Gillian Anderson has found success with her show The Fall—a murder mystery set in Belfast that also stars Fifty Shades Of Grey actor Jamie Dornan–but, for some critics, the series is somewhat glamorizing violence against women.
While Anderson portrays a strong detective on a show that reportedly has a strong feminist thread running throughout it, sites like The Guardian pose the idea that writer Allan Cubitt still hasn’t risen above the misogyny that he’s been accused of in the past.
“In spite of Cubitt’s recent admission that in the first series the camera may indeed have lingered for too long on “certain things”, it’s crystal clear to anyone who cares to tune in that The Fall is still in the business of glamorising violence against women by equating it not only with sex, but with sexual attractiveness,” wrote Rachel Cooke.
But Cubitt says that’s just not the case; rather, the show sets out to explore why men turn to violence.
“It sets out to explore a complex and difficult subject, which always runs the risk of being held up as an example of it rather than a critique of it….My feeling is that people who think that about it probably haven’t given it the closest reading. It might be a knee jerk reaction to something that depicts violence against women,” he said.
Anderson spoke out against sexism and the way women are viewed–both in Hollywood and in real life–in a recent interview with Red Magazine, saying that it’s “intolerable”.
“It’s built into our society. It’s easy to miss and it’s easy to get used to it. There are things that are intolerable in today’s world, in terms of the perception of women. Whether they’re vamps or vixens… the expectation is that, if a woman is wearing a short skirt, she’s ‘asking for it,'” she said.
The actress also noted that when she began “The X-Files” in 1993, the difference between her pay and David Duchovny’s was huge.
“At the beginning, the pay disparity was massive. But that happens all the time in Hollywood. It’s, ‘Do this for me, I’ll get you a job,'” she said.
As for The Fall, Cubitt says that it’s not meant to be demeaning to women in any way, but he does want to show the facets of a brutal killer’s personality, which includes how that character feels about the women he kills.
“If you’re going to have a character like Spector, you’re going to be embracing some very disturbing psychological dimensions to the character, but at the same time, you’re saying no criminal is just their criminality, they have many other aspects as well, but that’s disturbing,” he said.