With the SAG-AFTRA Strike coming to an end after 118 days, promotions, red carpets, and start ups are now being brought to light; the people, and the actors, are happy to see things are going back to normal. From Timothee Chalamet hosting SNL and promoting Wonka for laughs to Belissa Escobedo releasing hundreds of Behind-the-Scenes pictures and videos of her summer film Blue Beetle, this past week has been very busy. Plenty of red carpets are being held for the continuous releases of films as we end out the year.
On November 17, Saltburn and The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes met the media from their releases. Breakout star Rachel Zegler (West Side Story, 2021) and Actor Jacob Elordi (Priscilla, 2023) both starred in respected films, with red carpet events being held pre-release. “I mean, I just play what they give me” Jacob says at the Saltburn premier, “You know, I need a job”. His comments on the carpet quickly hit media outlets since the actor stars in two of the most highly-anticipated movies of the year (Saltburn and Priscilla). People praised Jacob, saying he was “real”, “honest”, and “transparent”. He was also reported to have made comments about the Kissing Booth franchise that he has also starred in; Saying, “I didn’t want to make those movies before I made those movies. Those movies are ridiculous. They’re not universal. They’re an escape”. Again, he received endless support from fans and followers.
Rachel Zegler has also been recalled to have said she “needed a job” when on the topic of Shazam! Fury of the Gods, a film released just earlier this year. “I’m being so serious. The reality is we’re in the middle of a pandemic and I was not working and I couldn’t get a job for the rest of my life, because West Side Story hadn’t come out yet. It was really hard to book work for me”. She’s also facing backlash after being cast as Snow White in the Real-Life Remake of Snow White; she explains that as a child she never liked Snow White due to scary imagery that “was not made for children” in the modern day. After both instances, people immediately jumped on her case and called her “ungrateful”, “practically talentless”, and a “walking PR disaster”. Some even went as far to say that Rachel shamed those who actually enjoyed the original film.
It’s common for stars to comment on past and prior projects they have worked on, however, there is a very obvious double standard in the industry. The Lighthouse star Robert Pattionson was praised and even laughed at for explaining he “doesn’t fake sexually explicit scenes” in movies; However, Euphoria star Sydney Sweeny was ‘slut-shamed’ for nudity in the HBO show. There are plenty of other instances of this in the film industry, the fact that both Jacob and Rachel have said the same things over a period of time and only one is receiving hate is not sitting right with many.
The issue brings many to realize the true extent of sexism in the cut-throat industry. Women most of the time have to work twice as hard as men do for roles, audition, and equal pay opportunities since films and television still tend to steer away from female leads (traditionally ‘attractive’ female leads at that). Women are told to be successful and stay strong, to have a drive to work and make money, but are seen as “narcissistic” and “sour” when they discuss such topics. Men however, are praised for their successes and even seen as inspiration. The debate still continues on X throughout the week.
Cover photo credits to rawpixels.com