Friday, December 1, 2023

'Don't Worry Darling' drama update: sexism, favoritism and 'spitgate'

September 9, 2022

Most Twitter stans found out about the soon-to-be blockbuster, "Don't Worry Darling" through their love for the ex-boyband member and famed musician, Harry Styles. With the drama surrounding his first big acting role, fans were not going to let it slide on social media.

“I cannot let his reputation be tarnished, so I need to see what's going on," environmental economics and management junior Miranda Triolet said.

"Don't Worry Darling" is a psychological thriller, product of director Olivia Wilde, starring Florence Pugh and Styles. The plot follows a husband and wife living in a blissful society, yet things aren't what they seem to be in the utopia. While that sounds like enough drama, the cast is bringing more to the table.

Most of the issue surrounds Wilde, who started a showmance with Harry Styles while on set, after divorcing her then-husband. Many Styles fans are not supportive of their relationship, putting Wilde on thin ice in the first place.

“I feel like a lot of Harry's fans are very anti-Olivia and I think that's kind of crappy," Triolet said. "If you really liked him, you'll be nice to whoever he's dating.”

However, the real drama began when Pugh, the movie's leading lady, better known for her critically-acclaimed performances in "Midsommar" and "Little Women", seemed to have a problem with the way Wilde framed the movie in the trailer -- putting the sexual scenes with Harry Styles at the forefront of the viewer.

While Pugh believed that the movie was being hyper-sexualized, Wilde felt that it represented a deeper meaning to her feminist beliefs on the representation of female pleasure.

“I think I’m on Florence's side for that because I think Olivia knows … that everyone and their mom loves Harry," Triolet said. "Everyone's gonna want to see that and I feel like it was clickbait because that is not the point of the movie … it's not necessarily the plot … it felt like it was trying to be an attention grab for sure.”

Many believe that this could be interpreted as a sexist portrayal of diminishing a female character's place to serve a male fantasy.

“If the one thing that audiences take away from a film trailer is the sex scene, and a woman's performance in the sex scene, especially if she's the star of the show, it's really damaging," public relations sophomore Amelia Nowicki said. "It sets people up for different expectations on what the film … is actually going to be."

However, many are reading the scene as just a harmless cash grab.

“I don't think it was malicious," English freshman Claudia Braesch said. "Obviously, if you're making a trailer, and you have Harry Styles in your movie and if you put sex in there, you're getting more people.”

Another problem that seemed to arise with Pugh was her pay being significantly less than Styles', though she is the main actress in the movie.

“I think that's insanely stupid because Harry is so new to acting," Triolet said. "He's had five minutes total screen time in his entire life … sure he has a bigger name, but he's certainly not a bigger actor name. She's a trained actress, and he's just a singer who got lucky.”

Stakes only got higher when Pugh decided to fall off the press wagon altogether; deciding not to continue to support the movie on its release tour and not coming to the world premiere.

Now recently Shia LaBeouf, who was supposed to play Styles' character before being allegedly fired, came back into the picture. While Wilde had released statements explaining that she had fired him for the wellbeing of her cast due to past abuse allegations from LaBeouf's ex, FKA Twigs, receipts came out disproving Wilde.

Shia had actually been the one to quit the movie due to scheduling conflicts. His proof also revealed that Wilde had begged him to return to the movie instead of telling him to get lost.

“That really felt really shady to me," Triolet said. "The fact that she lied about it twice ... and both of them kept changing their story."

Braesch also believes that Wilde may have lied to save her reputation and to make things look like they were in control. Around this time of filming, many on the cast saw her falling apart as a director, watching the cinematographer have to step in and take control of the situation.

To make matters worse, a video came out of Wilde mocking Pugh for being oversensitive to doing vulnerable scenes with a known abuser, unlovingly calling her "Miss Flo" and explaining that she needed a wake up call. Nowicki said this video shows Wilde's true priorities.

However, arguably the most important question of this whole story is: Did Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine?

A video surfaced from the Venice Film Festival that looked like Harry Styles had spit on his co-star, raising questions about beef between the two.

“No," Nowicki said. "He dropped his sunglasses … Harry Styles is one of the biggest pop stars in the world right now whose branding revolves around treating others with kindness. I think it would be very hard to deliberately spit in a room full of cameras.”

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Triolet said that Styles has been in the spotlight for the last decade and still has a notably perfect reputation -- which makes it hard for the rumors to add up.

“First of all, why would anyone do television?" Triolet said. "Second of all, why would one of the biggest pop stars in the world do that?”

While Pine's rep confirmed Styles did not spit on him and Harry joked about the rumor at his latest concert, many still think Pine and Styles are beefing due to Pine's reactions to Styles' slow and short answers to press questions, one explaining that the film "feels like a movie."

Triolet also explained Styles had just come from performing at Madison Square Garden 24 hours before then, leaving him exhausted.

“He’s pretty and he can sing, okay?" Triolet said. "No one ever accused him of being a genius."

Braesch said that everyone just wants to be involved with decoding the drama, especially when it's as funny and easy to grasp as "spitgate."

While this drama has seemingly infested the social media stratosphere, every follower of the drama seems to be sold -- despite the Rotten Tomatoes score sitting at 42%.

"I was going to [watch this] before, but now I extra have to," Triolet said.


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