Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy gave an interview to Variety earlier this week about the state of the Star Wars universe. It was the usual fare, studio exec hyping upcoming projects and the entertainment press tripping all over themselves in a rush to repackage this hype as “news,” feeding the insatiable beast of the 24 hour entertainment news cycle. The biggest story to come out of the interview were the plans for what could happen after the current trilogy is finished. The studio “could do nothing but standalones,” Kennedy said, hinting at an end to the Skywalker trilogy trilogy.
But over at movie blog Women And Hollywood, news editor Casey Cipriani found another perspective on the interview, expressed in a post with the wonderfully scandalous headline Kathleen Kennedy Doesn’t Think There’s a Woman Director Ready for “Star Wars”:
In a story for Variety, Kennedy said that finding a female director for the franchise was a priority, but she seems to be putting requirements on women that don’t exist for men. “We want to make sure that when we bring a female director in to do ‘Star Wars,’ they’re set up for success,” she said. “They’re gigantic films, and you can’t come into them with essentially no experience.”
Cipriani argued that men are often given chances at big budget films with little experience, and that Kennedy’s insistence on needing to groom a woman represents a clear double standard:
As we’ve written before, studios have no problem hiring men with no experience or promoting men from low budget films to the big leagues. It’s not about risk: It’s about gender. This is about male privilege and the belief that untested men can handle films better than women with experience.
It’s an interesting take. Even as the female head of one of the biggest franchises in the world, is Kathleen Kennedy perpetuating institutional sexism? Go on over and read the whole piece and decide for yourself.