According to Olivia Wilde, the antagonist of her upcoming film Don’t Worry Darling is based directly on scholar Jordan Peterson, who she considers to be little more than an “insane pseudo-intellectual”.
Wilde offered her thoughts on Peterson during a recent interview given to Maggie Gyllenhaal on behalf of Interview Magazine.
Therein, while speaking to the conception of the film’s antagonist Frank, portrayed on-screen by Chris Pine, Wilde admitted that she and her production team “based that character on this insane man, Jordan Peterson, who is this pseudo-intellectual hero to the incel community.”
“They’re basically disenfranchised, mostly white men, who believe they are entitled to sex from women,” explained Wilde. “And they believe that society has now robbed them—that the idea of feminism is working against nature, and that we must be put back into the correct place.”
Following a scoff of “Well, they must be psyched. Things are going really well for them,” from Gyllenhaal, the Spider-Woman director added, “Yeah, they’re actually succeeding in many different ways. But this guy Jordan Peterson is someone that legitimizes certain aspects of their movement because he’s a former professor, he’s an author, he wears a suit, so they feel like this is a real philosophy that should be taken seriously.”
Peterson has been a thorn in the side of progressives for years due to his aforementioned popularity, which he earned thanks to his rejection and subsequent dissection of the twin ideals of intersectional feminism and neoliberal gender ideology.
In fact, the man has become so hated that Marvel Comics and Ta-Nehisi Coates saw fit to turn classic Nazi villain the Red Skull into a Peterson analogue during the writer’s recent Captain America run.
Upon hearing of Wilde’s comments, Peterson responded to the director’s accusations by issuing a statement to the National Post wherein he both downplayed her claims that he is an “incel hero” and noted that he considered Pine’s casting as the character to be a compliment.
“Now, (Pine) has a reputation as quite an attractive man … so that could be worse,” he told the publication. “I also hope that Chris Pine at least does the sartorial splendour of my very formal public wardrobe justice as he pillories me in the latest bit of propaganda disseminated by the woke, self-righteous bores and bullies who now dominate Hollywood, and who insist that the production of such tripe.”
However, Peterson did take exception to Wilde’s derogatory dismissal of “incels”, offering the alternative definition of these men as ” “unsuccessful enough in the dating market to remain involuntarily celibate,” before noting that the term itself “might be regarded in this context as the kind of derogatory slur compassionate progressives claim to eschew.”
“Many of the young men whom the progressive and cancel-culture-facilitating mad woke mob (which contains no shortage of bitter, self-righteous, victimhood-brandishing, virtue-signalling, accusatory and even outright demented mean-girl feminists) have shamed and tortured into cowering for ever daring to manifest a single masculine attribute have turned to my work and found some solace therein,” he asserted.
Considering how close the “feminist icon” once was with convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein, her entire hatred of Peterson and his “incel” fans comes off as highly ironic – especially as in 2015, even before the birth of the #MeToo movement, a second-hand story published by Gawker directly named Wilde as an an accomplice to the disgraced film mogul’s behavior.
As relayed to writer Jordan Sargent by “A New York-based tabloid journalist”, who himself had heard the story from a young model, Weinstein told the woman that if she wanted to get into Hollywood, she would do best to meet him in his office for a threesome between her, himself, and Wilde – an offer which she ultimately declined.
In fact, the two were once so close that not only did they sit together courtside at a 2014 New York Knicks game, but during a 2011 screening of their film Butter, Wilde read aloud an invitation written by Weinstein to then-Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann “to co-host with [him] the big premiere of Butter in Iowa in a few months from now.”
Unfortunately for Wilde, not even this tired swing can distract from the fact that the promotion of Don’t Worry Darling has been an absolute mess.
At the top, there have been the reports of an ongoing feud between the film’s director and its star Florence Pugh, who is now refusing to promote the film following a supposed fallout with Wilde. Even her recent attendance at the Venice Film Fesitval was explicitly limited at her request.
Pugh has reportedly been upset with Wilde for a number of reasons, most of all the director’s relationship with the film’s other male lead, Harry Styles.
Styles and Wilde have been dating since they met on the set of the film in January 2021, and many insiders have alleged that Wilde’s relationship with Styles lead to her very public breakup with long-time boyfriend Jason Sudeikis.
Actor Shia LaBeouf has also found himself in the middle of the Don’t Worry Darling drama.
Originally cast to portray male lead Jack Chambers opposite Pugh before abruptly exiting the project and leaving his role to be filled by Styles, LaBeouf was said by Wilde to have been dropped from the film because “he has a process that, in some ways, seems to require a combative energy, and I don’t personally believe that is conducive to the best performances”.
“A lot came to light after this happened that really troubled me, in terms of his behavior,” Wilde told Variety during a recent interview, referring to the abuse allegations leveled against the actor by his ex-girlfriend, musician FKA Twigs. “Particularly with a movie like this, I knew that I was going to be asking Florence to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was making her feel safe and making her feel supported.”
However, the day after Wilde’s accusation was published, LaBeouf contacted Variety directly and, alongside a video in which the director can be supposedly be seen pleading with the actor to stay on the production, with the outlet shared a number emails allegedly exchanged between himself and Wilde which showed that he actually left the film over a “lack of rehearsal time”.
In the interest of transparency, he also made public an email he had written to Wild following her interview’s publication wherein he asserted, “I am greatly honored by your words on my work; thank you, that felt good to read. I am a little confused about the narrative that I was fired, however.”
“You and I both know the reasons for my exit,” he continued. “I quit your film because your actors & I couldn’t find time to rehearse. I have included as a reminder the screenshots of our text exchange on that day, and my text to Tobey.”
“There is a time and a place to deal with such things, and I am trying to navigate a nuanced situation with respect for her and the truth, hence my silence,” said The Peanut Butter Falcon star. “But this situation with your film and my ‘firing’ will never have a court date with which to deal with the facts. If lies are repeated enough in the public they become truth. And so, it makes it that much harder for me to crawl out of the hole I have dug with my behaviors, to be able to provide for my family.”
In further support of LaBeouf’s recollection of events, shortly after his letter was published by Variety, a video leaked online showing Wilde simultaneously pleading with him to stay on the project and passing the blame for the rehearsal miscommunication onto Pugh.
“I’m not ready to give up on this yet,” says Wilde in the video, which was – originally provided by the actor to the trade news outlet as evidence towards his version of the story. “I, too, am heartbroken and I want to figure this out. You know, I think this might be a bit of a wake-up call for Miss Flo[rence Pugh], and I want to know if you’re open to giving this a shot with me, with us.”
“If she really commits, if she really puts her mind and heart into it at this point and if you guys can make peace — and I respect your point of view, I respect hers — but if you guys can do it, what do you think?,” the director concludes her plea. “Is there hope? Will you let me know?”
here is the video of olivia telling shia she wants to work it out and that if “miss flo” could “commit” more than it could happen.
please ignore that hashtag on the video I didn’t put it there. pic.twitter.com/vAQPBqPRYE
— sophia (@hellopugh) August 26, 2022
As of writing, neither party has responded to the video’s public leaking.
Don’t Worry Darling hits theaters on September 23rd.