Amandla Stenberg is over ‘people talking about my chest,’ especially this film critic
“Bodies Bodies Bodies” is the latest film in Amandla Stenberg’s body of work. But the actor has had enough of what other people think of her body — specificially her chest.
On Thursday, the “Hate U Give” star was the subject of social media drama after she sent a private message to New York Times film critic Lena Wilson on Wednesday. In her unfavorable review, Wilson wrote, without singling out Stenberg, that the Gen-Z thriller “doubles as a 95-minute advertisement for cleavage and Charli XCX’s latest single.” In the film, Stenberg dons a tank top and cargo shorts.
“I said, ‘Great review. Maybe if you had gotten your eyes of my t—, you could have watched the movie,’” Stenberg explained while laughing in an Instagram Story Thursday. “I thought it was hilarious. I thought that because Lena is gay — I’m also gay — I thought that as gay people we would both find this comment funny.”
Maria Bakalova, Rachel Sennott and Pete Davidson lead a strong cast in a darkly comic thriller that tries to repackage Agatha Christie for Generation Z.
Except Wilson didn’t seem to find it amusing. Instead, the writer tweeted the private Instagram exchange and wondered if Stenberg, 23, had sent similar DMs to other film critics. Wilson also accused the actor of being homophobic.
“always weird when the homophobia is coming from inside the house but this is something,” Wilson tweeted. (She has since made her Twitter account private.)
From open mic nights to “Shiva Baby,” the actor and stand-up has spent a career working up to A24’s satirical summer slasher. And it all paid off.
In Thursday’s Instagram Stories, Stenberg said she didn’t mean for her comment to Wilson to be taken seriously, but clarified that she wanted to bring attention to “the amount of commentary I’ve received on my boobs,” which has happened since she was a teenager.
“I do get tired about people talking about my chest,” she added. “It seems to be in Hollywood, it’s not normalized to have boobs that are above an A or a B cup.”
Stenberg also acknowledged that Wilson’s “95-minute advertisement for cleavage” line could have been a dig at the studio, A24, “sexualizing me, sexualizing my body, exploiting young women in order to sensationalize them to make their media popular.”
But even if that were the case, Stenberg said, “There seems to be a lot of unwarranted conversation around my chest that just kind of baffles me.”
‘Bodies Bodies Bodies,’ ‘Sharp Stick’ and ‘Not Okay’ attempt to bring Gen Z sensibilities — and, Hollywood hopes, viewers — to the movies. Here’s how.
Stenberg then defused the situation with a message for Wilson.
“Anyways, Lena, I thought your review was hilarious. I thought my DM was funny. I did not mean to harass you. I do not wish you any harm,” she said. “You are allowed to have your criticisms on my work, and I’m allowed to have my criticisms of your work. And that is A-OK with me, and I wish you the best.”
Stenberg cheekily concluded her Instagram Story by thanking movie-goers who have “seen our 95-minute advertisement for cleavage.” And then she laughed again.
It's a date
Get our L.A. Goes Out newsletter, with the week's best events, to help you explore and experience our city.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.