Goooood morning, my friends! Here is your first Pop Culture Fix of the week!
+ I know I casually, jokingly mentioned Cate Blanchett’s Vanity Fair interview last week, in which she talked about Tár and also how she’s baffled by LGBTQ+ labels, but the story keeps getting more traction so I’ll be serious about it for a second. Her are the relevant interview quotes:
“I don’t think about my gender or my sexuality,wp_posts[Blanchett] says. “For me in school, it was David Bowie, it was Annie Lennox. There’s always been that sort of gender fluidity.wp_postsShe admits to feeling perplexed by the very notion of having to think about stepping into an identity outside of her own: “I have to really listen very hard when people have an issue with it. I just don’t understand the language they’re speaking, and I need to understand it because you can’t dismiss the obsession with those labels—behind the obsession is something really important. But personally I’ve never had it… If [Carol] was made now, me not being gay—would I be given public permission to play that role? … If you and I were having a conversation [25 years ago], it would be in your publication and that was it. Now, somehow it’s like these opinions get published, and Scarlett Johansson doesn’t play a role that maybe she was the only person who could play it.”
So that last thing is obviously a reference to ScarJo signing onto play a trans man, defending her decision, and then ultimately dropping out of the role because of backlash. People far more qualified than me have talked at length about the dangers of cis people playing trans roles, something that we should be more concerned about than ever before as trans people are under unprecedented legislative and cultural attacks in new and terrifying ways every day. The fact that Blanchett is even equating being a rich white cis straight woman playing a rich white cis gay woman with being a cis person playing a trans person indicates, to me, that she doesn’t get it. Those are not the same conversations — and she’s kind of proving that LGBTQ+ people SHOULD be concerned about non-LGBTQ+ people playing LGBTQ+ roles because she doesn’t understand that distinction.
Blanchett seems to think that the “obsession” LGBTQ+ people have with labels is about excluding non-LGBTQ+ people, and then subjecting them to “cancel culture” — a phrase she doesn’t say, but does imply — rather than the actual point of labels, which is about self-identity, building community, finding strength in the stories of generations of people who came before us and used the same labels. It’s about acceptance and understanding and safety and political power and sharing space with people whose struggles are similar. Language is imprecise and constantly evolving, and even our own community can’t agree on what every label means and whether or not they’re necessary, but the people who get to have opinions about this are the ones whose lives are materially impacted by it. And I don’t mean their Oscar hopes, I mean their actual lives. The repercussions of pop culture representation on LGBTQ+ people is not theoretical, and I’ve got to believe that if Cate Blanchett really wanted to understand the point of labels, she would. The research and infinite corroborative stories aren’t hidden away in some fantastical castle guarded by dragons; they’re simply a Google away.
+ Looks like The Marvels’ release date has been pushed back again, but the new poster looks amazing!
Check out the new poster for ‘The Marvels’.
The film hits theaters on November 10. pic.twitter.com/QCv5oKNPLG
— Geeks of Color (@GeeksOfColor) February 17, 2023
+ On this week’s It’s Been a Minute on NPR: Kelela’s guide for breaking up with men. “Host Brittany Luse sits down with Kelela to discuss Black queer liberation, and how she hopes this record helps folks find freedom on the dance floor.”
+ Brittney Griner has re-signed with the Phoenix Mercury on a one-year deal, and Diana Taurasi has re-signed on a two year deal. Also, the Washington Post says Elena Delle Donne is fully recovered and back to being Elena Delle Donne, which is great news for the Mystics!