As you may have seen, Nicole Kidman is the focus of some ridiculous headlines today, with everyone from the AP to The Hollywood Reporter and E! blaring that Kidman "conceded" to Washington that Hollywood contributes to violence against women. It's the kind of headline I hate: Attention grabbing, anti-entertainment, and completely misleading.

Kidman is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNIFEM, and was testifying before a House Foreign Affairs committee. Her goal was funding and resources, and to discuss violence against women overseas. The committee is currently debating whether to pass legislation for humanitarian relief. In true government fashion Rep. Dana Rohrabacher ( R-Calif) decided having A Real Hollywood Star was a chance to shift the discussion into shallow ground, and ask Kidman whether or not the movie industry had played "a bad role." Kidman, who probably came prepared to actually discuss humanitarian efforts, gave a fairly bland answer: "Probably." She hastily added that she didn't feel her own roles had, that she was through with roles that portrayed women as weak or as sex objects. "I can't be responsible for all of Hollywood but I can certainly be responsible for my own career," she added, and argued that Hollywood had also "contributed to solutions."

Undoubtedly, many will blame Kidman for making a shallow statement, and poke fun at her poorer script choices, but surely the blame falls on Rep. Rohrabacher for such an inane question. While Hollywood's portrayal and treatment of women is hardly stellar (if you read Cinematical regularly, you know we complain about it on an obsessive basis), and is certainly harmful socially and culturally, I would hardly blame it for violence. That's just the usual government claptrap that loves blaming the big, bad movie industry for glorifying sex and violence, and would now attempt to dodge humanitarian obligations by blaming Moulin Rouge.
categories Movies, Cinematical