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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

sex doesn’t sell, it turns out…

…the end of Oprah; sexism hurts everybody; and more.

Yes, it’s The Week in Women, my regular column over at the Alliance of Women Film Journalists. Enjoy.



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  • Dr Rocketscience

    Hollywood exploits women not for financial reasons but purely because it likes it.

    That’s a pretty inflammatory statement, and one not supported by, well, anything, really. The study is interesting insofar as it provides data in opposition to conventional wisdom. You’re positing that directors/producers/studio execs are immune to conventional wisdom, have been so for at the least 5 years (the time frame of the study), and have been exploiting women to the detriment of their financial (and, by extension, artistic) interests, strictly because they think it’s fun/hate women. A more accurate statement might be “Hollywood has been sexually exploiting women for years, and hasn’t even bothered to check if it does them any good.” That’s damning enough, don’t you think?

    Also, you’re basing that statement on a quote of one of the researchers that is itself inflammatory (I like the little question mark after he tosses the word “coerce” in there, as if it would soften the connotations), unsupported by his own data, and may itself be a victim of conventional wisdom. He didn’t analyze scene-per-scene costs or the salaries of the actresses/actor involved. In fact, the analysis controlled for budget, removing cost as a factor. Nor did he interview actresses/actors in regards to their willingness to appear nude or in sexual situations. Rather, he seems to be speculating rather wildly about the possible implications of the findings. As a scientist, he should know better.

    Also, personally, I’d be careful about quoting anything from a Cracked.com article. I say this as some who who is, strictly for the lulz, a regular reader. Broken clock, twice a day, and all that.

  • Paul

    “Sex sells” – now, he is talking about sex scenes and nudity, but “sex sells” has a broader meaning. It also means people go to movies or watch ads or TV shows because there is a sexy woman in it. All this scientist has proven is that she doesn’t have to be nude for it to work. In fact, I occassionally get annoyed when they take an actress I think of as the pretty girl next door and sex her up (Sandra Bullock is the example I usually have in mind).

    However, I do believe the existance of Megan Fox in Transformers movies has very little to do with it’s success. She’s more the frosting on a big old chocolete cake of explosions and mayhem.

    And it looks like Oprah is promoting herself from face to brains behind the faces; from what I’ve read she’s quitting to spend more time focused on her own TV network: OWN. So this is a good thing, right?

  • mortadella

    A friend of mine pointed out that Good Morning America dropped Lambert and replaced him with Chris Brown(so he could respond to Rihanna’s interview).

    He then lamented that the morning show thought it better to give air time to a man who struck a woman rather than a male performer who kisses other men.

    I told him the network is obviously more comfortable with misogyny than homosexuality…..then he suggested with glee that Miss Ogeny should be Brown’s ironic, drag queen name.

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