Leave it up to Teen Vogue to give one of the most ridiculous of hot takes on the latest film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women.” The New York Times already used the movie to bash men who were not interested in seeing the film. Amy Pascal, one of the producers of the film, claimed that men skipped the movie because of their “unconscious bias.” It looks like Teen Vogue decided to get in on the fun by criticizing the film’s apparent lack of diversity.
The novel tells the story of a Massachusetts family of women dealing with misogyny and sexism during the time of the Civil War. But the online magazine, which was pilloried for its decision to celebrate Christmas by posting an article on anal sex for its audience of teenage girls, criticized the film for its failure to include non-white characters. “It’s time that classics that are constantly remade to better incorporate diversity,” wrote Natalie de Vera Obidos, the magazine’s film critic.
The author argues that, despite the time and location in which the story takes place, the filmmakers should have racebent one or more of the characters. For those of you who don’t have time to learn about this nonsense, the term “racebending” refers to the practice of changing the race of an already existing character. You know, like how they cast Will Smith as Jim West in the “Wild Wild West” film.
The critic acknowledges that it wouldn’t be easy to racebend the film’s four protagonists because they are sisters. But she argues that they could have given Laurie — the love interests of two of the characters — the racebending treatment. Of course, anyone with a modicum of common sense can see why this might present a problem. Interracial relationships were not exactly common in the aftermath of the Civil War, and such a union would create obvious issues that would detract from the original story.
Nevertheless, de Vera Obidos still pushed for the racebending of Laurie, claiming that the novel’s description of the character might leave room for her idea:
“In the original novel, Laurie is described as a young man with ‘Curly black hair, brown skin,’ and ‘big black eyes’ (Alcott 42) — he is canonically half-Italian. It is through Laurie that Little Women offered Greta a very unique opportunity that she could have taken: Laurie could have easily been played by someone non-white.”
Well, I suppose being half-Italian is close enough to being a person of color, isn’t it? Maybe the folks who created The Godfather franchise could have made the Corleone’s a family of African Americans?
The idea that casting white actors to play characters that are actually white is missing an opportunity to enrich the film, “by adding some much-needed diversity to a very white genre in a way that many other period pieces have not even attempted,” is absurd. It’s about as ridiculous as the alt-right’s backlash against the Black Panther film and its mostly-black cast.
Little Women examines many of the themes that the progressives hold dear. It discusses the impact of sexism and the general treatment of women during the 19th century. But it appears that the story still isn’t “woke” enough for the social justice warrior crowd. Hopefully, this won’t mean that the film or the novel will get canceled.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
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