While browsing the interweb this morning, I came across a ludicrous story that claimed American Hustle director, David O. Russell, compared Jennifer Lawrence’s life to 12 Years A Slave. Naturally I shook my head at the story. Silly old Internet, there’s no way that an educated human being would compare the life of a popular celebrity to the life of someone who’s illegally enslaved for 12 years. But I gave the Internet the benefit of the doubt and clicked on the story and holy stupidness wrapped in idiocy, David O. Russell did say that.
New York Daily News says that he made the statement at Australian Academy’s AACTA Awards in reference to the demands that the Hunger Games franchise puts on Jennifer Lawrence and that fact she’s pushing herself too hard.
“I’ll tell you what it is about that girl — talk about 12 years of slavery, that’s what the franchise is. And I’m going to get in so much trouble for saying that.”
Yes David O-I’m-Sick-Of-Typing-This-Middle-Initial Russell, you are going to get in so much trouble for saying that. Because what!? Even if he didn’t see the movie — which I have to assume, because anyone who saw that movie would not reference it in such a glib manner — he should know what the word slave means. I know it’s been awhile since I studied American history, but I think I would remember the chapter about all those slaves forced to act in huge, blockbuster movie franchises in exchange for just a couple, hundred million dollars.
And look, I know what he’s trying to say. The Hunger Games franchise dictates Jennifer Lawrence’s life now and it will dictate it until the press tour for the last Mockingjay: Part 2 DVD is over. But in exchange for filming half the year and doing endless, tedious interviews for the other half of the year comes millions upon millions of dollars. And based on the fact that American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook came out in between filming and promoting all the Hunger Games movies, I think it’s safe to say that they’re giving her some time off — and that she’s choosing to use her time off to act in other films. Specifically films directed by David O-Stop-It Russell.
So no, we’re not going to use the word “slave” to describe how the Hunger Games franchise treats Jennifer Lawrence. Instead we’re going to use the word “employee.” And when we have extra time, we’ll tack on “highly-compensated” to that “employee.” Because tell you what David O-This-Is-The-Last-Time-You-Get-This-Vowel Russell, millions of people show up to their jobs every day, are worked incredibly hard and are not thinking that their lives are comparable to slavery, because you know, money.