This year at the panel, the kick ass women who participated were Camila Mendes, Amandla Stenberg, Regina King, Jodie Whittaker and Chloe Bennet.
This panel took on a more serious tone, since we are in the #MeToo movement, and many topics about women in the entertainment industry were discussed. The women got personal about how they’ve dealt with issues in the past and what should change in the future.
Women they’ve looked up to:
- Regina King specifically talked about how when she was younger, even though there weren’t many women of color to look up to on TV, she did look up to Linda Carter as Wonder Woman.
– And this has certainly come back to this generation, because since the success of Gal Gadot as the new Wonder Woman, every woman has been cheering on this superhero yet again.
- And much more was discussed about how for some of the women, they didn’t have women who looked like them or even women themselves to look up to when they were younger. It was definitely predominantly males who took the limelight.
– And this always starts a conversation because still to this day, women are still fighting to be equal to men, and we’ve always seen men be the main character in all forms of entertainment. We’re slowly changing that around, and seeing that with women being the main focus in some stories, a TV show or movie can still be successful.
The new Doctor:
- Since Jodie Whittaker was on the panel, she delved into her thoughts about being the first female Doctor. She was happy to find out that girls as well as boys were excited to see that the Doctor was going to be a female and she stated that it was great that boys would get a chance to identify with a woman. Yet again, there would be some equality in the world, that it would be ok that boys could look up to women as well as men.
- There was some discussion about speaking about important issues on social media, and it was Camila that spoke up about trying to be a role model on social media. She explained that so many girls follow celebrities on social platforms, so for her, it’s important to speak out as a woman and in a positive light.
- And in turn with that, Jodie talked about fearing your own censorship on social media platforms. It’s a hard-line because you want to speak your mind, but you don’t want to cross any lines and wind up getting in trouble.
– I thought they both made some valid points. If you think about it, women and especially the younger generation of female celebrities on social media, have a huge following and in this era, social media can be detrimental to young peoples health, especially with self-esteem and figuring out who to trust in the world; so these female celebrities should be careful with what they post online. Yes, they should be free to post what they want, but they should take into consideration that they are a public figure and millions of people will be digesting what they are saying on social media. You have to be careful, because anything could be twisted into something negative.
- What was really fascinating, was hearing Chloe’s story about trying to get roles early on and having to try to fit into a mold of what castings expectations were. Since she is half Asian, she had a really hard time landing roles, because she was either too white or too Asian. And also, to try to make things easier for her, she changed her last name from Wang, to Bennet, which is her father’s name.
– Those kind of stories always intrigue me because making it in showbiz, literally means, you have to do whatever it takes to get noticed or fit into a certain mold. You either have to become more ethnic looking, or more in the opposite direction. And hearing that people had to change their names always boggles my mind. Either they had to change their name because there was already somebody with that name in the Actors Guild or in Chloe’s case, change your name to fit the mold of what race you would better be apart of.
Strength vs bitchiness:
- This subject was also eye opening because women have to struggle with that fine line of being strong or coming off as a bitch. And the women talked about how it’s hard sometimes to make a character seem strong and not come off as a bitch instead. In Riverdale, Betty and Veronica are strong women, and they could easily be penned against each other, since they both like Archie. But in this case, the writers are trying to portray these girls as being supportive of each other. And in real life, Camila had said that she had gotten advice about how her and Lili might hear false rumors from time to time about them feuding, just because they are two different women who are up and coming and trying to make it in the business.
- Chloe also stated that she hates when she’s asked what it’s like to be a strong female character. She made it apparent that men are never asked this question and that really was eye opening.
- Lastly, the women discussed working with female directors and how different it is working with them as compared to male directors. Because the percentage of female directors is so small, there was definitely talk about that because that percentage needs to change. But when it came to describing what it’s like working with a female director, most of the women said that the directors came off more sensitive, which in turn meant that there was more love on set and more space for trust.
All in all, even though the panel was more serious in tone, a lot of great topics were discussed and all the women spoke their minds freely. They made great points and shared stories about their times working on sets. There was a real ease between all of them which made the panel super enjoyable and I can’t wait to see whose on the panel next year.