When a Movie is Pandering with Inclusiveness
*pandering = to provide gratification for others' desires and emotions
All films like to pander to their audiences, in one way or another. It's a normal thing — an action film will do something wild to appease adrenaline-junkies, a drama film will have that extra scene that makes you tear-up, and so on, and so on.
However, due to the (rightful) evolution of inclusiveness in cinema, filmmakers sometimes like to be inclusive just for the sake of pandering to the audience. For example, in the olden days of cinema, a producer would say a thing such as: ''I don't want a black/female/gay character in my movie!'', while these days, a producer will say: ''We need to have a black/female/gay character in my movie, to appease black/female/gay people.'' Sure, the second thing is better than the first, but what if it's done poorly, so that it damages the art of film-making?
What gave me an idea – and I know a lot of people will hate me for bringing this up – are two scenes from Avengers: Endgame (2019).
FIRST SCENE: Steve Rogers (Captain America) is working as a counselor in a support group for the people who are having difficulties adapting to the world, after Thanos wiped out 50% of all living beings. One of the people having a confession is a man who speaks how he went out on a date with another man, and is hoping for the best.
So, nothing problematic about this scene, right?
Well, for me, it’s a bad scene, because of two reasons:
1) that gay man is played by one of the Endgame's two directors, Joe Russo, who felt inclined to play the part himself, because he considered it very important. However, the very second that character appeared, I recognized Joe Russo, and when the scene started, all I could hear is: ’’Hey! HEY! Look at us! We, Marvel/Disney are progressive! We responded to the criticism that we lack gay characters, so look - here's a gay character!’’ Instead of being drawn into that character's story, I was completely pulled out from the film!
2) To make matters worse, prior to the film’s release, the Russo Brothers were telling media how great it is that they finally have a gay character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But it kind of backfired, since most people expected something bigger, due to Russos announcing it with a lot of fanfare. And instead, they got 'represented' with a tiny scene, played by a director who wanted to suck up to LGBT people.
So, how would I make it better? Simple, keep the scene as is, but don't give that role to the director of the film, and also, don't pompously announce it to the world that you have a gay character.
SECOND SCENE: The all-girl team-up. During the final battle scene, a battered up Spider-Man is approached by Captain Marvel, who is offering him her help. Moments after, another female hero approaches... and another... and another... and finally, EVERY SINGLE female hero comes on that exact spot, even though they were scattered on that huge battlefield, until moments ago! Just take a look at that scene! Ugh, if I was a woman, I would feel offended by this shameful pandering. And again, like the support group scene, this too pulls me out off the film - it breaks the movie illusion. And the worst thing is, I like most of those female characters featured, but they were done a disservice with that all-girl scene.
So, how would I make it better? Simple, have an uncut shot (long take), where camera is swooping across the battlefield, focusing only on female heroes for a few seconds each. It would make sense, rather then 'teleporting' every female hero to one exact place, just to have a group shot.
---In the end, I must say, I'm all for inclusiveness, if it doesn't feel forced, and if it's not poorly done.
I do mind poorly done and/or forced inclusiveness. It can pull me out off the film, the same way other poorly done film-making elements can do. If inclusiveness can't be done right, then it shouldn't be done.
Case in point from television!!!!! This is a dismal failure. Reason: Forced on the viewer alternative lifestyles.
And hey, It's not like I'm giving up on this poll because I was just kidnapped by Disney, and am being taken away somewhere underground. That would be just ridiculous of you to think.
Jokes aside, if anyone else is interested in making this poll, you have my blessing to do so.
As for me, I'll delete the list.