Joss Whedon Abandons His Values To Attack Nicole Kidman

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I love Joss Whedon and his work. He’s also a man rightly celebrated for his track record of creating strong, complex female characters. This has earned him the status of ‘feminist icon’.

This is what makes his recent tweets about Nicole Kidman particularly surprising and disappointing.

In a recent interview with the BBC, Nicole Kidman responded to a question about Donald Trump by saying “I would just say he’s now elected,”… “and we as a country need to support whoever the president is, because that’s what the country’s based on.”

This strikes me as a particularly tepid and middle of the ground attempt at political analysis, but others did not share my approximation, leading to a sizeable backlash to her comments.

Amongst that backlash was this Joss Whedon tweet:

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Kidman is dehumanised as (and has her appearance compared to) a puppet and labelled a ‘blunderturd’. Incisive, intelligent political engagement this is not.

Furthermore, why is shaming of women with reference to their appearance suddenly acceptable to Joss Whedon simply because they have a different perspective on how to proceed in a Trump USA?

It’s especially hypocritical when you consider Whedon retweeted this sentiment just days earlier:

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It’s clear that what Whedon means is that he doesn’t much care for celebrities being shamed for speaking up in favour of politics that he is also in favour of.

It’s interesting that you can purport to be for strong, opinionated, independent women then throw those values out of the window the moment they express a view you do not agree with.

Had this type of thing been tweeted by a right-wing conservative, you can be sure that it would have been rounded on by the left as an example of ‘misogyny’.

I think it’s worth reminding Joss Whedon that Barack Obama made similar comments when Trump won the election, yet I cannot seem to locate any puppet-based invectives hurled in Obama’s direction from Joss’s Twitter feed.

A lot of people have a ‘let’s just get on with it’ attitude to the American election. Which is understandable. This is not the same thing as being a fan of Donald Trump.

‘I was trying to stress that I believe in democracy and the American Constitution, and it was that simple,’ said Nicole Kidman in response to this bizarre outrage over her comments.

If, like me, you loathe Donald Trump, then you need to help challenge this sort of thing from the mainstream left. The ‘they’re evil/stupid and we’re the good guys’ mentality was part of what helped Trump to get elected in the first place. And the continuation of this infantile, lazy tactic will only serve to make the same people vote for him again.

Let’s hope Joss remembers the principles he’s so vocally advocated for over the years and recognises this attack on Nicole Kidman for the wrongheaded approach that it is.

Oh, and bring back Firefly.

Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.

18 comments

  • I don’t think he’s comparing her looking like a puppet, the picture on the left is a character from Team America. The show is about a group that blithely run roughshod all over the world enforcing American interests. Supporting dangerous policies because AMERICA is a pretty apt comparison to Kidman’s answer. Mind you I’m only basing that on what you’ve quoted her saying, kinda hoping she actually had more substance than that.

    • Stephen Knight

      He was comparing her appearance to a puppet (I actually think it’s Thunderbirds, hence ‘blunderturds’).

      That’s why he chose a blond, female one and put them side by side, rather than any of the other characters, or simply the Team America logo (if it is Team America).

      I don’t see how Kidman’s comments are in any way comparable to supporting running ‘roughshod all over the world enforcing dangerous policies’ if he is making a Team America point (I don’t think he is)

      Her view is so bland as to barely register as one. “He’s the president. I support democracy”. How controversial.

      It’s just another example of the Left’s ‘burn the Witch’ mentality when someone doesn’t read from the ‘not my president/he’s a monster’ hymn sheet.

      • Thunderbirds, ya? Guess I was giving the guy too much credit. Still, it seems a stretch to think that Whedon is shaming her appearance. The message i see is a derisive and mocking one in response to a ‘ embrace Dear Leader!’ I couldn’t give a crap what Kidman says, but if your quotes were the gist, ya, that deserves a rake over the coals. What bothers me is inconsistency and hypocrisy of denouncing a public shaming then perpetuating one.

      • Comparing ‘appearance’? I think not. He was comparing her with a puppet, alluding to her passive acceptance of Trump. Any likeness is mere convenience for the sake of humorous mockery … any blonde attractice female puppet would have done the job.

        As it happens I disagree anyway. I think Kidman was making the best to avoid taking sides, accepting America’s elected president while offering no specific positive support for the man.

        Of course a celeb can only fend off direct questions best they can. Unlike those taking to a stage with the express intent of using it as a political platform.

  • From someone who simply can’t stand Trump but find too much of the Left prone to self righteous political posturing – Good on you Stephen!

  • I’ve never understood the appeal of Buffy, Firefly or the Avengers movie. There, I’ve said it.

  • you sound like the idiots who think criticizing speech is equivalent to abridging free speech. If you say something stupid i can point it out.

  • I fancied Lady Penelope (even though a puppet and upper class) when I was a lad, and I fancy Nicole Kidman.
    That is probably “trite” and may be bigoted or far-right, I really have no idea now. But I don’t care. Anyone wanna fight?

  • Spot on Josh Whedon has made some of the most intelligent and witty TV ever. He’s astute and measured and incisive – and Firefly is a bloody masterpiece. So when he fails to live up to his own basic principles like this its… well I was going to say shameful but it isn’t because he’s perfectly entitled to shed principles if he wants to, it’s just bloody sad. It’s sad and I think it’s shallow too – and he’s clearly NOT a shallow guy.

  • Hh didn’t abandon his values…
    He’s a liberal “feminist” which means he only ever supports women who do as they’re told, toe the liberal line, and never ever do anything except what they’re told…
    And any woman who DOES step out of line is fair game for any and all attacks, including blatantly sexist ones.

    And the “celebrates should feel free to speak up” value he claimed to have; obviously only applies to celebrities he agrees with.
    Any who dare to step out of line again deserve whatever attacks they get.
    Honestly I thought that was clear from the start; he’s not been “pro free speech” as much as he is “pro liberal” so who would have expected anything else?

    He only “abandoned his values: if you thought he would put anything above liberalism, and there was some principle or belief he wouldn’t sacrifice for political expediency.
    Apparently you thought he did have some principle or belief he’d put above partisan politics… and are upset to find out you were wrong.
    I never thought he put anything about partisan hackery; so this is no surprise to me. It is exactly who I thought he was.

    • I agree 100%. A real man would apologize or perhaps another real man (Kidman’s husband, Keith Urban) would call him out for it.

  • I see the Emma Kennedy is recruiting for an anti Trump march in London. We can all agree that Trump is a twat but why do the nutty left see him as more demonic than hitler? Why are they obsessed with social justice in America (one of the least oppressive societies on Earth) yet silent on the horrendous victimisation of women and gays in muslim countries (also, muslim women in western countries)?

    • They fear what they think hell do. It doesn’t help that Hillary was almost a shoe in for office for the mass majority of the election cycle. But like with the modification in the filibuster rules, i hope the left realizes that their position, depending on how they play it might mean that every president is so challenged.

  • Large portions of the Left just seem to be having a hysterical fit at the moment, pretty much everywhere across the west.

    As far as I can tell, what happened is they just all became incredibly complacent and stopped listening to opposing points of view, just shutting them down with various insults and slogans instead. They genuinely thought that would be a workable strategy going forward.

    Well now the dam has burst as the number of people they dismissed reached a critical mass. They just don’t know how to retrace their steps back to the point where they have to take certain views seriously, so they’re just lashing it hoping it can all be reversed.

What do you think? Leave some comments!