The Horror Honeys: Stop Rewarding Mediocre White Dudes - A Head Honey Rant

Stop Rewarding Mediocre White Dudes - A Head Honey Rant

All photos courtesy of their individual distributors and owners
A State of Hollywood Rant with Head Honey Linnie

Once upon a time, a man (yes, man... let's not operate under any delusions going forward) had to work his ass off to get a big-budget feature gig in Hollywood. Cinematic Master William Wyler, despite being related to Universal Studio's head Carl Laemmle, had to toil away on shorts and westerns before establishing himself as a respected director. John Ford, while himself part of a 'Hollywood dynasty,' made dozens of silent short films, and even filmed while serving in the Navy during World War II, until he was trusted with the caliber of Westerns that would make him an icon. A man used to have to work in Hollywood to be respected.

John Ford: When men were men, and women... were probably getting the coffee
Now, all a man needs is one low-budget indie, a charming smile, and a producer (almost always also in possession of a penis) to say, "Hey! That dude deserves a break! He's worked hard enough!"

What changed? Nothing. That's the problem. The face of the Hollywood power structure hasn't shifted in decades, and the majority of the people in control are still men. They have become complacent about their power, and as such, Hollywood has turned into a Mutual Admiration Society in which one Happy Smiling Suit is throwing favors to his buddies without any regard for quality, skill, or what has been earned.

Even this promo shot is flat and boring
We need look no further for examples of this phenomenon than the "summer blockbuster," in which male directors who made one passable movie are suddenly handed the reins of billion-dollar franchises. Josh Trank, who had written and directed one passable found-footage film (Chronicle, which was literally his only feature film credit) was trusted to revive the disaster that was the Fantastic Four series. Instead, he made it worse. Gareth Edwards directed Monsters, a perfectly serviceable low-budget monster movie (and nothing else), so naturally, he needed to direct the Godzilla reboot. When that was a mess, he slinked off into the same cave where Josh Trank is currently residing.

Just kidding. He got to direct Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. White dudes need every opportunity to redeem themselves, right?

The only thing not offensive about this is Pratt's arms
And then we have Colin Trevorrow. After directing one feature film, Safety Not Guaranteed (which he didn't write), Trevorrow was given Jurassic World. Some people defend Jurassic World. I am not one of them. Jurassic World was a loud, cynical, soulless mess, and many of the worst parts were Trevorrow's fault. The stereotyped female characters, the pointless addition of BIGGER BETTER FASTER dinosaurs, and the complete loss of any of the magic that made the original a classic. But because JW made summer blockbuster money, who cares that people were deeply bothered by this assault on their memories? Obviously, Trevorrow deserves the next Star Wars film. There has been some kerfluffle over the release of his bomb, The Book of Henry, in that it small-scale proves all of his deficiencies as a director and may lead to his ousting as a SW director given the recent shakeups at Disney...

But hey! He's a mediocre white dude. Let's not discount the willingness of Hollywood to forgive him anything.

Hollywood Executives: "So, we're done right? We're good?"
With the success of Wonder Woman and Patty Jenkins at the helm, women who write and direct in Hollywood can already feel the executives patting themselves on the back, shaking each other's hands, and saying, "Welp! We did our part! Find us the next mediocre white dude!" But one woman's success does not a revolution make. Until women of color are directing Star Wars films, until Sam Taylor-Johnson can direct more than one film in a franchise before being unceremoniously fired, until Ryan Coogler isn't the only black man directing a Big Two superhero film, it's going to be business as usual in Hollywood.

And the rest of us will just sit on the sidelines, working our asses off, making art, begging for scraps opportunities, and watching the mediocre white dudes succeed in spite of themselves.