Female empowerment is very much a part of the 2010s cultural zeitgeist, and savvy brands in various industries have jumped aboard the feminism train in their marketing strategies (see: Dove, Aerie, Nike, Miss Teen USA — the list goes on). And the entertainment industry is no different. Hollywood executives are slowly but surely coming around to the fact that strong female characters not only sell to critical acclaim, they also make lots of money.
Laudable as it may be that the entertainment industry is being encouraged to include more female protagonists in its stories (yay, onscreen diversity!), the people creating these characters are still overwhelmingly homogenous. The Writers Guild of America's diversity report from March showed that while minorities have made some headway, White male writers still hold a commanding dominance over employment in television and film.
In a humorous, but achingly spot-on take on what the writing process is like when an all-male writing room attempts to create a powerful female character, 22-year-old James Tiberius Kirk — "just like Star Trek," he told A Plus, "sadly" — who goes by @ILLCapitano94 on Twitter, made a video parodying exactly that.
Kirk said that the idea for the video first came up during a discussion about an anime with his friend. The anime's strong female protagonist, he noted, was a minor in a relationship with someone much older. "[It] made me think of other odd representations of women we've willingly accepted from our favorite comic book and/or anime. As a comedian who looks to find a lighthearted way to slide serious social topics in his material, I felt like this was a perfect opportunity," Kirk said.
Since posting it on Oct. 2, Kirk's video has blown up on Twitter. At the time of writing, the video has been retweeted more than 8,400 times.
Although he's never been part of a writers' room, Kirk said he used his imagination and knowledge of "how condescendingly men discuss women and believe we're doing them a favor."
Because when writers draw from a wholly different experience to create characters that they do not and cannot identify with, there are bound to be some issues.