Michelle Rodriguez is none too pleased with Universal’s handling of female characters in The Fast and the Furious.
Last week, the series veteran posted an Instagram status demanding better for the franchise’s leading ladies, and even went so far as to suggest that she’d part ways with the Fast and Furious saga unless the Powers That Be “decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one.”
From what we understand, that ultimatum remains in place, but in a new Instagram video posted this past weekend, Rodriguez was joined by series co-star Vin Diesel (Dominic Toretto), to clarify that her sexism comments were in no way directed at Diesel, who has been a producer on the franchise since the launch of Fast & Furious back in 2009.
“Vin, for many years you’ve been the biggest supporter of strong women,” Rodriguez said in the video. “I’ve always appreciated that about you throughout the years…Just know that if I ever post anything, that it’s not you I’m talking to.”
For years, Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez have played on-screen couple Dom and Letty, and below you’ll see the former acknowledge that the billion-dollar franchise “must try to reach higher each time.”
Back in April, The Fate of the Furious, the larger-than-life action sequel formerly known as Fast 8, featured a number of high-profile actresses in prominent roles: Rodriguez, Nathalie Emmanuel, Helen Mirren, and Charlize Theron, who became the franchise’s first female antagonist.
But as Michelle Rodriguez stressed only two months ago, it is the franchise’s handling of these A-list stars that is more of the problem, and, well, let’s just say Universal’s juggernaut would struggle to pass the Bechdel test. Using her screentime with Jordana Brewster’s character Mia – or lack thereof – as an example, Rodriguez told EW that, “I’ve been making movies with Jordana [Brewster], who plays the sister of Dom Toretto for 16 years and I can count on one hand how many lines I’ve had to her. I think that’s pathetic and it’s lack of creativity.”
Can we expect Universal to take heed of Rodriguez’s fair-minded criticism? We’ll find out soon. Meanwhile, The Fate of the Furious will be available on Blu-ray and DVD from July 11th.