Actress Jennifer Lawrence backtracked on remarks she made implying that no female action heroes existed before her role in The Hunger Games.
“I remember when I was doing Hunger Games, nobody had ever put a woman in the lead of an action movie, because it wouldn’t work, we were told. Girls and boys can both identify with a male lead, but boys cannot identify with a female lead,” she said during an interview with actress Viola Davis this week as part of Variety’s Actors on Actors series.
Lawrence’s comments prompted a severe backlash, with multiple critics noting that female action heroes had existed long before her, even before she was born, from Pam Grier to Sigourney Weaver. As John Nolte of Breitbart News opined:
This is what the left does. It is always Year Zero to them. This is how they lie to the ignorant and stupid, to those who want to forever feel like victims and crusaders. America is still racist, still sexist, and still engaging in colonialism. Mississippi is always burning. Stonewall is always rioting. Bras always need burning. Remember this B.S. about Black Panther?
No one batted an eye in 1986 when Sigourney Weaver ran around wiping out aliens. Why? Because she wasn’t an “identity” kicking butt. Instead, she was an awesome character — tough, feminine, flawed, heroic, nurturing, protective, and willing to die to save her surrogate daughter.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter (THR) on Thursday, Lawrence said that her words were misconstrued and that she only meant to emphasize “how good it feels” to be a female action hero.
“That’s certainly not what I meant to say at all. I know that I am not the only woman who has ever led an action film. What I meant to emphasize was how good it feels,” she said. “And I meant that with Viola — to blow past these old myths that you hear about … about the chatter that you would hear around that kind of thing. But it was my blunder and it came out wrong. I had nerves talking to a living legend.”
Lawrence added that she has been misquoted before, mentioning the time she appeared to imply that Donald Trump was responsible for hurricanes.
“One time I was quoted saying that Donald Trump was responsible for hurricanes. I felt that one was ridiculous, that it was so stupid I didn’t need to comment. But this one, I was like, ‘I think I want to clarify,’” she said.