By now, unless you've been living under a rock, you know about the comments DC movie mogul David Goyer made on the Scriptnotes podcast about She-Hulk, calling the character a "giant green porn star." The host of the podcast, Craig Mazin, addressed the controversy on the Scriptnotes blog today. An excerpt:
They think I slut-shamed She-Hulk.
First off, my point wasn’t that I think She-Hulk is a slut. I don’t. I don’t think anyone is a slut. I don’t think there’s anything shameful about female sexuality or the female body.
What I don’t like is the practice of pushing exaggerated images of female bodies to boys because it sells comic books or video games. Women in comics and video games aren’t accidentally drawn over and over and over again with outsized breasts, long legs and narrow waists. It’s marketing. Having a character remark recursively on that marketing doesn’t negate the marketing, of course. It’s a clever way to defuse criticism with grownups while selling issues to hormone-addled boys. John and I have talked about this issue on the podcast before as it relates to video games (specifically in support of the work done by Anita Sarkeesian).
Bottom line: I wasn’t saying that I think she’s a slut. I was saying I think the people who created her were at one time pushing a visual image of Hulk as Slut in order to make money. And I don’t like that. My comment was entirely about the illustration of a fictional character. It was not a reflection of my opinion of the mind or actions of the character.
Here's the transcript of the comments again (from The Mary Sue):
Craig Mazin: The real name for She-Hulk was Slut-Hulk. That was the whole point. Let’s just make this green chick with enormous boobs. And she’s Hulk strong but not Hulk massive, right? … She’s real lean, stringy…
David S. Goyer: She’s still pretty chunky. She was like Chyna from the WWE.
Mazin: The whole point of She-Hulk was just to appeal sexistly to ten-year-old boys. Worked on me.
Goyer: I have a theory about She-Hulk. Which was created by a man, right? And at the time in particular I think 95% of comic book readers were men and certainly almost all of the comic book writers were men. So the Hulk was this classic male power fantasy. It’s like, most of the people reading comic books were these people like me who were just these little kids getting the shit kicked out of them every day… And so then they created She-Hulk, right? Who was still smart… I think She-Hulk is the chick that you could fuck if you were Hulk, you know what I’m saying? … She-Hulk was the extension of the male power fantasy. So it’s like if I’m going to be this geek who becomes the Hulk then let’s create a giant green porn star that only the Hulk could fuck.
It's good to see Mazin clarify his position, though some might consider Goyer's statements to be on a whole different level. Will Goyer address the controversy, or just lay low until it blows over? We'll have to wait and see.
Mazin went on to admit that he might be wrong about the motivations of She-Hulk's creators:
Also, if the people who created She-Hulk think I’m totally wrong, I can accept that. They might not be sexist, their intentions may have been pure, and if so, I am guilty of seeing sexism where none was intended. If fans of She-Hulk suspect that I’m not one of them, and that I clumsily wandered into their culture… yup. No question. Guilty as charged. And there’s also no question that the appearance and character of She-Hulk has evolved dramatically and positively over the years. My comments were entirely about the early appearance of the character. She-Hulk isn’t being drawn in the style of a cheesecake model anymore. I think that’s a very good thing.
1. When Lee, as writer, co-created She-Hulk with artist John Buscema (the character debuted in February of 1980, in Savage She-Hulk #1), he was absolutely focused on his gamma-green superheroine having brains. Lee tells The Post’s Comic Riffs this evening, in response to Goyer’s words: “I know I was looking for a new female superhero, and the idea of an intelligent Hulk-type grabbed me.”
2. So, did Lee intend for Hulk and She-Hulk to be “kissin’ cousins,” as it were — in other words, was Walters created to be Banner’s brawny, X-rated plaything? “Never for an instant did I want her as a love interest for Hulk,” Lee tells Comic Riffs tonight. “Only a nut would even think of that.”
3. Goyer insists She-Hulk was created, physically, as a “male power fantasy.” So, how about She-Hulk’s tremendous physique, Stan the Man? “As for her looking beautiful and curvy,” Lee tells Comic Riffs, “show me the superheroine who isn’t.”
As for future discussion of She-Hulk, Mazin is tapping out:
And that’s all I have left to say about She-Hulk for the rest of my life.