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Star Trek Writer Sort of Apologizes for Misogyny in the Film

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by Kerensa Cadenas
May 22, 2013 1:00 PM
8 Comments
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Alice Eve in Star Trek Into Darkness
Alice Eve in Star Trek Into Darkness

After Star Trek Into Darkness premiered this weekend, my Twitter feed was in a frenzy discussing a scene where Dr. Carol Marcus (Alice Eve), a USS Enterprise science officer, suddenly and without reason strips down to her underwear and Kirk (Chris Pine) sneaks a peek. Many of twitter complained about the lack of depth of the female characters in the film and were particularly mad about this scene that just had no purpose whatsoever.

In an email interview with MTV, the film's co-writer Damon Lindelof addressed the scene.

Why is Alice Eve in her underwear, gratuitously and unnecessarily, without any real effort made as to why in God's name she would undress in that circumstance? Well, there's a very good answer for that. But I'm not telling you what it is. Because... uh... MYSTERY?

Lindelof continued to flippantly address the question by mentioning that a shirtless scene was written for Benedict Cumberbatch's character but wasn't filmed because "getting actors to take their clothes off is DEMEANING AND HORRIBLE."

It is beyond frustrating that Lindelof responded in this manner and other women writers responded with the same frustration.

Lindelof went to his Twitter and did apologize for his comments in the MTV interview.

I copped to the fact that we should have done a better job of not being gratuitous in our representation of a barely clothed actress. We also had Kirk shirtless in underpants in both movies. Do not want to make light of something that some construe as mysogenistic. What I'm saying is I hear you, I take responsibility and will be more mindful in the future. Also, I need to learn how to spell 'misogynistic.'

While I'm glad Lindelof did apologize, two things are still upsetting. One, he mentions having Kirk shirtless and in his underwear in both films. In the first film, I believe this was in the context of a sex scene--not just casually undressing while having a conversation with someone. Two, Lindelof is a smart guy, he's written great female characters before in Lost. I don't understand how he couldn't have immediately recognized this scene as problematic.

Let's hope he continues to be more mindful in the future. And continues to spell 'misogynistic' right. 

Alice Eve lingerie in 'Star Trek' might be misogynistic, writer says (The Los Angeles Times)

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8 Comments

  • t moffatt | May 28, 2013 4:06 AMReply

    Wow! This has some of my gender enraged? Seeing a woman getting changed is degrading? As a fan of star trek I point out that the original series had many scenes portraying women as sex objects. The latest kirk era films have tried to honor the original spirit of fhe charactors while not demeaning women and I say job well done. If the sight of a woman changing and revealing less than the average bikini is degrading we have lost our minds. Since when is the sight of a bathing suit enough to insight such anger? When a woman is truly being treated as a lessor class of human and her role is simply to be objectified you will have a point. There are thousands of such films already for your consideration. We are a species of males and females we will always value those differences and if a girl getting changed and remaining covered the entire time is offensive Iguess that some will only be happy when the fact that there are men and women is avoided. Seriously 200 years from now you expect androgeny? Its these types of rants that makes us women look unstable. I am a true believer that men and women are equal that no gender should be deemed superior as that is the belief of a simple ignorant mind. I have seen so much true inequity, life changing events and there are women who are actually being degraded. I jyst wonder if the women upset by this film have like me truly been hurt by inequity in a long term damaging way. Fight for those who need champions. As far as star trek its a great film I loved it and it was a treat to see men and women both comfortable with themselves and behaiving with dignity. Live long and prosper

  • MaryC | May 28, 2013 7:27 AM

    The point is that Dr Marcus asked Kirk to turn away, to give her a moment. But he didn't. Also, as captain of the Enterprise, he was her superior, but he behaved like a 12 year old boy who had to sneak a look at the semi nekkid woman. And the camera lingers on her from Kirk's pov just to drive it home. Kirk was already established as a lothario in one earlier scene, waking up in bed w/ 2 women as well as the dialogue with Dr. Marcus before she disrobed. That shot of her in her scanty-wear didn't add anything.

  • Ford A. Thaxton | May 23, 2013 10:19 PMReply

    While this scene is a gratuitous and that is something that the writers, producers and Direct have to take the hit for, Alice Eve has to bear a bit of the RESPONSIBILITY as well.

    It was in the Script, she agreed to shoot it this way and cashed the check.

    She is a professional Actress and if she didn't want to do, no one was putting a gun to her head and making her do it.

    She could have said, "Guys, this is really uncalled for and I'd rather not shoot it this way it makes me very UNCONFORTABLE", but as far as we can tell SHE DIDN'T.

    Now, I'm not defending it and I do agree all it does is offer up a bit of eye candy for those of who love the female form, but I've seen so much worse it just don't make sense to bitch about it.

    The other thing that is going to piss everyone off....

    That Woman is Stunning and someday in 30 years she'll look back at that and remember that with a smile.

    That Woman has nothing to be ashamed off.

    And to the TREK Fans who are bitching about.

    To Quote William Shatner...

    GET A LIFE!

  • ryan | May 22, 2013 1:57 PMReply

    Jesus h christ shut the fuck up. shes hot and thats kirks character. she did a great job in the film and was a stand out character besides kahn over shadowed everyone. I hate these pussy ass liberal reviews that tear down a movie cause the women were not dressed like nuns and in the lead roll.

  • me | May 23, 2013 5:56 AM

    "she is hot" so she has to strip for you.... so your excuse for sexism is your sexist behaviour. very smart. you are also very convincing by using sexist slurs. grow up ryan.

  • Manuel Ramirez | May 22, 2013 1:54 PMReply

    Why is this even an issue? There are scenes like this in Game of Thrones all the time and their but naked yet not a single so called feminist has objected. Not sure why this movie is being picked on.

  • me | May 23, 2013 5:52 AM

    if you were really interested in this topic you would know that there are countless people writing about sexism and misogyny in game of thrones. just google it.

  • Barbara MacDonald | May 22, 2013 1:10 PMReply

    This is bad enough, but then there was the ridiculous sexism of the guys blabbing on the 2009 Start Trek DVD commentary, during the birth scene one of them (Lindelof?) expresses that he was sooooo happy that he could show Kirk's birth, "for the female viewers" (paraphrasing here). As if hundreds of thousands of female Star Trek geeks hadn't already existed for several decades by the time Mr. Johnny-Come-Lately came along to write a script and make a lot of money. It was repulsive, and it's the main reason I have never bought the 2009 DVD.

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