What's Hollywood's problem with female directors?
Thanks to Rebecca Keegan for her journalistic prowess in covering a very real topic that most people just want to bury their heads in the sand about ["Women Set the Scene," June 28].
Sometimes I feel like the only reason nothing is done immediately is that no one's pay check is at stake, so it remains a remote topic off in the distance.
After I graduated from Art Center Film School, I got signed on to and terminated by companies for being pushy. When I bring up gender discrimination, many of my friends have no clue and tell me to read "The Secret" or Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People."
I hope that Sen. Barbara Boxer and media people can take a stance. Why should women not get equal support and opportunity?
Right now I am pushing myself ahead to direct a documentary called "The Barbie Effect" about how women are socialized and the long-term impact of Barbie dolls in teaching females to self-objectify.
When I was employed at a TV commercial company, they used to say "Go play with your Barbie dolls." I hope the glass ceiling cracks. There is no reason to get a film school education if you are blocked from using it.
Marina del Rey
'Magic Mike' distortions
Regarding "Magic Mike XXL" ["Abs and Raunch Aplenty Amid the Skimpiest of Plots, July 1]: Rebecca Keegan has distilled in one perfect sentence the sentiment that my female friends and I have about movies like this that contort themselves in an effort to appeal to women: "... there is something about the protein-powder-built bodies in 'Magic Mike XXl' that feels out of step, like a male fantasy of what a female fantasy should be."
We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
I really don't want to know what "Magic Mike XXL" is about ["'Magic Mike' Sequel Gets Stripped Down to Basics,"June 28], but the photo tells me all I need to know about where society has been and where it's going. The level of prurience has exceeded anything Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt combined ever imagined. We are sexualizing both men and women, debasing all.
We no longer have the language for community standards, for morality, for civilized society. We know something is wrong, but we can't put our fingers on it; so we numb our anxiety and unease with drugs, sex and rock 'n' roll.
Neil Young's hypocrisy
Neil Young's latest artistic endeavor is once again overloaded with everything he doesn't like about the U.S.A. ["Aged Sage, Raging Against World," July 1]. To paraphrase a quote from Shakespeare, "this fellow doth protest too much." I do not begrudge Young his opinions, but I think it's fraudulent to describe him as being "in angry citizen mode" since he's never bothered to become a citizen of this country.
Yet Mr. Young has been reaping the benefits of this country ever since he arrived here in the 1960s. He probably has enough money to buy Monsanto by now. He's his own corporation, but that irony seems to be lost on this miserable fellow.
Arts programs help children
First, our federal government cuts art programs, and now the private sector is going down the same road ["Taking Artists Out of the Picture," June 24]. When will they realize how important this is to children in their formative years. For many years, I have been a docent at LACMA, and I realized that the education of children is not a priority. Maybe if the youth of today had other interests, such as art and music, they wouldn't be so focused on violence and crime.
Two views on the BET Awards
Hold on, writer Gerrick Kennedy. The BET Awards show does not stand out in its relevance, regardless of its color ["Why This Show Still Matters," June 27]. Until all these shows stop only recognizing the same artist over and over, it's just another show to praise the praised. At least the recent CMT Awards introduced the viewing public to up and comers while praising their praised.
Cathedral City, Calif.
I am pleased to see the continuing impact of BET with its fine awards show in Los Angeles some 25 years after BET founder Bob Johnson asked me to relocate from Boston in order to set up that network's West Coast studio operations and launch its first shows.
BET mattered then when we were operating out of a modest studio in Burbank just as much as the BET Awards matter today being beamed to America from LA Live.
Having covered the BET Awards since its inception as well the Oscars, the Grammy, the Emmys, etc., over the past 20 years, I can attest to the vibrancy and charisma of the BET Awards. Yes, the BET Awards still matter.
Tanya K. Hart