Sarah Michelle Gellar: Female-Led Marvel Movies Are ‘Torn Apart’ by Fans Who Aren’t ‘Accepting’

"There’s still this mentality of 'the male superhero,' this very backwards way of thinking."
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 19: Sarah Michelle Gellar attends the Los Angeles Premiere of Paramount+'s  "Wolf Pack" at Harmony Gold on January 19, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar is calling out the “backwards way of thinking” by some Marvel fans.

The “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” alum addressed the gendered approach to superheroes onscreen today after “Captain Marvel” and “Ms. Marvel” were review-bombed by trolls ahead of release.

“Genre is where women can really succeed and hold an audience,” Gellar told The Guardian. “Every time a Marvel movie tries to do a female cast, it just gets torn apart. Unfortunately, audiences weren’t as accepting.”

She added, “There’s still this mentality of ‘the male superhero,’ this very backwards way of thinking.”

While Gellar noted that she will not reprise her iconic role of Buffy, the “Wolf Pack” star addressed the controversial experience working with Joss Whedon and other showrunners in the ’90s and early 2000s.

“There’s not a day goes by where you don’t pick up a trade magazine and hear about some showrunner being ousted for behavior that is just unbecoming,” Gellar said. “When I grew up, people screamed on sets: actors, directors, everybody. It doesn’t happen any more. If someone comes out on set screaming, it’s like: ‘Peace out!’ No one needs to be treated like that – we’ve established that.'”

The “I Know What You Did Last Summer” actress recently told The Independent that the “toxic environments” she experienced were not “one-job specific.” Even as a teenager in her career, Gellar faced backlash for opting to take roles outside of her own “superhero” genre casting as Buffy. Gellar’s acclaimed turn in “Cruel Intentions” was among one of the career risks that she had to fight to land.

“My team didn’t want me to do that job,” Gellar said. “They kept saying: ‘We don’t get it, it’s so ridiculous – she’s such a bitch and you’re the superhero.’ I got so much pushback.”

Gellar’s role in “Cruel Intentions” earned a full circle moment in Netflix’s “Do Revenge” casting with Gellar playing a former high school queen bee-turned-principal.

“I just heard her and sat there and literally thought about Kathryn from ‘Cruel Intentions,’ like, if she was the headmaster of the school, what advice would she give?,” writer-director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson told IndieWire. “Her saying yes was kind of co-signing this movie, and made me feel like we were doing something right. It really was like the turning point for me where I was just like, ‘Oh, I think this is like might really work and it’s going to be good.'”

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