Erin Cummings to John Campea on The New Rumored Star Wars Series: “I Really, Really Loathe The Descriptor of Female Led”
On The John Campea Show, his co-host and Spartacus actress Erin Cummings explained why she loathes the descriptor of female led while discussing the new rumored Star Wars series from Russian Doll co-creator Leslye Headland.
Answering a fan question regarding the series, Campea first explained his opinion regarding the rumor, “Whenever you court and go out and get insane, award-winning level talent as storytellers you are just setting yourself up for good things.”
He adds, “I mean it can go bad. It can go bad. We’ve seen it go bad before. But generally speaking you are just setting yourself up for success when you are putting the people who have already demonstrated that they can make great, compelling onscreen stories and you get them to run something like this as well.”
Campea then states, “Now listen, listen. I can already hear the manbabies crying about, ‘Why is it female-centric? There is an agenda?’ Let’s just put that to bed and not touch on this again shall we? They’ve already got three other series that are all male lead.”
“That means right now, if this comes out and it’s only four shows, that’s 75% of them male lead, they got one that’s going to happen to be a female lead one. Deal with it. And just move on. Can we move on from that? Thank you,” Campea continued.
Campea then goes on to state that he thinks the show sounds great because of the talent behind the scenes referring to Russian Doll co-creator Leslye Headland. He explains, “This is somebody who is hot right now. Not only did she work on Russian Doll, but if you go through her IMDB she has a really impressive resume of stuff she has worked on before. And I think she can bring something pretty exciting here.”
He concludes, “Overall, I think this is pretty exciting. You get a talented person like this on it.”
Campea then throws it to his co-host Erin Cummings, who provides a very drastic opinion. Cummings begins by praising Russian Doll and believes it’s cool that Headland is attached to a Star Wars series.
But she takes issue with the fact that the series is being marketed as female-centric.
She states, “You are going to be a little surprised about what I have to say though. I really, really loath the descriptor of female-led.”
Cummings then explains, “And here’s why. I love the idea of a predominantly female cast. I think it’s fantastic. And if this is a world, which it’s like maybe there’s a planet and there’s only female characters.”
She then goes on to describe an episode from Rick and Morty that takes place on a female-only planet and pokes fun at a lot of stereotypes about women.
Bringing it back to Star Wars, Cummings states, “So if they want to make a world that’s just women and kind of pokes fun at us too, cool. I’m all in.”
She then continues to explain her issue with how the series is already being promoted, “But my problem is, why are you only releasing the fact that it’s a female-centric show, ‘Oh and they are going to be doing some kung-fu or whatever.’ Why say that?”
Cummings then points out the hypocrisy of how the series is being marketed, “Can you read me that headline again, except take out female-centric and just put male-centric. But the point is these other shows that you talk about that are predominantly male-driven, nobody says, ‘Oh, we have this upcoming series, we aren’t going to tell you anything about it, but it’s going to be predominantly men, you wanna watch?’ That’s exactly what it’s saying.”
She continues, “For me, yes, I want to see shows with more women, obviously. But you don’t have to say that’s the selling point. Tell me a little bit about the story. Make me fall in love with the story. Ultimately, if the show does fail, it looks like it failed because it was female-centric. Not because of a million other factors that it could have failed by.”
“And also when the first news of it is female-centric, I know there is a lot of people, not just men and some women, named Karen, are going to be alright I’m not interested in that. I’m tuning that out,” she added.
“I would have preferred if they said, “Oh! Leslye Headland is going to be doing this new show and it’s going to be about martial arts and this is a little bit of the story. And then just cast a bunch of women. And just let us discover that,” Cummings states.
“But I hate the fact that it has to be female-centric because you don’t have that for male-centric shows. It all of a sudden becomes categorized as chick-flick stuff,” Cummings adds.
Campea does note that Variety’s headline did not include female-centric, but Cummings pushes back, “If there was anything else. But the only thing we have to go on about this show is that it’s female-centric. I just feel like it’s a little gimmicky to be honest. And I feel like it’s a little pandering.”
Cummings would double down later in the video saying, “That information is clearly coming from Lucasfilm, ‘We can’t tell you anything, but there’s gonna be a lot of ladies.’ If you are going to tell Variety anything say a plot point, say something besides the fact that, ‘Hey for all the ladies out there that want to watch themselves on the Star Wars’ that’s why it feels gimmicky to me.”
Campea’s arguments fall pretty flat. First his 75% comment isn’t really accurate given he did not include the rumor about Ahsoka Tano potentially being spun off in her own series from The Mandalorian Season 2.
Then he argues that because Variety didn’t use the term in their headline it was okay. However, everyone else did including us here at Bounding Into Comics. It’s because as Cummings notes it’s the only real piece of information about the series in the article other than it won’t take place in the timeline of the Skywalkers. Absolutely no plot or story details were offered.
But maybe more interesting, and Campea notes they didn’t really get to discuss it, is Headland’s personal beliefs. She’s made some pretty incendiary comments regarding women, and when people make comments like those it usually drastically affects their work and I would argue infects the work and ruining anything good that might have come from it.
Hiring Headland also appears to show that Disney and Lucasfilm are doubling down on their current storytelling model. The model that gave us the disastrous Disney sequel trilogy that ruined beloved characters and fundamentally altered the basics of the Star Wars universe including the Force.
What do you make of Cummings’ comments regarding how this rumored Star Wars series is being marketed?