'Blonde' director Andrew Dominik calls 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' a film about 'well-dressed whores'
⚠️ CW: Misogyny… just all of the misogyny. ⚠️
I’ve read Christina Newland’s full interview over at Sight & Sound Magazine (swipe to find the outtake where Dominik disrespects one of Marilyn’s smartest and funniest films), and it might be one of the most appalling things I’ve ever read.
Let this director, who has absolutely zero respect for Marilyn Monroe or her filmography, serve as a primary example for why men should not be in charge of handling women’s stories on screen.
Between the violent graphic births in House of the Dragon (the GOT spin-off we’ve been cursed with); the unabashed embrace of the hysterical woman trope in Multiverse of Madness; and, now, the director of a revisionist history movie about Marilyn Monroe who has absolutely zero respect for his subject and is content with forcing his lead actress to act out scenes depicting graphic sexual violence, male filmmakers and creatives should not be allowed to write and depict women in media.
Men like Dominik have misogynistic, patriarchal ideals that have irrevocably shaped how they look at women, how they view themselves in relation to women, and, most importantly, how little they consider women and their personal struggles to be as important. As evidenced by this interview, men like Andrew Dominik are fully incapable of treating Marilyn like a human being instead of a commodified symbol.
For the love of all that is holy, please stop tasking men with making movies about Marilyn Monroe. Not only have they historically fumbled the bag numerous times, they also cannot see her as a human being whose filmography constantly worked to subvert the “dumb blonde” trope people unfairly placed on her and whose personal struggles deserve to be acknowledged with respect, care, and nuance.
(AUTHOR’S NOTE IN THE COMMENTS)
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I’ve been seeing a few replies online asking “Why hasn’t this guy been met with the same vitriol Olivia Wilde has?” or a variation of this question, and I want to offer my opinion on that:
I agree that Olivia Wilde and her film has been scrutinized on a level that only patriarchal misogyny would allow for and accept. From the beef question to the intense focus on Harry Styles (a sexually fluid cis man) possibly spitting on Chris Pine (a cishet man), it is evident that patriarchal misogyny within the mass media machine has given Olivia Wilde far more negative press than Andrew Dominik has gotten for his exploitative, trauma porn revisionist history Marilyn Monroe movie.
With that said, Olivia Wilde should be criticized for initially hiring an actor with a known history of abusing and intimidating women and for the clear and present anti-Black racism at play with actress Kiki Layne being cut from a majority of her film while Wilde gives a character *she* plays abundant screen time (this can also be applied to the film’s sole Asian actress, Gemma Chan, who’s presence in the film is reportedly significantly cut down).
Dominik should be criticized at the level Wilde has been, but Wilde’s film also needs to be criticized for its fundamental flaws and the director’s apparent disregard for the safety of her lead actress and blatant disrespect and prejudice for the women of color on her film.
Andrew Dominik is not exempt from criticism, nor is Olivia Wilde.