Not being a child of the 80s the news that a live action movie was going to be out of the animated Hasbro series Jem and the Holograms passed me by yesterday. But I got an email this morning (thanks Sam Adams) that made me take another look at it.
The show was created by a woman – Christy Marx– and it turns out that she is not involved at all in the movie. In fact she didn’t even know that a movie was going to be made until a couple of days before it was announced.
And guess what – there is not a single woman involved on the creative side of the project.
Yes, I know that Hasbro owns the material and they can hire whomever they want. BUT PLEASE. How do you not notify a creator and head writer until just a couple of days before the announcement of the project? The show, for those who do not know, ran from 1985-88 and was about a GIRL named Jerrica Benton who plays in a band called The Holograms.
The director is John M Chu who directed GI Joe The Retaliation. A movie about a girl band to be completely created by men to be directed by a dude who directed GI Joe. So fucking typical.
As you can imagine Christy Marx is perplexed and rightly pissed and she took to Facebook to post her thoughts on the project.
Not surprisingly, I’m being inundated with inquiries about the Jem movie. Here’s what I have to say about it.
I’ll answer the obvious and most frequent question first: No, I had no inkling that the movie was being developed or had reached this stage until a couple of days ago. Someone high in the Hasbro PR department thoughtfully reached out to me to let me know about the movie and the impending announcement so that I wouldn’t be blindsided by it. I appreciated that gesture.
That same afternoon, John Chu [the director] also reached out and called me and we had a long, wonderful talk. I greatly enjoyed talking with him, sharing our love of Jem, and becoming acquainted.
Many people wonder how I feel about it. I don’t think I can hide that I’m deeply unhappy about being shut out of the project. That no one in the entertainment arm of Hasbro wanted to talk to me, have me write for it, or at the very least consult on it. I wouldn’t be human if that failed to bother me.
My other unhappy observation is that I see two male producers, a male director and a male writer. Where is the female voice? Where is the female perspective? Where are the women? [Editor’s bold]
Now, as far as not bringing me on-board, that’s the reality of franchise IPs. It’s their property, they can do whatever they want with it, and they have no obligations whatsoever to me. Was it a smart decision? You decide.
Finally, I want to say good things about John Chu. He treated me with honesty and respect. He is sincere, passionate, and filled with a desire to make the best Jem movie he can make. He wants to reinvent Jem for a current audience. His take is somewhat different from the approach I wanted to take, but that just means it’s different, not that there’s anything wrong with it. I urge everyone to judge the merits of his work on the result and I hope he delivers us an excellent, truly outrageous movie.
Another woman shut out of the Hollywood process.