The Big Sick's Kumail Nanjiani Insists Press Give Due Credit To Wife Emily V. Gordon

Photo: Emma McIntyre/WireImage.
I'd hope by now that everyone reading this has seen The Big Sick, which just snagged a win at the Critics' Choice Awards for Best Comedy, and also restored my faith in romantic comedies. But if not, this thread does a pretty amazing but heartbreaking job of summarizing the plot, which was based on the real story of Kumail Nanjiani's wife and co-collaborator Emily V. Gordon, whose mysterious illness brought them together. Recently, Gordon's mother found the note Nanjiani had left with his name and phone number the first night she was in the hospital, and it obviously brought up a wave of feelings that the actor then eloquently wrote about on Twitter. The Washington Post picked up the story, among many other outlets, but Nanjiani addressed them specifically due to an aggravating detail about their headline.
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"Hey @washingtonpost. Big fan. Love what y’all do. Appreciate you covering this. Could you add my wife’s name to this headline please? She is Emily V Gordon, & not just the inspiration, but one of the writers of The Big Sick."
The original headline read "Kumail Nanjiani opens up about his wife’s illness, the inspiration for The Big Sick," and WaPo wasn't the only place that neglected that important detail. The Big Sick star Zoë Kazan, who played Gordon's role in the film, also called out Twitter for not including Gordon's name in its Moment about the tweet.
"she has a name she has a name she has a name: Emily V. Gordon, now a multiply-award-nominated screenwriter. it's HER body & HER illness. the least you can do is put her name in the headline, if you're going to make a 'moment' of her life. thanks."
Luckily, both Twitter and the Post listened, and quickly the important changes were made. Within just a few minutes, the Twitter Moment updated to "Kumail Nanjiani opens up about his wife Emily V. Gordon's illness" and later the Washington Post replied to Nanjiani's tweet.
"You're right," they wrote. "We've changed the headline."
When men wonder how they can help during the current Hollywood push for equality, this is a great example to show them. While it may seem like a small detail, neglecting her name erases her not just out of her own story, but out of the equal amount of work she did on the movie with her partner. If we're persistent, these small changes will add up to much greater effects — and, hopefully, more incredible movies like The Big Sick.
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