouldn’t defect to as they got older.



Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.



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