Alicia Silverstone doesn’t get the hype over Wonder Woman & representation

Alicia Silverstone’s dramedy, American Woman, has been picked up by TV Land. The show is set in the ‘70s and is based on executive producer Kyle Richards upbringing. Alicia is the center of the show playing a single mother, and Mena Survari and Jennifer Bartels playher best friends. So it’s a very female-centric show, which is great. However, it is far from the norm, something about which Alicia seems unaware. Alicia and Mena sat down with Variety to promote the new show. As you probably know, Wonder Woman is the largest grossing live-action film from a female director, not to mention a female-led superhero movie and it’s also top-grossing domestic film for DCEU. When the subject of Wonder Woman came up, Alicia gave an entitled and bizarre answer which was hard to interpret. Alicia said she doesn’t get the hype about Wonder Woman because there have been so many female led movies and TV shows like Bridesmaids, Mean Girls, The Good Wife, Rough Night and, of course, Clueless. So, so many – I am breathless from having listed them all. And yet, she frames her answer around the fact that her show deals with how unfairly women have been treated and how hard they have had to fight, which seems… contradictory?

In case you couldn’t watch, I’ve pulled a few quotes – thanks to Jezebel for transcribing them. Alicia started by saying:

Before Wonder Woman—Wonder Woman? Before Wonder Woman there have been many movies with female leads, so I get a little confused about the conver—I understand that we are not in a place—this is what the show [American Woman] is about.

It really bugged me that Alicia had to “verify” the name for Wonder Woman as if she had never heard of it before. She’s making a point but I don’t get it. And her segue from “not getting” the hype about Wonder Woman to her show being about how far behind women are doesn’t work. The reason WW’s success is such a victory is because of the long and hard road women have forged to get her there. Those two ideas are directly connected in my mind.

But she stumbles further when she tries to cite her examples and can’t remember the names of the movies she is using as evidence:

We have made strides of course, because I think about, what about all those wonderful comedians who are females who have had massive hits? There’s Bridesmaids. There’s a movie out right now… with tons of girls? I’m sure it’s killing it, right?

Rough Night opened two weeks ago and has only made $16M so no, it’s not “killing it.” And the movies she is citing are comedies. I don’t disparage their success – huzzah to female comedies! Again, WW is opening doors for female led superheroes. That’s huge. I also feel like Alicia has it in for Wonder Woman specifically. She “forgets” the name and then she said she didn’t want her kids to experience all the stimulating effects and loud noise. She goes on to say, “But that’s what audiences want, so it’s a tricky thing. Sometimes it’s just the quieter more interesting things sometimes get seen because they touch someone enough.” It almost sounds personal, doesn’t it?

But the part I absolutely cannot explain is that after all of this shoulder-shrugging about Wonder Woman, Alicia talked about Clueless almost not being made because – wait for it – nobody would be interested in watching a girl.

“One studio said no to it because they didn’t think anybody was interested in watching a movie about a young girl. Those people now do kick themselves that they were not a part of that film, but the movie was set up at a studio—and we were all set to go—and they were like ‘We just don’t think anyone is going to care.’”

I do think Alicia believes what she is saying and that makes me sad. I like Alicia but I can’t defend this. The only thing she outright acknowledged was pay disparity and that’s because it affects her. There are more female shows and movies than there were but that are not “so many.” And they are still getting rejected because studios “just don’t think anyone is going to care.” She needs to pull her head out of the sand.

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Photo credit: WENN Photos and Getty Images

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56 Responses to “Alicia Silverstone doesn’t get the hype over Wonder Woman & representation”

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  1. Melody says:

    “I got mine… so why are you complaining?”

    • Kdlaf says:

      Has she though…. Thats what gets me. If Meryl Streep or Jennifer Lawrence had said this Id be less surprised because they have big enough careers/Oscar worthy films being thrown at them every day and I could totally see them being out of touch. But Alicia? Girl…

  2. Char says:

    Clueless much?

    • hannah89 says:

      she wishes she was relevant again. this show will get axed quick.

      • Elizabeth Rose says:

        Yep, this is precisely what I read as well. She wishes she was relevant again.

        The new hot thing (Gal Gadot) has become the focus and the conversation – Gal is among the new crop of women who are not only breathtakingly beautiful, but smart, funny, strong and articulate and gasp, not blonde either. Alicia doesn’t stand a chance when put up against her. Alicia’s new show sounds antiquated and I think because of her responses and naysaying about Wonder Woman – which literally made me cry (esp. during the fight scene) it was so powerful to see women being that strong and formidable – I refuse to watch whatever show her and her blonde co-star are putting out. She needs to go away.

      • Shirleygail says:

        Elizabeth Rose: ThQ 100% you said everything!

      • SM says:

        I agree, this is what I read into that also. It was personal, she tried to divert from that after her remark on WW but was insuccessful. I mean she was the it girl she had everything going on for her at one moment. In addition to clueless she was in two Aerosmith hit song music videos. She was all over tv once and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say – one of the few. Now she is irrelevant and has to struggle because times changed and there are so many women trying to make it in Hollywood and killing it. In addition to that what she said about her kids – looks like she is a very traditional parent who controls how they live, what they see and so on. She may think it’s bad for them to see womens’ stories when they are sexualised and when there is fighting and what… flashy imagery? That is her right as a mother but she should then also realize that by her standarts her kids should be forbidden from wathcing Clueless. So I am not buying what she is saying. Also promoting a show with female cast and shading a movie with a female lead is not a good selling strategy

  3. milla says:

    Ok i do not get it either. I am just not into comics or superheroes. Female director and lead actress clearly did great job but its just not my cup of tea.

    • Anon says:

      Agreed. I couldn’t care less about any superhero movie, male or female.

    • Algernon says:

      That’s fine that it’s not your cup of tea, but that doesn’t negate the success or the people who are excited/inspired by it. Alicia should have framed her remarks as, “Superhero movies aren’t my thing, but I’m so happy to see Wonder Woman doing so well.” And then just move on. She’s promoting a show about the struggle of women toward equality, she should have been prepared to speak to these issues during press and clearly wasn’t.

    • Lucy says:

      Not being into them is one thing, and it’s fine. The problem here is that she sounds completely out of touch and ignorant about the existing issues with female portrayals in fiction, and for a woman who’s been in the industry for years, that’s practically unacceptable.

    • SamfromTrinidad says:

      I have yet to see Wonder Woman – so I am not commenting on the quality of the movie – but I think the reason its so important and noteworthy is that it is a big budget, well promoted, action movie with a female lead and story that is literally killing the box office. This is not normal and something to be celebrated. Female led, or women-subject centric movies do well but the hallmark of box office success is the action film which is traditionally male led and those which are female led tend to struggle – see Catwoman with Halle Berry for instance. Even movies like Terminator 2 with the awesome Sara Conner character was driven by Arnold. The new Star Wars movies have strong female roles as do many action movies now – Black Widow for instance but they are collaborative casts. Scarlett Johanssen (sp) as popular as she is hasn’t been able to do this. I don’t necessarily get the hype either. I wanted to see a physically strong woman as Wonder Woman not really the super skinny Gal Gadot, but i am happy for her success…they need to give her a solid bonus instead of what they paid her.

      • Shirleygail says:

        I thoroughly enjoyed Gal Gadot in the role of Wonder Woman; supported the choice when it was first announced. It was a fun movie. And I enjoyed Catwoman too. Halle Berry seemed to know how camp it was and was letting us in on it. She’d sometimes just have this brilliant, sly look on her face that would crack me right up. Come to think of it, I own it on DVD. Time for a rewatch. Gal Gadot gained 75 pounds of pure muscle for the role. She served her mandated 2 years in the Israeli army.She won’t disappoint. She trained for 7 months in preparation for filming. Lynda Carter was our last Womder Woman. I watched that show on black and white TV, as long as all my homework and chores were done. It’s simply that it’s so good to know the Amazons are out there still! I’m glad the stories and myths are being reimagined in the genre most likely to reach the current mass of masses

  4. MissAmanda says:

    “Wonder Woman?…I don’t know her” – Alicia Silverstone

    • Heylee says:

      Spit my hot coffee out with this one! “First female POTUS? Not ringing any bells.”

      Exactly.

      But there is no one perfect spokeswoman for the movement. SMH.

  5. MrsPanda says:

    Oh good god, it’s very stream-of-consciousness and it seems to be the first time she’s given this issue any actual thought (and we have the luxury of hearing her meandering and contradictory thought process). She needs to take a breath, give it some actual thought, then articulate her position more succinctly.

    • WTW says:

      @MrsPanda, she seems somewhat sedated, like she might be under the influence of something. She’s speaking really slowly and deliberately, like I do when I’ve taken Benadryl and the drowsy effects are starting to kick in. Apparently, Alicia doesn’t like action movies. She could’ve just said that Wonder Woman isn’t her thing, but it is significant that this is the first female-driven superhero film. That can’t be lost on her. It’s very disingenuous to behave otherwise, and I haven’t even seen WW.

      • MrsPanda says:

        Yes it’s true she does seem sedated, WTW! she was giving me ”Drew Barrymore feeling sleepy” vibes, that would explain her incohesive thoughts too. Agreed on WW, she came off a little snobby on action films in general (loud noises).

  6. feminist says:

    wonder woman is a bad movie. horrible script, the actors save it. Cant believe it’s a box office

    • burnsie says:

      +1, not that the acting was magical either.

      Before anyone yells at me, I’m a feminist and super happy to see the success of a female-led, female-driven movie, and I hope this is indicative of much more to come in the future

    • Grant says:

      That 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes begs to differ. I also saw it and thought it was great but I’m admittedly biased because I went in wanting it to be good.

      • skyblue says:

        I’ve been to see Wonder Woman twice and cried both times. I loved it. I sound crazy but there were a couple scenes that evoked powerful feelings in my heart. I can’t even explain it really except that maybe because I am in such a rage against institutional mysogny, my movie appreciation meter might be skewed. I end this by saying my taste in movies runs more towards directors like Campion, Kieslowski, Ranier Fassbender, Jarmusch and von Trier. I’m generally bewildered by popular films like the Notebook for example but loved Wonder Woman.

    • Diana says:

      I didn’t like the movie either but Alicia sounds clueless. Not surprising though, she’s said some dumb *hit before.

  7. Sassback says:

    I think she’s saying it’s annoying that woman directed, woman driven movies, from the past have been ignored and now everyone is standing up and taking notice because it’s a big studio action movie. She’s actually pointing out another form of misogyny in Hollywood. Like it or not, she’s right. She’s not slamming Wonder Woman, she’s pissed that people are pretending like they can give themselves a pat on the back for not ignoring Wonder Woman.

    • lionika says:

      exactly, that’s what I think she means. I don’t think she articulated it particularly well, but that’s the sense I got too.

  8. Saskia says:

    Wasn’t she Batgirl and didn’t that not work out so well?

    • Zondie says:

      @Saskia
      Yes! My son had that Batman movie on yesterday and I was surprised how bad Alicia’s acting was in it. Although, it was a bad movie all around.

    • Malibu Stacy says:

      That’s probably why she’s so sour!

  9. Ana says:

    My guess is she was trying to say that Wonder Woman is not the first female driven movie that has been succesful, and that everyone is making it sound like it. But of course, she’s missed the point. I’m not surprised though, Alicia Silverstone always seems to be pretty aloof and marching at the beat of her own drum. She was also in one of the worst superhero movies in history as a sort of Batgirl, so maybe she’s just salty about that.

    • Lou says:

      I read in the book ‘As If!’ (about how Clueless got made) that the Batman people were originally intending to give Alicia her own spin-off Batgirl movie, which went down the toilet when Batman & Robin was panned. Which might explain why she’s salty.

  10. Sassback says:

    Also someone pointed out at Jezebel that they’re basically asking her about another movie a woman is in just because she’s a woman and that it’s silly-like couldn’t say to a man,”Hello, you have a penis, what do you think about this movie that also happens be starring a person with a penis?”
    As for Batgirl, that was a movie directed by a man starring a man and she was like a third tier person in it. She’s specifically addressing Movies like Clueless and other movies for women that men like to ignore but suddenly a female driven action movie directed by a woman starring a woman doing things that are considered “masculine” (I.e, violence) comes out and men all over Hollywood get to be like “look, we paid to see it, we support ladies.”

  11. Erinn says:

    Ugh, I can’t stand this woman. She’s so problematic – she’s like a less pretentious Goop.

    Her book basically boils fertility issues down to using tampons and not eating vegan. And claims that changing your diet will cure your MS. “we’re going to help prevent or even cure your PMS, irregular periods, high blood pressure, insomnia, allergies, breakouts, weight struggles, thyroid condition, lupus, and multiple sclerosis – while significantly lowering your risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.”

    She’s anti-vax and declares that anecdotal evidence is more important to her than scientific studies. “While there has not been a conclusive study of the negative effects of such a rigorous one-size-fits-all, shoot-’em-up schedule, there is increasing anecdotal evidence from doctors who have gotten distressed phone calls from parents claiming their child was ‘never the same’ after receiving a vaccine. And I personally have friends whose babies were drastically affected in this way”

    Another gem: “Breast milk is the purest expression of a mama’s love for her baby… We have our boobies for a reason — it’s to feed our children!”

    She’s an idiot. She doesn’t care about women working hard in hollywood – she’s been fed a certain narrative to discuss in interviews promoting the show, and she clearly hasn’t even bothered to learn it well enough to be convincing.

    • minx says:

      I have no use for any anti-vaxxer. And I didn’t breastfeed either if my kids..I tried, it just didn’t work out. They are both healthy, smart adults.

      • kaiko says:

        Minx, if your kids are adults chances are you probably only had to give a few of the vaccinations that they have today, there are way more on the APA schedule nowadays. It’s insane how many they want to give so many to babies so early. Most thinking parents do the schedule spaced out, and delay things like hep. unless the kids in daycare.

      • Ana says:

        @kaiko, yes it’s insane how medicine advances and finds more ways to prevent diseases.

      • skyblue says:

        @ana 🤣 Thanks! I’m a nurse and give immunizations almost daily. God forbid modern medicine prevent children from contracting illnesses with associated far-reaching consequences. A case of the mumps can cause permanent sterility in men! Polio is not only deadly but imagine permanently atrophied muscles requiring crutches for your entire life! Antivaxxers make me crazy.

      • Betsy says:

        Hey Kaiko,
        I requested the MMR early for my six month old as we’re moving to one of the outbreak places (it was given! Who boo!). The vaccine schedule isn’t chosen on a whim and having had two babies who would have died without the NICU, I’m grateful for intelligent medicine.

  12. perplexed says:

    I didn’t understand what she was trying to say, to be honest.

    I found something about her face kind of distracting.

  13. Moxie Remon says:

    Her dietary choices have nothing to do with the fact that she’s absolutely out of touch and ignorant.

  14. Yeses says:

    As if!! Oh shut up and go feed a baby bird Alicia, Wonder Woman is such an empowering movie and I was proud to go see it with my kids!!

  15. BooRadley says:

    What more has to be said. She is completely and always will be “clueless”.

  16. Aren says:

    She played Batgirl about 20 years ago and after what’s happening with WW, she’s is probably expecting to get recognition for that.
    She was a bad choice for Batgirl, but I found Wonder Woman poor as well, then again my favourite female super hero is Baby Doll from Sucker Punch.

  17. Disco Dancer says:

    Maybe she is envious that Her rendition of Batgirl was a joke and she didn’t get an individual spinoff film out of it. Alicia Silverstone is a relic of the 90′s and wasn’t a good actress anyway, why are we bringing her back?

    Anybody who is an anti Vaxxer like Alicia, I tend to dismiss any thought that they decide to fart out. Their line of medical thinking is a danger to humankind and is the reason that already eradicated diseases are making a comeback.

  18. Amy Pannell says:

    I agree with Alicia, we have been making tons of movies and media with female casts. Remember the last ghost busters movie? Why do we keep acting like victims?

    • Mel says:

      Please help me because I’m really tired and it’s an honest question: are you being sarcastic or do you really mean what you wrote?

  19. slowsnow says:

    I hate to listen to what Silverstone (who seems incredibly inarticulate) is saying but I align myself with some of what she is saying. I learnt on this site that the Superhero Marvel crowd was in need of a female hero and I respect that.
    What I don’t abide to is the Superhero culture in my personal life. I don’t encourage ny children to emulate superheros because I don’t believe it’s a creative influence.
    But ok, we now have a female strong superhero film directed by a woman and in that world it is a feat I do recognize and celebrate that.
    But it is not a worldwide need we all had as women.
    We – white women only unfortunately and therein lies the problem for me – have blockbustered the shit out of cinema lately and I am not counting netflix and tv. Some of the most interesting stories are now mostly white women characters sometimes told by women screenwriters and directors or writers.
    Here is a very quickly put together list of really respected films and some blockbusters around a woman character:
    Cinderela – Lilly James
    Gravity – Sandra Bullock
    Mad Max The Fury Road – Charlize Theron
    The Beauty and the Beast – Emma Watson
    Hunger Games – Jennifer Lawrence
    Lucy – Scarlett Johannson
    Bridesmaids – Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig etc
    Ghostbusters – Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon
    Elle – Isabelle Huppert
    Blue is the warmest colour – Léa Seydoux
    Frances Ha – Greta Gerwig
    And one of the most respected and award winning ‘actor’: Meryl Streep
    I am not saying this is an established change but mentalities are slow to alter – however it seems to be going in the right direction.
    The anti-WW film for me?
    21rst Century Women with the greats Annette Bening and Greta Gerwig (and Fanning, who I like less, but that’s subjective of course). A film directed by a man about the powerful women in his life (his mum and friends). The beautiful encounter between genders (son- director and mother-character) showing without judgement or condescendance what our gender recently liberated but still conflicted with the newly gained liberty is becoming.
    I’d like to see more women and writers filming and directing though. That’s the true achievement of WW and it needs to spread.

  20. Tanya says:

    She has a point. White women have had many badasses on screen. Why act as if WW is so revolutionary when the film isn’t? If you’re looking as superheroes directed by a woman, maybe. But, truth be told. I, a woman of color, do not see how her presence is so deep. (Besides, as much as I love WW, the movie bored me.)

    WW didn’t move me one bit.

    Now if Storm (X-Men), Mulan, or Ms. Marvel (Latina) gets a movie, that’s revolutionary.

  21. Addison says:

    Must be nice that she has not struggled so that she doesn’t understand.

  22. Mary says:

    She will always be Cher to me!!!!