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Movie Mom

Should Actresses Have To Strip?

posted by Nell Minow

Karen Valby has an excellent essay in the current issue of Entertainment Weekly about stripping scenes in recent movies, like Jennifer Aniston in “We’re the Millers” and Gwyneth Paltrow seducing her new boyfriend in “Thank You for Sharing.”  Both, of course, are featured in the movie’s advertising and trailers.  Valby asks, “Are actresses losing more than their clothes?”

The real foolishness in all of this, though, is the critics’ suggestion that the person who should feel shame is not the “We’re the Millers” screenwriter but the woman hired to perform what’s on the page.  Let me be clear: If a woman in your script is a stripper, then the problem is you — specifically, your laziness and your limp imagination.  You want to give your female character an edge, make her vulnerable and hungry for redemption?  You haven’t nailed it by making her a stripper.  All you’ve done is prove that you (or your producer) are likely a venal horndog who wants a T&A moment for the trailer.

It is particularly disappointing because this has been such a poor year for women’s roles in studio films.  It’s really good to see people like Valby speaking out.

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