Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody calls out sexist bullshit where she sees it, which is precisely why I love her. Chatting with NYmag.com’s Vulture blog about the third annual Athena Film Festival, which showcases the work of women in film. Cody is a co-chair of this year’s Athena festival along with actress Greta Gerwig, filmmaker Mira Nair, and others. But after chatting about the plight of women in mainstream Hollywood film, Cody discussed the topic one always seems to get to in a Diablo Cody interview: stripping.
Specifically, the screenwriter — whose forthcoming film about a conservative in Las Vegas will be called Paradise — addressed the double standard between how she and Channing Tatum have been handled in the press. Diablo Cody first got on a lot of people’s radar in her 2006 memoir, Candy Girl: A Year In The Life Of An Unlikely Stripper. A year later, her film Juno hit the big screen and she won an Academy Award for screenwriting. (Her other films, Jennifer’s Body and Young Adult, were slightly less popular, to put ti mildly.) Throughout her career, people have been all too happy to fixate on Cody’s past employment as a stripper, both positively and negatively. In fact, when I interviewed her years ago for TheFrisky.com about Jennifer’s Body, she said it "sucks" being part of the story more than her film — although we could certainly have a long debate about whether she has pushed some of that narrative herself.
Magic Mike star and beefcake hunk Channing Tatum also worked as a stripper early in his career … yet somehow, he’s seen as more randy and less trashy for doing so.
The Vulture blogger asked Cody, "What do you make of all the love Channing Tatum’s gotten for turning his stripper past into a film, possibly a franchise?" Her response:
… I find it very interesting that a man can be a stripper, talk about it openly, go on SNL and parody it in several sketches, and nobody accuses him of leveraging his sexuality to get ahead. They applaud it. And he did make a quality film, and it obviously did really well, and it had a certain pedigree — it wasn’t trashy — but I do not think a woman would be treated the same way. I’m living proof of that. A woman’s sexuality is dangerous and threatening and dirty, and for Channing, it’s a charming tool in his arsenal. And I love Magic Mike. I love Channing. This is in no way a diss on him.
Diablo Cody has a point, a strong one. No one has ever told me that Channing Tatum "drives them crazy" or "is so annoying" or "wants attention for being a stripper." And I’ve watched the man give Ellen DeGeneres a lap dance.
I also appreciate Cody clarified she doesn’t mean to diss Tatum or his film. I would love to hear a response from him.
Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.