Another blow has been made in womens' attempts to be taken seriously in media, and this time, it's from a news organization itself.
On July 29, 2015, Paper Towns actress Cara Delevingne was doing yet another interview about her role as Margo in the film, when things turned bad, fast. As the anchors asked questions such as "Did you read the book?" and told her to take a nap, it became clear that women still have a long way to go in being considered as equals in all aspects of the entertainment industry. When she left the interview, the anchors began publicly shaming her, saying, "You make five million dollars for six weeks of work, you can pretend to talk to Good Day Sacramento with some oomph."
Dear Mr. Ignorant Anchor Man, there are several things we must discuss with the following statements you made.
I'm pretty surprised that someone in the entertainment industry would even begin to trivialize the work that each movie requires. Yes, it's true that the production of a movie can range anywhere from six months to six years, or more if the project requires it. However, what's never spoken about is the amount of hours each cast member is required to stay on set. You wake up before the sun does, rehearsing the same scene fifty, sixty, seventy times until it matches the picturesque mental image that the director has for the piece. You don't see your family or friends. You have little to no social life. What's more, with movies based on books such as Paper Towns, actors and actresses have to work even harder to make their critical fans happy, dealing with their predisposed opinions of how the movie should be without even seeing the opening scene. So I suppose when cocky anchors imperialize actresses and actors to get their own coverage to the project they worked hard on, I begin to feel a bit frustrated, especially when they use their entitlements to infringe on the happiness of others.
Not to mention, Paper Towns wasn't Cara's only project at the time. Aside from acting, she worked on various campaigns with Chanel and Pharrell, rocked out in the "Bad Blood" music video as Mother Chucker, and continued her success as an international model. Not to mention, her work didn't end when Paper Towns was released. She and the rest of the cast still went on an international press tour, answering thousands of the same repetitive questions for the hope that someone would feel touched enough to watch the film that they spent so many hours in producing.
When a man has ambition and decides to be involved in many activities, he's praised. He's put on a pedestal and noted as a figurehead of inspiration, a role model to the community. Yet when multi-talented women of diverse backgrounds decide that they want more to life than cooking and caring for a household, they're socially condemned, and told to tame their ambition for the sake of preserving tradition. When a man is tired from his activities, he's given a break. But as this interview clearly shows, when a woman gets tired of answering the same sexist questions over and over again, it's deemed as inexcusable.
The anchors asking Cara if she read the book is a direct manifestation of why the fights for feminism are still valid. A man would not be asked this question, as they are assumed to be self-sacrificing for their role, doing every possible thing to represent their character to the furthest extent of excellence. Yet, even in a character as independent and nonconformist as Margo, societal norms are still causing people to believe that actresses should be more of an afterthought than a starring role. We're continuing the harmful idea that women in media ought to prove themselves, and that they're inherently incapable of an intelligent thought.
Nobody would ever question the unprofessional nature of the anchors, but everyone's quick to throw a stone at the young actress, calling her ungrateful and unenthusiastic. I'm a celebrity interviewer. I've talked to people from Adam Levine to Elton John, and if I've learned anything, it's to carry yourself in a way you'd want to see yourself on TV later. I understand that it's a talk show and they're given more of a free reign to talk with liberation, but I also don't, because they're using their words to publicly shame and embarrass a girl who invested more time in the movie than they did in preparing for the interview.
The disintegration of gender roles maps directly onto the progression of the human race, but it's moments like this that confirm the work we still have left to do. It's hard enough to make it in the entertainment industry as a woman, but it's becoming even harder to be taken seriously in the industry once you do make it.