Libba Bray Responds to Female Lord of the Flies

Last week , Warner Bros. announced another film version of the classic novel, Lord of the Flies by William Golding. But instead of an all-boys who survive a plane crash, the cast will be all-female. That is not even the worst part. The two people who are to helm a production dealing with the psychological complex relationship of girls by two men.

Is Hollywood that dumb or are they that desperate they want to let me know they are really out of ideas and they just grasping at straws?

Hollywood has a problem with women. And this latest development just shows that really are not really getting the clear picture. And I am not only one who is outraged by this. Libba Bray, the author of great books like A Great and Terrible Beauty and The Diviners, wrote an essay in response to this news and her reply is just a perfect example of why I admire her so much. I don’t want to spoil your chance of reading it for yourself. But here is a snippet of her amazing words:

And there’s the real trouble: Women with power. That, it seems to me, is what Hollywood and the world at large fears most—autonomous, complex women running their own show, a theme very much at the heart of Beauty Queens. As one character, Mary Lou says, in what felt to me to be the heart of the story when I wrote it, “Maybe girls need an island to find themselves.”

We’re not supposed to talk about these things publicly, of course. Talking about them plays into stereotypes that we are (insert knowing smirk and eye roll here) “that woman” — angry, loud, bitter, a bitch. Of course, if we don’t talk about these things, the pattern simply continues, “same as it ever was.” So, if you’re keeping score at home, that’s talk and be shunned as “trouble”; keep quiet and be ignored and invisible. Gee. That’s a pretty neat little set-up. Well played, Patriarchy.

This is not even about changing the entire trajectory of a book, which is deplorable. But the fact they have to take an original plot and just make it all-female instead of all-male, assuming it will hopefully solve the diversity issue, just shows how out of touch Hollywood truly is. Bray’s Beauty Queens is already a female version of Lord of the Flies. Why not just make a film version of that book instead? Because they are too lazy to adopt a more reputable source and choose to recycle without putting any creative effort forward.

To read Bray’s full essay, you can read it here.

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