Female leads in movies: Are they still a problem?


Everybody hates the new “Ghostbusters” film. But it did breathe new life into the age-old debate about representing women in entertainment.

This quarrel is flooded with comments such as “there’s not enough female leads in the entertainment industry,” and “women are always portrayed as sex objects,” or anything relating to those two things.

These arguments are reasonable to an extent.

Put simply, anybody who makes these sort of claims is either wrong or blind.

The most obvious example is 2016’s “Ghostbusters.”

That movie sucked horribly, but it was a multi-million-dollar blockbuster film that starred, not one, but four female leads.

Yet this film was met with the most heinous criticism and hatred when it was announced purely because it went with a female cast instead of rebooting the original male cast, according to an article from The Washington Post.

As soon as the movie was out though, everybody bailed on it. As if everybody who knew what a big step this was for women in entertainment felt like they were wrong just because the movie was bad.

So now when somebody tries to say “women are underrepresented in media,” they immediately forget the hundreds of examples that say otherwise.

The new game “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” was released recently to astounding critical acclaim. But in 2016, the game was getting some serious hate when series director, Eiji Aonuma, confirmed that long-term series protagonist, Link, was (brace yourself) male.

When this was announced writers such as RobotsFightingDinosaurs from gameskinny.com flocked to their computers to say Nintendo missed a chance to progress the industry by choosing to keep Link male.

Mr. or Ms. Dinosaurs continued to make arguments such as “Gaming Is A Men’s Club,” and it’s “An Issue Of Representation.”

What about Overwatch?

What about Pokémon?

What about Tomb Raider?

It is important women get represented well in video games, but these other games are extremely popular like the Zelda series and all include female protagonists.

Thankfully for me, television doesn’t seem to have this problem because of one specific market. Children’s TV is flooded with female leads.

Go ahead, sit down at your TV and turn on Disney Junior, Nick Jr. or even regular Nick, there are so many strong, smart young girls taking up the hero role in their shows.

This might be even more important than having female leads in adult shows because kid’s TV isn’t allowed to be sexy. These kid shows seem to be the solution to the gender representation problem.

But wait, what about Disney animated films which have starred girl protagonists in three straight movies?

Here’s the truth: there’s been such a surplus of strong female protagonists in all forms of media within the past few years because people complain about it all the time.

Chris Metzen, former Creative Director of the game “Overwatch,” said during a press conference at BlizzCon 2014, “we’ve heard our female employees… and my daughter tools me out about it… it was like a World of Warcraft clip on YouTube… my daughter asks ‘why are [the women] all in swimsuits’… I don’t know anymore.”

Developers, studios and producers are listening even when it seems like they’re not.