Kathy Griffin has quit Fashion Police citing the 'culture of unattainable perfection or intolerance toward difference,' as the main reason.
Kathy Griffin has quit Fashion Police after only seven episodes. So what? Well, though as news in itself it’s not that interesting, it does point to a growing trend of people favouring substance over the superficial. Call it Hollywood feminism, if you will.
Host Kathy Griffin announced she was stepping down from the E! fashion commentary show – she had been brought in to replace the late Joan Rivers – via Twitter, saying that though her brand of humour is often ‘unrepentant and unafraid’ she felt that her style ‘does not fit with the creative direction of the show’, specifically the ‘culture of unattainable perfection or intolerance toward difference.’
Her aim, she says, is to use her comedy ‘to help women, gay kids, people of colour and anyone who feels underrepresented to have a voice and a laugh.’ She added: ‘There is plenty to make fun of in pop culture without bringing people’s bodies into it.’ Strong, and wise, words.
Her resignation is the latest development in a growing trend of people, and high profile people at that, pulling away from the superficial side of Hollywood and moving towards better representation of women.
The 2015 awards season saw women use their time in the spotlight to send some powerful messages. We had Maggie Gyllenhaal celebrating the emergence of film roles for ‘actual women.’ Women who aren’t necessarily always powerful or always sexy, but ‘actual’ multi-faceted, flawed women. There was also Patricia Arquette’s rousing Oscar acceptance speech, during which she called for gender equality, more specifically equal pay.
Then there was the #AskHerMore campaign, supported by the likes of Reese Witherspoon, which was all about women being asked more creative and interesting questions on the red carpet. The movement, which was also supported by Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls group, highlighted the fact that while men are often asked thought-provoking questions about their careers and roles, women rarely get asked anything other than ‘who are you wearing?’ It’s demeaning, to say the least.
Also helping to highlight the inequal way male and female actors are treated by the media, Jennifer Garner publicly recalled a press junket she and husband Ben Affleck had attended. She said: ‘We got home at night and we compared notes. And I told him every single person who interviewed me, I mean every single one… asked me, “How do you balance work and family?” And he said the only thing that people asked him repeatedly was about the tits on the ‘Blurred Lines’ girl [model Emily Ratajkowski, his co-star in Gone Girl].’
This awards season also saw a backlash against E!’s mani cam on the red carpet, which asks women to show off their nails and jewellery by making their fingers walk down a mini red carpet. Jennifer Aniston politely refused to take part, while Julianne Moore called it ‘humilating.’
So, you see, Hollywood is starting to move slowly in the right direction. Well done to Kathy Griffin and these other women for speaking out. Perhaps one day women won’t solely be judged by standards of unattainable perfection.