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The Hot Female Playwright

July 30th, 2008     by Stacey May Fowles     Comments

Via Torontoist we’re alerted to a viral video that SummerWorks (Toronto’s indie theatre and arts festival) has created to promote this year’s events. Torontoist writer Johnnie Walker breaks it down:

In the video, playwrights Hannah Moscovitch, Tara Beagan, Claudia Dey, Rose Laborde, and Linda Griffiths discuss the travails of being “hot playwrights.” The video, which culminates in a pillow fight, has already sparked a comments war on the fest’s blog about its feminist implications.

You can view it yourself:

I completely get the absurdity of having five of Canada’s most talented, intelligent, award-winning female playwrights act completely ditzy and diva-ish while repeatedly saying “like” and pillowfighting in barely-there sundresses, but my concern is whether the genral public is capable of taking female artistic talent seriously and not falling back on the “hot female artist” publicity crutch. I’m not alone in my concern; as Johnnie Walker points out, the comments on the SummerWorks blog reveal that there is discussion around what this kind of imagery does to the plight of female writers being taken seriously in an often male-dominated industry. Some theatre-goers are seriously offended, and question why these women chose to participate in something that, in their opinion, perpetuates a harmful stereotype.

In the comments section of the blog post, Moscovitch states:

I distinguish between being objectified or subjected to unwanted sexual attention, which is humiliating because it leads to feelings of shame, and making a video with friends in which you joke about the fact that there are still artistic directors and critics out there who think that women writing plays is about as cute as girls having a pillow fight.

What do readers think? Harmless fun or epic fail?

Tags: news flash

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