The Avengers' director Joss Whedon criticises Jurassic World clip for '70s-era' sexism

LONDON (The Guardian) - Joss Whedon has suggested the forthcoming science fiction sequel Jurassic World risks advancing "70s-era sexist" stereotypes after viewing an extended clip in which stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard discuss their plans for a new breed of mutant dinosaur.

The director of The Avengers took to Twitter in response to a post from fanboy blog The Mary Sue, which focused largely on Pratt's sex appeal. "We're too busy fanning ourselves to talk more about Chris Pratt in this #JurassicWorld clip," read the original tweet.

Whedon's response was rather more critical: "... and I'm too busy wishing this clip wasn't 70's era sexist," he tweeted. "She's a stiff, he's a life-force - really? Still?"

In the clip, Pratt's dinosaur researcher (Owen Grady) attempts to flirt with Howard's uptight park operations manager (Claire Dearing) as they discuss the new breed of Indominus rex dinosaur created to boost visitor attendance. Grady recalls a date they once went on in which Dearing brought along an itinerary and refused to drink tequila because she was on a diet; she responds defensively and asks they focus on the "asset".

Grady, who given the events of previous Jurassic Park movies appears likely to be proved right, then admonishes her for forgetting that the new dinosaur is a living, breathing creature with its own desires and needs. Twice during the conversation, the researcher brings up the subject of sex, and in the latter instance appears to be comparing Dearing's inability to see past bare data to what he hints may be a less-than-healthy sex life.

Whedon, a feminist who often includes strong female characters in this movies, later said he regretted posting the response. But he admitted being "shocked" at the tone of the clip.

"You know, I honestly think that was bad form," the Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator told Badass Digest. "I literally forgot that I don't do that. I literally just went... I was so shocked! Honestly, I was shocked! Like a dowager - 'Oh, good lawd!'

"There are plenty of other things that bother and offend me in movies and I usually don't tweet about them unless the movie is old, long over," explained Whedon, who has not deleted his initial tweet. "I don't want to set myself up as the arbiter of awesome. I was shocked, and I thought, 'Come on, we can do better than this.' I didn't say the movie was a problem, just the clip. And having worked on a film of one of Crichton works, that's sort of how that formula operates. But as a quasi-celebrity it's uncouth of me to attack somebody else's material."

Whedon carried out an uncredited rewrite on 1996 disaster movie Twister, which was co-written by Jurassic Park creator Michael Crichton.

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