Hollywood’s Latest Obsession: Gender-Swapping

This is what happens when fresh ideas are scarce in the world of film

Not only is Hollywood running out of ideas, but the feminist agenda in Tinseltown seems to have become a vapid and unoriginal copycat crusade.

If we truly have advanced in empowering women, either the fruits of female creativity are being suffocated by micromanaging studio executives or someone in Hollywood needs to explain the pathetic nature of merely stealing the ideas of classic pop culture films and swapping the gender roles.

Hollywood has lost its way if it thinks changing the gender roles in classic films is original or worthwhile.

Recent entertainment news headlines over the past few months have been breathlessly cheering on several key film remakes.

After intense criticism of rebooting the classic 1984 “Ghostbusters” film with a female cast, the director Paul Feig says he won’t re-do another classic film.

“No, no, no. No, I will not,” he told The Huffington Post. “This one was just too tempting because I knew we could do something with it that was exciting.”

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Of course, the actresses and Hollywood executives called any criticism of the “Ghostbusters” reboot sexist and misogynist while they trampled over hard-won nostalgia and sold sexism for the sake of so-called equality.

But Hollywood has not stopped there in breaking our warm nostalgic memories of 1980s movies.

Yes, they have decided to ruin another 1984 film: “Splash.”

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It was the film that took Tom Hanks from a TV actor trying to break through with roles in “Bosom Buddies” and “Happy Days” to a certifiable leading man and love interest for films to come. Daryl Hannah’s career also grew with her role of an innocent-yet-seductive mermaid exploring the chaos of 1980s city life and falling in love with a human.

But this was more than a love story that could be easily swapped out with new actors.  In fact, it was a ridiculously cheesy romantic comedy that grew with time as a beloved classic and garnered sentimental value for its time and place in the ascension of the careers of the leading stars.

Now Hollywood is replacing Hannah’s mermaid role with a new gender-flipped reboot of Channing Tatum playing a merman.  Yes, that’s right. A merman.

Even Steve Martin’s classic 1980s films are not safe from the unoriginal gender-bending.

MGM announced last week it will remake the 1988 film “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” Only this time, the male roles of two con men trying to go after a rich woman’s fortune, originally played by Steve Martin and Michael Caine, will go to two woman targeting a rich man. One of the women will be played by comedienne Rebel Wilson.

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There is even talk of a female James Bond. Apparently, the Bond spy girls are not enough. For the sake of feminism, we need a historically masculine franchise to be evolved to a hard-drinking, promiscuous female.

A part of Bond’s charm is his unapologetic pursuit of beautiful women. No matter how Hollywood would like to remake women as equals with men, promiscuity, drinking, and the savagery of Bond fights are rarely endearing qualities for a woman’s image. We are not there culturally.

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Hollywood has lost its way if it thinks changing the gender roles in classic films, engaging in politically correct “Frozen” campaigns to push Elsa to have a girlfriend, and pressuring to make Captain America gay, is original or worthwhile.

If we erase the lines of gender identity, we also begin to forget the age-old truths that make us love these classic films.

As Hollywood tries to regain the magic of classic films with these gender swaps, it misses much of what made these films special. Women can be tough, credible characters in action films. Angelina Jolie has made a fortune from them; Jennifer Lawrence has brought life to “The Hunger Games” franchise; and Ronda Rousey is likely to be our next tough gal rising star in Brad Thor’s upcoming “Athena Project” films.

Hollywood needs to focus on producing quality films for Americans with escapism and entertainment instead of remaking male-dominated franchises into politically charged gender-swapping flicks. Consumers are not that gullible when it comes to the movie industry’s cheap tactics of playing on old storylines.

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