Earlier this month, film critic Lena Wilson wrote a less than favorable review of bodies bodies bodies to the New York Times, where she accused her independent production company, A24, of filming a “cleavage ad.”
“The only thing that really establishes bodies bodies bodies aside is its place in the A24 hype machine, where it doubles as a 95-minute ad for cleavage and Charli XCX’s latest single,” she wrote.
Since then, many people who have seen the film have expressed their confusion along the lines, as they recalled zero nudity and only one scene where the actors wore bathing suits while in a pool before covering themselves with robes as soon as they got out. of the water.
The rest of the time, the characters wore T-shirts and tank tops, and one of the film’s stars, Amandla Stenberg, who uses the pronouns she/they, called out Lena for her comment in a private direct message on Instagram.
“Your review was great, maybe if you had taken your eyes off my boobs you could have seen the movie,” Amandla told the critic.
Lena responded, “Hey Amandla! I’m usually a big fan of your work, but this sure is something. I really wish you the best in your career and in your life. You have a good night.”
He then blew up the actor when he posted the DM for his social media followers to see, sharing a screenshot and asking, “Do you think she sent an Instagram DM to Alison Willmore, Justin Chang and Anthony Lane like that or? “.
Lena went on to suggest that Amandla’s comment was anti-gay, as she acknowledged that they are both part of the LGBTQ+ community.
“It’s always weird when homophobia comes from inside the house,” Lena wrote. “But this is something.”
Lena later posted a TikTok video about the incident where she said, “I don’t want any more of this to come out, I’m devastated that I got this message in the first place. I was a huge fan of his, but I’m posting this because I don’t want this person who has more social power than me to think it’s fucking okay to do something like this.”
She also doubled down on her accusation that Amandla’s message was anti-gay, captioning the video: “Unfathomably weird getting ‘I don’t want you in the locker room while I’m changing’ harassing another lesbian.”
Amandla later addressed the reaction on her Instagram story, where they said they sent the DM as a joke and thought Lena would find the comment funny too.
She also acknowledged the years of relentless sexualization she has faced as a result of having large breasts. Amandla said that wearing a tank top in a movie was not the same as showing off her cleavage, as Lena suggested in the review.
“I get a lot of comments on the internet for being a very naughty girl and sending a direct message that I thought was funny,” Amandla said in the video. She then told the backstory of the situation, adding: “[Lena] described the film as a ’95-minute cleavage commercial,’ which I thought was hilarious.”
Laughing, Amandla recounted the DM she had sent, telling her followers: “I thought it was hilarious. I thought that because Lena is gay, I am gay too, I thought as gay people we would both find this comment funny. I was also curious what Lena would say to such a statement, but Lena decided to post it and she also says that I am homophobic for saying that.”
“The intention of why I said that, and this is my experience as an actress. It’s pretty amazing… The amount of feedback I get about my breasts is so extreme, and this has been going on since I was a teenager,” she continued.
“I could literally be wearing a t-shirt and just because of the size of my breasts, there will be some kind of sexualization or comment on my chest,” Amandla explained. “In this movie, I’m wearing a tank top, and I know that when I wear a tank top, it will result in some cleavage because I have breasts. So I knew this comment was probably directed primarily at me.”
“I think Lena was trying to make a comment about A24 sexualizing me, sexualizing my body, exploiting young women to sensationalize them, to make their media more popular, and I get the angle,” she added. “I can tell you that I wore this tank top in this movie because the costume designer and I thought it suited the character.”
The 23-year-old actor admitted, “I get tired of people talking about my chest. It seems to me that in Hollywood it is not normal to have breasts above an A or B cup. In fact, I have realized this in my time as an actress. It seems like there are a lot of unwarranted conversations around my chest, which makes me a bit flustered.”
Amandla then extended an olive branch to Lena and said, “Anyway Lena, I thought your view was funny, I thought my DM was funny, I didn’t mean to harass you. I wish you no harm. He’s allowed to have his critique of my work and I’m allowed to have my critiques of his work and that’s fine with me. I wish you the best.”
He went on to post a screenshot of one of Lena’s tweets, which read: “me: (spends a line from a 500 word review jokingly commenting on how A24 objectifies young women to sell content). random men on twitter dot com and also apparently amandla stenberg: Local Dyke Cannot Stop Talking About Boobies.”
Amandla tried to lighten the mood as she joked, “@hottakelena am I going to change my bio to Local Dyke who can’t stop talking about boobies if you want?”
Needless to say, viewers have engaged in a spirited discussion about the situation, with many agreeing that Amandla was right to privately call out Lena for sexualizing her body.
While some claimed that it was unprofessional for Amandla to react to a negative review of the film, others acknowledged that it was reasonable for them to be unhappy with a critic who “reduced actresses to their breasts”.
“If girls who wear tank tops are considered sexualized, Lena should quit her job as an NYT critic and write high school dress codes,” one person wrote in an article. Reddit forum.
Another pointed out that it was Lena who publicized Amandla’s message, adding: “Claiming that Amandla’s ‘social power’ was greater than hers even though Lena was an employee of the unknown independent publication The New York Times And it was she who posted the private message.”
“The tweet that mistook Amandla and ‘random men on twitter dot com’ wasn’t that either,” a third person commented. “Even if Lena meant well, for Amandla to feel upset because she thought her body was being talked about, which is very fair for a busty person, is not the same as straight men feeling entitled to see naked women in public. the screen and get angry when someone calls. that was. It’s weird that he’s painting it all like ‘Amandla just doesn’t want the lesbian to look at her boobs.
“I saw bodies bodies bodies last week and i barely remember any nudity and i cant even remember seeing [Amandla’s] boobs,” another person wrote. “So major wtf towards criticism. The movie is basically in the dark the entire time and the characters are covered in mud and blood. So I can see why [Amandla] He is upset.”
“Very weird to accuse a black woman of being homophobic because she doesn’t like you making weird comments in bad faith about her breasts in a movie,” added one more. Another commented: “To each his own but I find the review disgraceful. But whatever you call it, the critic is reducing actresses to their breasts and I can see why they responded.”
On Twitter, one person said of Amandla, “Very unprofessional response to someone’s review,” but another responded, “Very unprofessional from an established reviewer to be talking about ‘all the cleavage’ they saw as detracting from her.” to the movie.” or is it acting at all…she mentioned her bodies first, so amandla just gave the same energy.”
Others highlighted Lena’s comments on her TikTok post, where she suggested that Amandla was unwell and needed help. “I won’t review her story, but I hope she recovers soon,” Lena replied to a person who advised her to listen to what Amandla had to say.
“I feel like I should post this to hold them accountable, but it also seems like she might be going through something like this. really wishing the best,” Lena replied to another person.
Sharing screenshots of Lena’s comments, one person tweeted: “Suggesting [that] someone is ‘not okay’ because they had the NERVE to respond to their criticism. This is beyond unprofessional.”
“This is getting worse. Amandla inarticulately conveyed a fair criticism of an offhand comment in the original review that was pretty insensitive of L*na in the first place. The duplication and claim that Amandla must be sick is really insane,” someone else wrote.
“Amandla is more than fine and ultimately it’s a miscommunication and it’s not a big deal but the same week everyone’s talking about child stars and trauma and you’re just wildly speculating that she, I don’t know, are you mentally ill? How do you think you ended up there? other cheep read.