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October 07 2007

Warner Bros president of production Jeff Robinov: "We are no longer doing movies with women in the lead." Newsarama's Matt Brady highlights a recent LA Weekly article and links it to the Wonder Woman debacle.

(Maybe that's what they didn't like about Joss' screenplay...)

[ edited by daylight on 2007-10-07 15:29 ]

This is, of course, upsetting. With notable exceptions, parts for women in films are generally so poorly written or fleshed out that it is difficult for even the best women actors to shine. The rare films with women leads are so often poorly written and poorly directed that, of course, they do badly. It's easy, then, to blame the female lead rather than the substandard scripts and production values. Of course,the fact that most films that fail have male leads does not seem to enter the equation.
Wow. That's just mind-boggling. So no one saw the Invasion because it starred a woman? I figured it had more to do with the wretched reviews. I know this is a site for Buffy love, but I may be joining the pro-apocalypse camp.
Heh, as TS Eliot said (and i'm paraphrasing) "This is how it ends, not with a bang but with people being really fucking stupid".

WTF ? Wouldn't it be more sensible to stop making bad movies with women in the lead ? Cos I doubt the "bad movie" lobby would make his life a misery, whereas if this news proves true and gets around it'll (hopefully) make some people a bit angry with the ol' Jefferoo. Silly fellow.
Wow. I feel like starting a petition, I don't why or what for. I only know that this makes me oh so angry. Any time closemindness reaches these kind of heights it just shakes something inside of me. Aren't there women's leagues that should be all over something like this? Anyone got a shrill femenist attourney lying around? Ignore my grammar, I'm really tired and even angrier. Are there any words for how unbelievably sexist and ignorant that statement is? Not having much hope for movies in the future if one of the major studios is taking this attitude. Then again, there's always indie film. ;)
It just reflects the trend, really, of all the excellent writers, directors, and actors moving to TV. TV used to be what you did if you couldn't make it in the movies. Now that's where the best, most creative work is.

Given my choice between a Serenity 2 and a Serenity series, I'd want the series.
WTF? Last time I checked, women were half of the movie-going, ticket-buying, DVD purchasing public. Is it really such a good idea to alienate that much of your consumer base?

Oh, wait. Movies are made for 18-35 year-old men. I forgot.
WTF ? Wouldn't it be more sensible to stop making bad movies with women in the lead ?

You'd think. This argument never seemed to be acknowledged in the "2D vs 3D" animation debate (perhaps the success of The Simpsons might make them think again, but I doubt it).
To paraphrase someone completely unrelated:

[ edited by Simon on 2007-10-07 18:05 ]
Huh. Who knew the science of demographics had become such a... well, science. Clearly the 18 to 34 male demo is the only one spending casey money to see movies anymore. Right? And since that age group really has no interest in women, particularly in lead roles I guess it makes perfect sense to stop making movies like that.

[ edited by Simon on 2007-10-07 18:05 ]
Actually I think that women are more than half the movie audience, particularly when you look at the success of smaller independent and foreign films. Saje is right, the big studios make a stinker starring a woman and then blame the actress instead of their 'system' of sucking the life out of every script with endless re-writes. Obviously movies starring women can be huge successes, obviously women can be the principal character on a successful TV show, but some ape at Warner Bros wants to make only Die Hard #37 and Spiderman #18 forever.
Maybe that's why they're going to do Wonder Woman with Morgan Freeman in the lead....
Maybe that's why they're going to do Wonder Woman with Morgan Freeman in the lead....

You say that like it's such a crazy thing, but the 1989 Batman film had Jack Nicholson's name before Michael Keaton's (and he got paid a lot more, too).
Actually, having read the article now, it states that Robinov's quote came through three sources. So it's unlikely that this is a direct and wholly accurate quote. In either case though I think we should expect a follow-up statement soon to counteract the shitstorm this is stirring up.

Some people, particularly studio suits, just should not be allowed to speak. *rolls eyes*
I don't much trust Nikke Finke. For reference, she's the one who was recently on the front page here dumping scorn on Danny Strong for having the audacity to be an actor writing a political screenplay. She stirs up a lot of tempests that don't necessarily go anywhere. However, there's no lack of plausibility for this item. Such pronouncements have been made before. God, I hate Hollywood.
Can open. Worms everywhere.

I'm at work on my iPhone so I can't copy and paste, but my wife just notified me of this article featuring an interview with that paragon of women's rights Anne Coulter.

Sounds like she and Robinov piss in the same urinal, if you take my meaning.
What the..? Anne Coulter...

[ edited by Simon on 2007-10-07 18:06 ]
There's a lot of unnecessary swearing in this thread so posters will find that their comments have been edited.
Oh, wait. Movies are made for 18-35 year-old men. I forgot.

Can you change that to 'the ignorant side of the 18-35 year-old demographic'? Because I am part of the INTELLIGENT 18-35 age group, and I don't watch even a quarter of the shit they hawk. ;)

On a serious note: This article is an outrage!
If this is true, Warner Bros. has just lost worlds of respect from me. I can't believe any company, ESPECIALLY in this day and age, could even entertain such a foolish notion. Despicable.

[ edited by Daburcor on 2007-10-07 18:14 ]
Actually, having read the article now, it states that Robinov's quote came through three sources.

Yeah but the linked LA Weekly article actually says "from three different producers" (my emph) i.e. not source A tells source B who tells source C who tells Nikki Finke (as the Newsarama article implies IMO) but sources A-C all tell her the same thing directly and independently. Course, she could still just be making it up (she hasn't exactly been a fount of good sense in the past as dreamlogic points out).

And damnit, stop twisting the iPhone knife Haunt. When are we gonna get the new shiny ? Is this still because of that tea tax thing ? ;-)

(and Anne Coulter just stirs things every time her book sales slow down, i'm fairly convinced she doesn't actually believe half the stuff she rattles out. You guys need to starve her of oxygen ... of publicity, the oxygen of publicity I mean, clearly ;)
Haven't heard of Finke being plausibly accused of making things up, but exaggeration is certainly possible, both on her part and that of the producers. Still, sadly, I don't really doubt the gist.

Ann Coulter is being starved as we speak, I believe. She's hardly ever on TV anymore, and the just linked was a political blog. It must just kill her that she says women shouldn't be able to vote, and it just gets her on a political blog. That's got to be her "A" material.
In that Ann Coulter article, her picture reminds me of one of The Gentlemen, plus hair. Eerie, eerie grin...

I feel like the lack of interesting, quality roles for women in movies is going to be a problem until the giants of the film industry are people more like Joss Whedon and Sofia Coppola and less like Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer. I enjoy the occasional big bombastic action film where things blow up and attractive, swarthy men run around being hyper-masculine. I just want OTHER kinds of movies, too. The Jaynes of the world, while entertaining, work better tempered by the Zoes, and the Kaylees.

I think this is also proof positive that at the end of the day, the entertainment industry- all of it- is still very much a boys club. It makes me root for Reaper, big time, because there are a pair of women at the helm, and it's not marketed as a "chick show."

This article has no Whedon connection, directly, but it seems pretty on topic for this thread and our pro-woman vibe, and I enjoyed reading it.
Of course Ann Coulter is on TV. She's practically 25% of Fox News programming, and even more since she has a book out which may be a bit more insulting than the supposed statement from the WB boss. Also, deciding not to make movies where women are the lead just because the don't generate Harry Potter or Pirates of the Carribean money (say, doesn't POTC have a very prominent woman in THAT series?) is realy short-sided..and hopefully that philosopy will end as quicky as the Caveman sitcom
OMG... WT#@%#%@#@^$#@^#@ Since swearing is frowned upon, I had to resort to thsoe characters... and man I really really can't wait for Joss Whedon to get Goners movie project going so he can really um.... disprove the persons assertion.
Sorry, impalergeneral. I guess I was just judging by CNN and Real Time with Bill Maher, since I avoid Fox News (Your Source for Evil!) reflexively. Really reflexively, since my thumb just moves the channel away on its own when I see the logo.

I have to wonder if even that will last, though. She's really starting to look pretty Gentlemen-ly.

[ edited by dreamlogic on 2007-10-07 19:17 ]
It all reminds me of a segment on the Daily Show a few weeks ago, where they discussed a a polititian's statements (which directly contradicted this person's stance from a few years before), where Jon Stewart has this pained look on his face, stares into the camera for a beat, and says:

"Don't they know we are recording this?"

[ edited by Love's Bitch on 2007-10-07 19:22 ]
No problem, dreamlogic. I watch the Keith Olbermann is God Channel, I mean MSNBC, and CNN sometimes if something really big is happening

[ edited by impalergeneral on 2007-10-07 19:35 ]
When I first saw the title of this thread I hoped against hope it was a quote from a studio head deploring the fact that movies rarely get made anymore with women in the lead and something needed to change in Hollywood,*sigh*

Ann Coulter? *spits*. I don't know why conservatives don't actively speak out against her (guess they're too busy denouncing Move On's ads) as everytime she opens her mouth she alienates independents and moderates.
I'm not QuoterGal, but I'll do my best....

"Why do you write such strong female characters?"
"Because you keep asking the question."

Ann Coulter? *spits*. I don't know why conservatives don't actively speak out against her (guess they're too busy denouncing Move On's ads) as everytime she opens her mouth she alienates independents and moderates.

I think she's also alienating many republicans with nonsense like that. At least...I really, really hope so.
With such blatant stupidity heading the movie industry, there goes my far off dreams for a "Wonder Wiccans" BtVS spin-off. If they can't stand one woman lead, then I'll dare say they'd choke on two, and probably go into convulsions if both were lesbian witches.
Simon, with all due respect, if institutionalized corporate sexism of this magnitude and level of impunity doesn't qualify as cause for swearing, I frankly don't know what does.

This is infuriating. It goes against everything we (as Browncoats, Whedon fans, and especially Equality Now supporters) stand for and believe in. Or at least it should.

Plus, it's just plain stupid, sick, and _wrong_.

Swearing may not be _necessary_, Simon, but in this context it is more than justified.

But what's even more justified - and indeed necessary - is protest and action, which we should all find some way to mount.
Robogeek if you have a problem with what an admin says here, please discuss it with us via email as per our rules.
So does this mean there IS something wrong with women? My.God.

"THE SKY ISN'T EVIL, TRY LOOKING UP" -some guy who isn't afraid of the truth.
Yah, I decided a while ago to just change the channel or turn the page or surf on if I hit anything by Ann Coulter, who imho is just around to create smack and buzz and spectacle and divert attention away from stuff that matters. She's a waste of space and energy. However, if her head does spin in a 360 or pea soup emerges from her mouth, I trust somebody will let me know... don't want to miss the fun.


Oh Hollywood, my home town, you are filled with such completely and obviously short-sighted idiot-spawn, it is hard sometimes to resist the urge to gather friends and family and move out into the wilds and just skip all this crap entirely. Folks like Jeff Robinov just make me so... tired. Which is a reaction one must not succumb to, but it is a temptation.

*big sigh*

Cheers, XanFan32, here is some more, and very pertinent it remains:

"Why are you even asking me this?

This is like interview number 50 in a row. How is it possible that this is even a question? Honestly? Seriously? Why are you ask - why did you write that down? Why do you - why aren't you asking a hundred other guys why they don't write strong women characters?

I believe that what I'm doing should not be remarked upon, let alone honored, and there are other people doing it. But seriously, this question is ridiculous. And you've just got to stop.

So... why do you write these strong women characters?

Because equality is not a concept. It's not something we should be striving for. It's a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women. And the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who is confronted with it.

We need equality. Kinda now."

-- Joss, transcript of his May, 2006 Equality Now speech


(One more pertinent quote, I think is in order ; >, with tongue, as they say, held firmly in cheek:

"Simon, the whole point of swearing is that it ain't appropriate." - Kaylee, "Jaynestown," FIREFLY)
Maybe I am living in the land of denial but is it possible for anyone to make that stupid a comment and mean it? What if the next perfect script comes and it has a female lead character? He has to know it might happen. So, I'm hoping that this was a joke comment, taken seriously by mistake.
Wow. If true, this sickens me. Someone mentioned protest and action? I am there. I'm an aspiring filmmaker who plans on shooting his first movie in about two years, and this just kind of makes my stomach churn.

Also, I join in with the Ann Coulter hate. Roger Ebert's parody of the whole Ann Coulter/John Edwards controversy can be read here.
Does anybody else feel the desperate need to re-watch Joss Equality Now speech a few dozen times after this...
Yah, but first I need a brain-enema...
Is that like a really, REALLY high colonic?
I apologize for the language earlier. I didn't see anything about it in the rules.
Personally I think the reason why women Superheroes tend to fail on the big screen is because they typically do not have as defined a nemisis as their male counter parts. I mean Superman has Lex, Batman has the Joker among other stong villians, Spiderman also has a slew of bad guys that have been established. Heck the X-men even have a bunch of baddies with Magneto at the helm. Who does Wonder Woman have, the only one that comes to mind is Cheeta (who I think was introduced in Superfriends cartoon just to give her a perpetual foe like the guys had). What works in these comic book based films is conflict between specifics not a conflict between a hero and general badness that never builds the tention enough, because there is no defined purpose behind it.

If they want to take a female lead action movies that worked, just look at Kill Bill, there was defined purpose to the conflict and tension in the film, same goes for Tomb Raider which was based off a video game, and we can also add the Resident Evil and Undereworld films. They all had a female lead and kicked box office butt. All these films appealed to the key male demo as well as the female demo. This guy is a typical studio exec and has no idea how to make it work so he decides they won't make them at all, that's just the ignorance you expect from a studio exec. So Bravo to him for carrying on the tradition of ineptitude.
No female lead? Does this mean Nathan has a real chance getting the role of Wonder Wo ... I mean, Wonder Man now?

No seriously, if true, that would be really a silly move. I cant imagine they´d limit themselves like that. But then again I have been wrong before and reading some german TV pilots recently didnt really leave me happy either. Its really too bad there are only few writers who write normal women and no damsel in distresses etc. and if these arent supported... *sighs*
Thanks for the Ebert link, UPC. I love Roger Ebert. And you guys.
Wow. How are they getting away with that? If that's true, that's lawsuit material, isn't it? Like a big company coming out and saying, "We're not hiring any more female executives"? And you know, possibly the problem isn't the female leads. Possibly the problem is that Warner needs more strong women in the higher level offices so that someone there learns how to make strong female lead films. Time to start thinking about what's the chicken and what's the egg, guys.

I'm clinging to the hope that this is a false report. Either way, the only Warner Brothers movies I'm spending my money on will be ones with strong female leads. Criminy. Good thing Joss got out when he did...
I definitely agree that Joss is better off, he doesn't need to be trying to create a film about a strong woman in a climate of Neanderthals. He doesn't need to be trying to work with Warner Brothers at all. I am going let this influence which movies I go see: I can easily skip all Warner Brothers films.
I doubt it's lawsuit material (aside from the sense that you can file a lawsuit about anything, of course). It's stupid, shortsighted, and a PR nightmare, but I don't know if it's actionable.

I suspect studio heads have often decreed senseless proclamations like this, they just don't make them publicly.
Haunt: "Is that like a really, REALLY high colonic?"

; )

Nope, a really HIGH colonic is when you insert the little hoobajinky, lean back and blaze up a really massive-- oops, sorry, wrong crowd.

C. A. Bridges: "I suspect studio heads have often decreed senseless proclamations like this, they just don't make them publicly."

I'm sure you're right, C.A. and I also suspect that when so many sources confirm something like this, it's because they'd like it to get out & around because they themselves think it's redonkulous. And I love this aspect of the interwebs, which makes it harder and harder to hide jackass stuff like this...
This doesn't make commercial sense because "The Brave One" is doing well at the box office for Warner Brothers. (I really liked it, despite the reviews.) We can send angry email to WB. The best I could come up with is an email address for one of its PR people: Judging from WB's email style, the offender's email MIGHT be

A big problem is that a lot of males (boys and men) don't want to see movies with women in the lead. But females (girls and women) will often see movies with male leads. It makes sense for companies to churn out stuff dominated by men because they know they can get both men and women. Look at cartoons or Sesame Street, where male voices and figures dominate. It starts early. Women get used to movies like Ocean's 25 (or whatever) with a bunch of men. But it's hard to get men to go to a movie in which the main characters are women. People write off movies starring women as "chick flicks," but there is no gendered term for movies with a male lead or a bunch of men.
People write off movies starring women as "chick flicks," but there is no gendered term for movies with a male lead or a bunch of men.

I can think of a term, but it's probably not postable. ;)

Wonder how long this guy will keep his post, if indeed this interview is true.
Suzie: it is probably also true that Gay people are more apt to see movies about straight people in relationships than straight people are inclined to see films about Gay people. I'm sure it is also true that African-Americans have been more open to see films with only White characters than Whites are to go see a movie with all Black actors. It is possible for studios to make excuses to make movies that only star White Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Which makes it perfectly reasonable for us to boycott those studio and call for the resignation of the President of Production who is comfortable stating such positions publicly.
Deepgirl, he'll probably be promoted for being such a company man.

You know, a "go-getter". *sigh*
QuoterGal said:
One more pertinent quote, I think is in order, with tongue, as they say, held firmly in cheek:

"Simon, the whole point of swearing is that it ain't appropriate." - Kaylee, "Jaynestown," FIREFLY

With no disrespect to the mods, you seriously rock for thinking to post that. Nice timing.
Embers, the truth of the matter is, minorities are more open to watching films about middle class white people, because they really have no other choice. If they didn't, they wouldn't have much to watch.
Thing is, he didn't state it publicly. This is a leaked story from inside the belly of the beast. Robinov would never state this publicly, and indeed, most of the execs at WB and elsewhere (many of whom think the same way this guy does) would publicly claim to support women in the industry. They reserve this kind of talk for behind closed doors.

That this got out makes me positively giddy. Comeuppance and all. It also might result in some spin control and "reparations" -- I wonder if Wonder Woman will get a little more attention and respect from the studio now?
Grinning at the Kaylee quote, but it really was a bit gratuitous upthread before Simon got out his machete :) A good guideline: if the sentence doesn't actually make sense if you remove the cursing then you're probably over the top. And let that $#!& be a lesson to you #_(%ers ;)
Crossoverman: I totally believe it, just as I believe that little girls are forced to watch and/or read about men and boys as heroes because they haven't traditionally been given many interesting women and girls as role models.
Graham-Pavlovic family preznit of What-Movies-We-Pay-to-See Tracy Graham: "We are no longer doing movies with Warner Bros at the helm"
I...he...they...what? ...can't sentence properly.

Before I boycott his @$$, I'll wait for a confirm article/statement. I hope he's not as big of an idiot as this quote makes him appear.
Warner Bros may just ignore this. It's a story on the website of a weekly paper with no identified sources. And there won't likely be any identified.

I think it's probably true, and I hope if so it's eventually a contributing factor to this guy getting fired. But I doubt that will happen without him having more under-performing movies or some other money costing problem.
Whaaaa...?! Did I just read that right? You sure that quote didn't just time travel from 50 years in the past and just sorta ended up here by mistake? Yeah, I'm so stunned I don't even know what to say... Shameful...
Is that short for Women's Bully? Woefully Backward? Or just What (a) B$%*#*d?!
Does this Jeff Robinov not have a mother, daughter, wife, sister, aunt, or even know or relate to anyone out there walking around with a womb?
Just as 'If you build it, they will come', if you actually make good movies that have strong female leads and intelligent plots, women will go to see them, and drag along their partners. Later, we'll buy the DVD and possibly also shell out for the soundtrack if it's quite good. (Listening to 'Hairspray', here!)
Is this guy for real, or ,I ask you, is this just a sneaky,underhand way to drive up profits on 'The Brave One' as women flock to show their support for such movies? Hmmmm...
I liked what Melissa Wilson of Firefox News had to say:

"Clearly, the recent success of 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' was entirely because Harry's a boy. Yep. Once again, lack of good writing for female roles is being confused with lack of good female-led films. (Note to Warners: hire Joss Whedon back and let Bruce Timm make more movies. He and his friends -- McDuffie, Tucker, Wayne, Berkowitz -- can write great female characters. You'd be printing your own money.)"

There are also more than enough blogs and blog-comments abounding on the interwebs about Nikki's article, calling the outraged reaction to Robinov's remark "hysteria" and ... ya know, "illogical" because what we poor little be-fuddled dears don't understand is that it's all about the bucks, and movies with female leads have underperformed, ergo it just makes good sense, and therefore it's not sexist. Why must we muddle things all up with emotional crap?

Apparently our little women-and-women-supporting brains can't grasp the bottom line, and have to have the math explained to us very condescendingly, as if that explained the inherent boy's club nature of it all. And since one time a female studio exec seemingly put a similar decision into practice... there, you see? All you hysterical folks crying sexism just don't understand that money drives Hollywood, including the Hollywood women-folk./bitter, much?

*tremendously tired sigh.*

Time to put down the interwebs and go to bed...
QuoterGal, I'm right there with you. Reading your rant was downright therapeutic.
As if I wasn't depressed enough over the state of movies. Go back to making really good films with female leads, and they will make money. I'm betting the "Alien" franchise made a bundle. If action movies are so huge right now, hire someone who can write a kick-ass action movie staring a woman (hmmm ... who could do that?) and see what happens.
I was under the impression that the Charlies Angels franchise made tons of money, proving that action movies staring women don't even have to be good to make bucks. And were the two Kill Bill's not big enough money makers?
I don't expect every film with a women in the lead to be The Hours, nor would I want it to be so. But when even Meryl Streep is reduced to doing garbage like The Devil Wears Prada, we're looking at a serious lack of brains, imagination and creativity amongst the Suits. But then we already knew that.
I don't want to have to feel guilty about my fondness for genres that traditionally have male leads, I love good quality action movies and good quality spy flicks and especially Scifi. But ditching the Boys Club approach to how these films are structured would not necessarily be the box office kiss of death.
And then the total cynic kicks in and I think, the anti-feminist backlash can be seen everywhere in media. Just watch TV commercials featuring women if you doubt it.

saje I'm still laughing at your T.S. Eliot "paraphrasing". :) And a good laugh is a good thing right about now.
THis is all silly. We have a reported comment that has not been confirmed, which somehow got morphed into an Anne Coulter riff (who I think is just a blight, personally), etc. For myself, I do not believe this was ever said, because it would be a kiss of death for the studio head saying it. SO until its confirmed, I'd just sit on it.
Ben Stiller's "Heartbreak Kid" opened with a disappointing $14 million, so clearly they should stop making movies about guys, relationships, or weddings.
...Or remakes.
Not really, Dana5140, what we have is a reported comment confirmed by three unnamed sources, which in the world of reporting is pretty damn reportable. It's not surprising that they're unnamed, if they want to keep their jobs, or uncomfirmed - confirmed by whom? Warner Brothers? Robinov? Not gonna happen...
QuoterGal, most journalists try to avoid anonymous sources if possible, or they follow the policy to explicitly state why the sources choose to be unnamed. Admittedly, in this case it seems pretty obvious.

I had a chance to read the article, and though it is sexed up for gossip purposes (there's not all that much news in it other than the quote), if we take the author at her word, and why would she make something like this up, then I'd agree he probably said it. Which sucks.

What I really hope is that a larger news organization picks this up, with more substantive facts. All the other news stories I've seen about this have only quoted the one source, and they tend to speculate a lot.
We don't really have a confirmed quote from three "unnamed" sources. What we have is the word of one person claiming that the alleged quote has been confirmed by these "unnamed" sources. This claim has then been repeated by someone else, the exact way in which gossip and rumours are spread so that they become accepted as facts. As long as the original sources remain unnamed the quote should be viewed with a degree of suspicion.

I am not saying the claim is not genuine, and it certainly would not surprise me to if it was true (in fact, I suspect it probably is), but I do think Dana5140 has a point until something a little more conclusive and convincing is available to verify the story.
I know a friend of Mr. Robinov and his wife. I talked to the friend this weekend and it's highly unlikely he said this. Needless to say I trust their word more than Nikki Finke's. Remember that anyone can say what they want, any time they want, and call it the truth until someone proves them wrong. So I'm sticking with what someone I trust says, and not bothering with a reporter who I have seen sensationalize and attack in the past. Every time I read her articles (which isn't a lot I admit), I get the impression she wants to prop herself up by tearing others down.

I obviously agree that he's a moron if he did say it, so please don't think I'm defending that. I just prefer to trust my friend as to the character of Mr. Robinov.
Thanks for doing some additional research, danregal. Maybe word of this will get back to Mr. Robinov and he can impress us all by issuing an outraged statement denying that he would ever say such a ridiculous thing...
There can be a number of possibilities that this "quote" was taken out of context. And I doubt that Robinov actually made the statement because he is the president of movie production and knows the studio relies on a number of actresses that are strong performers and bring in strong numbers at the box office. Declaring "no leads for all women" is an extreme in the business sense.

Since it's only "confirmed" by three producers, I'm not going to believe it until there's more information.

And could I make the suggestion of staying away from personally defaming the man until more information is given?

Wanted to include a link that analyzes movies with female-lead/driven parts. Another Moment of Hysteria. If the analysis is true, Robinov greenlit 4 movies in 2007 that did well at the box office with female leads. So, making a statement "no women leads" would cost WB money, wouldn't it?

[ edited by tabin on 2007-10-08 19:28 ]
Well, if this IS true, now maybe Warner Bros. bigwigs will instruct The CW and whichever other networks they own to never play any fims with women in the lead, because obviously nobody wants to see them. So Wizard of Oz, Sound of Music, Alien (and Aliens, etc.), Erin Brockovich, The Princess Diaries, A Star Is Born (any version), Norma Rae, The Color Purple, Thelma and Louise, Tomb Raider, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, China Syndrome, Sister Act, Hello Dolly, The Grudge, Mary Poppins, Chicago, The Queen, and hundreds of other movies are apparently unmarketable to a general audience, so they should just stop showing them, and the companies who own the rights should stop selling the DVDs. *rolls eyes*

[ edited by deanna b on 2007-10-08 19:13 ]
gobluegirl: "QuoterGal, most journalists try to avoid anonymous sources if possible..."

Yah, I'm well aware of that - sources and their reliability has been a subject of public discourse ad infinitum in the past few decades. In my lifetime, I witnessed whole sections of the Watergate puzzle/debacle unravel due to "unnamed sources" so I know also how useful they can be...

More telling might be danregal's opinion - I have no personal connection tp Ms. Finke, and have watched some of her reports turn out to be true, and some untrue... she obviously has some industry insider connections - but clearly so does dan's friend.

I'll be interested to see if and when and how Mr. Robinov and/or Warner Bros. respond to this allegation. I don't need to know the odds on this happening; I can figure them myself - just want to see if it does...

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2007-10-08 19:12 ]
Put a comemtn int he S-8 Ish 8 review thread emant for here and don't have time to edit. Sorry.
Hmm, I have time to delete, but not to copy and edit. Sorry. :P
QuoterGal and danregal: good points. It's hard to say what to believe at this point.
I've emailed Jeff and asked him if he said what's quoted. 'cause I thought that would be interesting. If I get a response I'll post it.
You have to wonder if they can even keep a straight face when they say things like that. There is so much terrible, brain dead material for women coming out of the industry where every time they open their mouths you cringe in pain because not even a robot would say that.

When producers come together to discuss the success of their movies it must go something like this:

Producer A: So our movie didn't do so well. Did we have a bad script?
Producer B: Impossible! I personally gave notes to all 10 writers we had on the script.
Producer A: How about directing?
Producer C: No, I personally made sure that my cousin got the job.
Producer A: Then it had to be the acting.
Producer D: I think the acting was alright...for a woman.
Producer A: Wait what? There was a woman?
Producer B: Hehe, boobies.
ROFLMAO!!! That was golden.
Caroline;Okey-dokey. I read the last couple posts there and thought I *was* in this threaditty-thread.

This is almost implausible, I agree. It ocul easily be out of cotnext or even what i call a half-quote. Given that if he really said this it opens up room for any number of other studios to do counter-pitches and have a built-in audience. And plus, given the over-all poltiical convictions of show folk, it's alienating a lot of the people Warner Brothers would depend on, at least limiting the field of who'll work with them.
(Perhaps I'm being optimistic; CLiff Robertson essentially proved he'd been swindled, inc ourt,a nd the guy who swindled him got a standing ovation in a certain power restaurant.)
I agree that additional confirmation is needed before anyone can take this "publicly seriously. But from what I've heard, it wouldn't surprise me if thias had been said by a major studio exec in what he hoped was private conversation.

As to why conservatives aren't disowning Ann Coulter, well I can't speak for anyone else but one reason is I can't get any radio syndicates to hire me.
Hey gossi, if you used the email address posted in this thread, it probably will be skipped over, since it looks to be just a standardized email address. *shrugs*

Edited to add: The Movie Blog is saying that it received a phone call from a WB representative that said that Robinov never said the quote attributed to him and that this is not WB policy. And from some of the movies that WB produced and the strong female actresses that are in them, I tend to believe this version of Robinov than the one painted in the original article.

[ edited by tabin on 2007-10-09 02:12 ]
And from some of the movies that WB produced and the strong female actresses that are in them, I tend to believe this version of Robinov than the one painted in the original article.

Well, why is an un-named WB rep any more valid than three "sources" for the original quote? I'd love to believe it wasn't true, but the truth is more likely he said it - and now wishes he wasn't overheard saying it.
Embers, I wanted to emphasize that people who are well-represented in the media have some responsibility not to brush off the stuff that doesn't feature people like them. Or, to put it another way, when a guy says he won't go to a certain movie that happens to be starring a woman, I ask him why and I try to get him to figure out why it's OK for me to go to a movie starring a man but not vice versa.

I agree: It's not enough for a WB rep to deny the quote. Robinov ought to issue a statement saying he supports good movies that feature women. The studio should be doing some real damage control.
I would like to know if the three "sources" were independent sources. Isn't it possible that one of those producers told the other two what he "heard"? Like I said before - if Robinov did say it, we don't know the circumstances under which he said it.

But with a story like this, Robinov and WB can deny the quote all they want but people have already made up their mind. I'm giving Robinov the benefit of the doubt, especially since a man in his position has a lot to lose if this was his "policy."

I'm holding off judgment to see what WB's coming out with. If actresses continue to portray strong female characters and are not reduced to stereotype or passivity, then I really can't have a problem.
Well, anything's possible so we shouldn't particularly rush to judge.

That said, obviously he's not going to admit it publicly, that's not the way these insidious "directives" from on high work (or if he does it'll be as a claimed correlation with poor box-office, ignoring the underlying causes). And clearly the producers are gonna stay anonymous because of the whole working in this town again/feeding their families thing.

Also, he only has a lot to lose if this is his policy and it becomes widely known which, presumably, wasn't his intention (unless of course, films with women in the lead role are actually making a lot of money for Warner's, cos then his bottom line will worsen - in which case he really would be daft to implement this policy, or to even consider it in fact).

In fairness though, innocent until proven guilty applies in most other walks of life, probably should here too (and given the source and the lack of accountability, there's room for reasonable doubt IMO).
Warners Disavow Comment

"Today, TheMovieBlog managed to get hold of a spokesperson for the company, who categorically denied the rumor: "Mr. Robinov never made that statement, nor is it his policy."

The article goes on to include a nice plug for both Joss and Wonder Woman.
All it took was for the comment to be reported on Digg and voila, instant disavowal.
Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
On Whedonesque, no one can hear you signifying nothing.
In space, no one can hear you squee.
On Whedonesque the only thing you can hear is the joss.wav file ;)
Nice riff, here - my favorite - "In space, no one can hear you squee."

And, of course, it does signify very little... other than WB didn't like the nasty PR. But, I mean, what was Corporate Communications gonna say? It's our new unwritten policy, but we stand firmly and openly behind it?

“As always, should any of your IM Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good, luck, Jim.”
Every one knows that a movie's success is proportional to the lead's sperm count. If it's a woman, obviously it's going to be zero. John Wayne, radiation-dosed in Nevada, is the sole exception.

Seriously, wtf?
Precisely. Now these women will have more time to cook and clean for their men.

Then again, is it really fair to punish them just 'cause they can't drive? Really, let's be reasonable.

Above, I had suggested people email a WB exec and I posted her email address that I had gotten off of their Web site. Whatever the truth, I think it's good to let people know what consumers think. Here's the reply I received. I think SVP stands for "senior vice president."

"Thank you for your letter. The information on is untrue. Jeff Robinov did not make that statement, nor is it his philosophy. His track record as president of production over the last five years speaks for itself. His mission is to select compelling material for Warner Bros. Pictures and cast great
actors -- regardless of gender. Sincerely, Andrea Marozas, SVP, Corporate Communications Warner Bros."
Just in case anyone comes back to this topic. Rominov is quoted in this Variety article.

I think it's a little telling that Joel Silver's pictures are specifically mentioned as the one's failing with female leads. Might the quote that started this all actually have come from Silver instead?

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