How do you take a beloved, heroic, ass-kicking character and female role model like She-Hulk and reduce her to a piece of meat? Run her through Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice writer David S. Goyer's filter, that's how.
DC's go-to guy for their films offended, well, damn near everyone when The Mary Sue provided a live transcript of his Scriptnotes live audience podcast. At one point in the podcast, the subject of Marvel's She-Hulk was brought up by The Hangover writer Craig Mazin. And while Mazin was terrible, Goyer's response, which he apparently intended to be funny in that "I don't understand women or what matters to the younger generation at all" backpedaling kind of way that so many middle-aged dudes seem to possess, was instead...well, pretty awful:
Mazin: The real name for She-Hulk was Slut-Hulk. That was the whole point. Let’s just make this green chick with enormous boobs. And she’s Hulk strong but not Hulk massive, right? … She’s real lean, stringy…
Goyer: She’s still pretty chunky. She was like Chyna from the WWE.
Mazin: The whole point of She-Hulk was just to appeal sexistly to ten-year-old boys. Worked on me.
Goyer: I have a theory about She-Hulk. Which was created by a man, right? And at the time in particular I think 95% of comic book readers were men and certainly almost all of the comic book writers were men. So the Hulk was this classic male power fantasy. It’s like, most of the people reading comic books were these people like me who were just these little kids getting the shit kicked out of them every day… And so then they created She-Hulk, right? Who was still smart… I think She-Hulk is the chick that you could fuck if you were Hulk, you know what I’m saying? … She-Hulk was the extension of the male power fantasy. So it’s like if I’m going to be this geek who becomes the Hulk then let’s create a giant green porn star that only the Hulk could fuck.
Palm, meet face. I don't even know where to begin with this trainwreck of a conversation. Should I start with the fact that She-Hulk was Bruce Banner's cousin and never intended as a love interest? Or the fact that Stan Lee and John Buscema created her not as a male power fantasy, but simply as a means to retain the rights to The Hulk? And "chunky"? Really?
Goyer talks about Marvel's green lady like Hulk is the only one who could EVER be attracted to her because she's green and ripped and not traditionally feminine. Let's be honest, here: In the real world, 99.9% of the men she met wouldn't even have a chance, like 99.9% of all ladies out there in reality wouldn't even register on Thor's radar.
For those of you reading this who are thinking, "So what? He's just talking about a fictional character," I say to you, pretend it's your little sister they're talking about. Somewhat changes your views, doesn't it? What about the little girl reading a She-Hulk comic right now and thinking, "She's strong and beautiful and smart and brave! I want to be just like her!" not knowing that somewhere, there's some guy - a guy in charge of bringing another of our female role models to life in Wonder Woman, a guy whose words a LOT of people read and hear, mocking that little girl's role model and reducing her to nothing more than a cheap sex object. That's why this stuff matters. It matters, guys. I just wish those with big platforms would realize this before opening their mouths.
I ask this question of both the dudes and ladies reading this: Aren't you getting tired of the people in charge of our beloved pop culture continually getting it wrong? Believe me, I am utterly weary of all the manufactured outrage and constant offense from the internet peanut gallery over the slightest perceived un-PC comment. But I'm more tired of having to write about it, because, well...people in power keep saying things like this, and it just. won't. stop.
I'm interested in hearing your comments, all. But please remember - keep it civil.