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.
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.
Is Grease sexist?
Olivia Newton-John has brushed off claims that the film is sexist in the wake of the Me Too move… https://t.co/CczfapniEH
— Good Morning Britain (@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.
Turned @GMB on followed by quickly turning it off! The topic of convo is: “is the film grease sexist” and ppl are a… https://t.co/VpFuge4nwY
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.
People going nuts about the idea that Grease is sexist. It's set in a very sexist era. Of course there's going to… https://t.co/sxqC6CEa65
— John Appleton 🏴🇧🇼🎭🇿🇦🏳️🌈 (@John Appleton 🏴🇧🇼🎭🇿🇦🏳️🌈)
People getting up in arms about suggestions that Grease is sexist as if it’s a new idea, while I thought that it wa… https://t.co/hFaYhSr0Z2
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.