While we were off enjoying our summer doing whatever normal people do during summer break, the media and the Internet were having their cake and eating it too by creating controversy and over-analyzing why pop culture highlights the evils of society.
So whether you were binge watching Friends or being guided up Mount Everest by a kind Sherpa, here is a brief overview of the controversies that have been surrounding the entertainment world this summer so you can sound smart with your friends. Heads up, there were a lot of feminist issues.
Meninists beware, you might be angry by what follows, although your existence angers me, so fair is fair.
As always, Game of Thrones is at the center of entertainment controversy this summer. As any adaptation of a book is bound to do, the show deviates occasionally from its source texts.
And while that does annoy most loyal fans, it was not until Sansa was raped on the show (which does not happen in the book series) that people caused a lot of ruckus on the Internet about the needless violence against women that the show portrays.
Of course, defenders of the violence popped up as well, saying things such as, â€œBut back in those daysâ€¦â€ Helpful news to those people: Game of Thrones is not set in an actual historical time period, itâ€™s a fantasy, and even if it were, that does not mean that there should be so many examples of gratuitous violence against women. End of story. Thatâ€™s my take at least.
Hollywood thrives on controversy, especially when it concerns gender issues. Female stars are still paid a fraction of what their male counterpoints earn and typically are stuck with the â€œgirlfriend roleâ€ instead of starring in their own blockbusters.
Some claim that this summerâ€™s Jurassic World was just the latest in a long line of movies with this problem: Bryce Dallas Howardâ€™s character ran around in high heels, went to Chris Prattâ€™s character for help and was deemed â€œoddâ€ for her decision to focus more on her career than on starting a family.
Despite this controversy, I honestly saw Jurassic World as an excellent example of how Hollywood is heading into the right direction when it comes to gender issues. Bryce Dallas Howard, in the end, was the one who [spoiler alert] had the genius idea to release the T-Rex to fight the big, bad genetically-modified monstrosity that was the main antagonist of the film. Chris Pratt was the eye-candy this time around (and pretty damn fine at it I must say, but I digress), and Howardâ€™s character had the main story arc. What did bother me about the film was the press surrounding it.
The studio focused the marketing around Pratt, so he was seen in more of the advertisements and talk show spots and he probably got paid more too. Little steps, I guess.
The literary world had its first pop culture controversy in what seems like a decade, when â€œGo Set a Watchmanâ€ was announced and released.
While many (including myself) find the publisherâ€™s acquisition of Harper Leeâ€™s manuscript to be questionable at best due to the authorâ€™s health and age, the biggest source of controversy came directly from the content of the new novel. It serves as a companion to the famous â€œTo Kill a Mockingbirdâ€, taking place when Scout is an adult returning to her hometown, even though it was actually written before Mockingbird. And because many things in the new book were not mentioned in Mockingbird, the public lost their silly little minds. Specifically, readers found out that everyoneâ€™s favorite literary hero (and the man Gregory Peck convinced me would be my future husband), Atticus Finch, was against the destruction of segregation and is hinted at being a member of a group similar to the KKK. I KNOW! HOW DARE A FICTIONAL CHARACTER HAVE MORAL FLAWS?!
Iâ€™m pretty sure a #notmyAtticus hashtag was popular on the Twitter, but Iâ€™m too lazy and lame to see if thatâ€™s true. Regardless, characters are a lot like people: they change and are mostly assholes, and that makes them all the more interesting to observe.