People are furiously debating whether Grease is actually sexist

People are furiously debating whether Grease is actually sexist

Grease, despite being more than 40 years old, has sparked a new debate this week, as people argue about whether the 1978 musical is sexist.

The beloved movie, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, has long been a topic of conversation, with many thinking the film has aged quite badly in terms of the equality between the male and female characters.

Song lyrics like 'Tell me more, tell me more, did she put up a fight' would suggest they might be right.

On a recent episode of Channel 4's Celebrity Gogglebox the stars were shocked at some of the crude gestures by the male characters leading to some fears that the film could be banned.

Now, Newton-John has defended the film against these claims. In an interview with The Guardianthe actor spoke about her character Sandy's tranformation at the end of the film, where she dramatically changes her image to win the heart of Travolta's Danny.

The 72-year-old actor said:

It’s a story from the 50s where things were different. Everyone forgets that, at the end, he changes for her, too. There’s nothing deep in there about the #MeToo movement.

It’s just a girl who loves a guy, and she thinks if she does that, he’ll like her. And he thinks if he does that, she’ll like him. I think that’s pretty real. People do that for each other. It was a fun love story.

Didi Conn, who played Frenchie in the film, has echoed Newton-John's words during an interview with Good Morning Britain.

This debate has since moved online where many people are shocked that the topic has been brought up again. Apparently it's all 'snowflake millennials' fault.

There were some slightly more measured takes on the issue, with a few pointing out that although it is an unfortunate product of its time and a parody of the 1950s, it should distract from its problems nor should it stop anyone from enjoying it.

Inevitably films and tv shows from bygone eras will feature characters, scenes and lines of dialogue which now look very dated in 2020.

Disney has taken to placing warnings at the start of some of their classic films to warn viewers that they might see 'negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures' in films like Peter Pan or Dumbo. Even fairly modern shows like Friends and The Simpsonshave been called out for offensive characters or jokes.

Its worth pointing out that none of these shows or films have been banned and no one has called for them to be pulled from the airwaves but these type of debates are just trying to highlight issues for us to consider when we are watching them.

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