‘Fate of the Furious’ director responds to Michelle Rodriguez’s threat of leaving
Michelle Rodriguez, or more popularly known as the feisty Letty Ortiz in the “Fast and Furious” lore, grabbed headlines recently after threatening to leave the said franchise due to its supposed “lack of strong female representation.”
The 38-year-old American actress took to Instagram last week to promote the digital release of the “Fate of the Furious” film, but also took a subtle shot to the creators of the immensely popular and profitable franchise.
“I hope they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one. Or I just might have to say goodbye to a loved franchise,” she captioned her post.
Director F. Gary Gray, who helmed the series’ latest blockbuster, couldn’t help but address Rodriguez’ comments.
“Here’s the thing, I’m the new guy and I thought with ‘The Fate of the Furious,’ as it relates to women, I thought there was a strong representation of women in the movie when you bring on what I thought was one of the strongest antagonists in Charlize Theron,” he told the Business Insider.
“And then you have Helen Mirren, who has a cameo that’s strong,” he explained.
“I can’t speak for Michelle, she has a very specific point of view and I can’t take anything away from that, but I would like to think that with ‘The Fate of the Furious’ specifically, I can’t speak [for] the other films, I thought the combination of female characters was pretty strong.”
Although most netizens supported Rodriguez’ stand, some were left baffled by her comments since the franchise featured several empowered female characters over the years—including Mia Toretto (played by Jordana Brewster) and Gisele Bashar (Gal Gadot), among others.
Still, Gray did not hold hold grudges against her outspoken female lead and seemed to take the criticism in stride.
“I’m very proud of the movie, I love all those guys,” Gray said. “As a matter of fact, I just got off the phone with Vin (Diesel) 10 minutes ago. The door’s open. Who knows what the future brings.”
Meanwhile, Diesel (who plays Dominick Toretto) also showed his support for Rodriguez by posting an adorable video of the two on his personal Instagram account.
“Proud of Our saga… but we must try to reach higher each time. The challenge is what makes it fun and exciting. Its also why this saga has reached the level that it has… you have been the best fans in film history and we are forever grateful…Dom and Letty,” he wrote. Khristian Ibarrola/JB
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