Marvel CEO Doesn't Value Female Superheroes

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If there is a bright side to the Sony hacks, it’s that Hollywood was forced to begin publicly facing its woman problem. While there’s still a long way to go, recognizing vast inequity is a first step toward the righting wrong. But, as much as it’s good to get everything out in the open, the path down a misogynistic inbox trail is a depressing one. 

Case in point: An email exchange between Sony CEO Michael Lynton and Marvel CEO Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter makes it perfectly clear that the latter believes super heroine films aren’t worth the investment. In the message, Perlmutter ticks off movies starring comic heroines — including Electra (“very bad idea and the end result was very, very bad), Catwoman (“this film was a disaster”), and Supergirl (“again, another disaster”) — that all performed poorly.  It’s clear from the exchange that he’s trying to convince Lynton that the financial incentive to make new female-helmed superhero movies is non-existent.

We get it. Perlmutter is talking about bottom line brass tacks, and betting on a historically underperforming horse isn’t a strong business move. But, behind the discussion about financial solvency is a truly disheartening statement. The CEO of one of the world's biggest comic book publishers doesn't believe that female superheroes are valuable. In reality, that opinion couldn't be further from the truth.

It's time to inject the idea that women can save the world into this corner of pop culture. Girls (and boys) need that narrative, and we would venture to say that adult women do, too. Women should be more than sexy sidekicks in black spandex catsuits, or the forever damsels in distress — and they can be. However, first superheroines have to be given the chance — and the faith — to succeed. 
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