THE WEEK IN WOMEN: Hypersexualized Men, Tessa Thompson Joins Marvel Pantheon, SAG-AFTRA Picks Gabrielle Carteris

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A scantily clad Megan Fox appears in a scene from 2007's "The Transformers." Paramount Pictures photo

A scantily clad Megan Fox appears in a scene from 2007’s “The Transformers.” Paramount Pictures photo

Men become more hypersexualized in movies – but women still have it worse

New research indicates that men are expected to show more skin in movies – but they still get to not take it off more often than the female counterparts.

Data collected by researchers at USC Annenberg and the Harnisch Foundation indicates that since 2007, the hypersexualization of men on film has increased, according to The Economist. In 2014, 8 percent of male characters were figured in “sexualized attire”  – up from 4.6 percent in 2007 –  while 9.1 percent were shot “with some nudity,” an increase from 6.6 percent

It seems that 2013 was the high water mark of this trend, with 9.7 percent of male characters in sexualized attire and 11.7 percent taking some (or all) of it off.

However, that compares to 27.9 percent of women that are scripted to wear sexually-appealing clothing and 26.4 percent that expose their chests, legs, or other body part in front of the camera. Women make up less than a third of all speaking characters on screen, and less than one-quarter of the leading roles, which makes these percentages all the more alarming.

Basically, women are less visible in films, but when they are present, they are about three times more than me to be figured in sexualized terms.

Its another figure that’s stayed stagnant – the stats haven’t worsened much since 2007, when sexualized attire came in at 27 percent and partial/full nudity at 21.7 percent – despite continuous calls for Hollywood to change its sexist ways.

The reports also notes that when a female producer is on board, female characters are much less likely to be depicted in sexually revealing clothing (26.4 percent, rather than 35.9 percent) or with nudity (25.1 percent, instead of 33.3 percent). So too, films that have at least one female screenwriter as part of the production team feature a higher percentage of girls and women in significant roles (34.8 percent) than teams that only have male screenwriters (25.9 percent).

It’s just another indicator of how slow Hollywood is to change its ways – and how important it is for women to be making movies in order to ensure change.

Tessa Thompson appears in a scene from "Creed." Warner Bros. photo

Tessa Thompson appears in a scene from “Creed.” Warner Bros. photo

Quick hitters:

Tessa Thompson to become a Marvel superhero. Creed actress Tessa Thompson is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. According to Deadline, Thompson, who also stars opposite Anthony Hopkins on HBO’s drama series Westworld, is joining Thor: Ragnarok not only as the love interest for Chris Hemsworth’s Thor but also as “a kind of superhero” who will appear in other Marvel films.

So not only will Marvel add another much-needed woman superhero to its increasingly vast universe, it’s also adding a superheroic woman of color.

Thor: Ragnarok is being directed by Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows) and also stars Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Jamie Alexander, Mark Ruffalo and Lou Ferrigno. It’s scheduled for release Nov. 3, 2017.

In addition, Thompson will star opposite Natalie Portman, who played Hemsworth’s love interest in the first two Thor movies, in Annihilation, a new sci-fi thriller from Ex Machina writer-director Alex Garland.

Gabrielle Carteris elected SAG-AFTRA president. Gabrielle Carteris, who has been serving as SAG-AFTRA’s acting president since the death last month of Ken Howard, has been elected president by the union’s board to fill out the remainder of Howard’s term, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She will serve until August 2017.

Carteris, best known for her role on the TV show Beverly Hills, 90210, was the union’s executive vice president. The board elected Rebecca Damon to fill that slot. For the first time, SAG-AFTRA’s top three officers are all female.


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