Sarah Michelle Gellar Calls Out Superhero Audiences Who Tear Apart Female Heroes
There are fewer superhero films that focus on female figures as compared to male characters, with there being a disproportionate amount of toxicity being hurled towards those female superheroes, which actor Sarah Michelle Gellar recently called out during an interview. Gellar's breakout role came in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as she reflected on how she feels genre audiences are more accepting of female heroes than superhero audiences. Even with a smaller sample size of female-fronted superhero movies, the preemptive backlash hurled against Captain Marvel ahead of the film's release showcases the lengths some audiences will go to to discredit a superhero film with a female lead.
"Genre is where women can really succeed and hold an audience," Gellar revealed to The Guardian. "Every time a Marvel movie tries to do a female cast, it just gets torn apart ... Unfortunately, audiences weren't as accepting. There's still this mentality of 'the male superhero', this very backwards way of thinking."
In the wake of the initial success Gellar found in genre storytelling, she would join horror films like I Know What You Did Last Summer and the American remake of The Grudge. In the years since her tenure in Buffy the Vampire Slayer wrapped up, she has largely been absent from the genre and also has avoided joining major franchises.
Based on the trend in the last few years of iconic properties being revived and bringing back former stars of such series, Gellar has made it clear that she supports a new take on Buffy the Vampire Slayer being developed but has no interest in taking part in such a project.
"I am very proud of the show that we created and it doesn't need to be done. We wrapped that up," Gellar recalled to SFX Magazine. "I am all for them continuing the story because there's the story of female empowerment. I love the way the show was left: 'Every girl who has the power can have the power.' It's set up perfectly for someone else to have the power. But like I said, the metaphors of Buffy were the horrors of adolescence. I think I look young, but I am not an adolescent."
Gellar can currently be seen in Wolf Pack, which is now streaming on Paramount+.
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