It’s all funny until someone looses their dignity. What can I say? I watched the new red band trailer for Seth Macfarlane’s western comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West and I laughed, but not a moment after the trailer ended, I felt an enormous sense of guilt for having let, what I saw, get by me without so much as a blink. Throughout the trailer there is some very sexist and degrading shit happening and here’s the kicker… it was coming out the mouths of, who I thought, were some of the most powerful females in Hollywood like Charlize Theron and Sarah Silverman. There’s even a scene in the trailer, where I actually felt uncomfortable for Charlize Theron. How does this happen? How do you get so many amazing actors Liam Neeson, Neal Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman, Amanda Seyfried and Charlize Theron together and have them all agree that in no way shape or form, will this film help empower women, in fact it’ll strip them down to what, we as a society, have grown to expect from Hollywood when it comes to their idea of what women are. I asked my wife about this and she said “Darling, the misogyny was the first thing I picked up on the moment you pressed play”. Right away, I wanted to go hide. Here I am, a vegan and devout animal rights activist, laughing at this shit. Then I got to thinking about all the comedies of late… This is the End, Ted, every Kevin Hart routine and thought to myself “this shit is crazy”. This is as critical a problem as any civil rights issue that has ever existed and yet it goes on. Say what you want, but misogyny is more prevalent than racism in Hollywood and it’s seemingly gaining steam.
Just checkout these character posters for the film…
Are you kidding me??!!!
As always, I’m sure there is some form of redemption for our female character’s in this film? Without even going into to it, I’m sure Charlize will save Seth’s character, but not before being dragged through the mud for almost the entire film, with sexual slurs and innuendos. Judging by this trailer, she is the butt of every joke, but I get it, she’s supposed to be able to take it cause she’s Charlize? And what about Neal Patrick? An outspoken LBGT rights activists. Then there’s Sarah Silverman (Westward Ho?). The Sarah I know would’ve straight up decked anyone that ever called her that. So what happened? I can’t even begin to act like I know. Money, I guess? But do these folks need it? Then…what the hell!? What I do know is that these posters and trailer are full on, no holds-barred, exercises in male libido. Some of you may say “well aren’t they all?” and I would have to say NO! Checkout comedies like Bridesmaids starring Kristin Wiig or The Heat starring Sandra Bullock…oh wait…those were written by a Women!! Bridesmaids was written by Kristin Wiig and Anni Mumolo and The Heat by Katie Dippold. Then there are comedians like John Mulaney, Jim Gaffigan, Fred Armisen and David Cross, none of which have ever resorted to denigrating to get laughs. In hindsight, Seth’s M.O. has always been thus, but I expected to see a host of youthful up and comers in this film, wanting to break into Hollywood and would resort to being “put upon” to do it. Instead we got a slew of Hollywood heavy hitters, that are sending everyone the message that “this is okay or we wouldn’t be in it.”
Seth!!!! Your a genius of a comedic writer, but you don’t have to do this. Or is it that this is all you are capable of? I doubt it. Give it a shot Seth, you’d be surprised what doors you could open if you give it a bit of compassion…and although you think you’ve open all the doors there is to be opened, you’ve not arrived. Misogyny is not okay and never will be okay.
I’ve posted the red band trailer below. I realize I’m giving this film press by doing this, but you have to see it to understand.