Jodie Foster Says Filmmakers Rely Too Much on Rape Story Lines

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Photo: ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT

Speaking at Variety and Kering’s Women in Motion event at Cannes, Money Monster director Jodie Foster discussed her frustration with “lazy” male film writers who consistently rely on rape as a plot device.

“One of my biggest pet peeves as an actor was always that whenever a writer, a male writer, was searching for motivation for a woman, they would just always go to rape,” explained Foster, who herself won an Oscar for her turn as a rape survivor in 1998’s The Accused. “It was like, I wonder why she’s a box of tears? Oh, she was raped. I wonder why she’s having trouble with her boss? Well, its because she was raped.”

Foster believes that male writers lean on rape as motivation for female characters because they are unable to “put themselves in her shoes” and seek out more interesting or complex character choices. “For some reason men saw that as this incredible dramatic thing. Well, that’s easy, I can just pluck that one out of the sky and apply it to her,” she said. “Because they were uninterested in any kind of complex merging with a female character.”

Jodie, you are so very wise.