Recent Controversies Surrounding Women in the Media
By Sydney Burke, Social Media Editor
Following the 2023 Oscars, host Jimmy Kimmel is facing backlash for a comment he made towards women’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai.
During the ceremony, Kimmel approached Yousafzai, who’s work as a global female education activist earned her the title of the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner in history. Kimmel addressed this massive accomplishment during the conversation, then proceeded to ask if she believes Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine during the “Don’t Worry Darling” premiere, an incident that has been joked about online for months now.
Yousafzai was clearly uncomfortable during the interaction but responded swiftly by stating, “I only talk about peace.” She later turned to Twitter posting the video and urging her followers to “Treat People With Kindness,” a phrase often associated with Styles himself.
“As an entertainer and a host you should know who you are bringing on stage and tailor your questions towards their accomplishments,” said Nyana Chillous, a sophomore. “You can have fun and talk about pop culture, but the main focus should be on them and their lives.”
Although the movement surrounding female empowerment has become stronger in the last several years, women in the media are often overlooked or judged by men for feminine qualities.
A situation like the one at the Oscars is nothing new. For years, women in entertainment have been urged to be less sexually provocative in their writing while men are celebrated for doing the same.
In fact, the Oscars have been heavily criticized for several years for their gendered categories, although women and men can be judged equally for acting performances. Additionally, a study by the Women’s Media Center found that only 19% of nominations in non-acting categories (such as directing, producing, writing, etc.) have gone to women. Although it is easy to turn a blind eye to issues that women face in Hollywood, it is important to acknowledge them and change this.
“Pop culture should be about having fun and expressing yourself,” said Chillous. “Gender roles should not play a role in it, but unfortunately they have to.”
Kimmel has yet to comment on the uncomfortable interaction, although many watching the Oscars took to Twitter urging him to issue an apology.