The Oscars Heroes Montage

This is the Oscars' tribute video to heroes in film. Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones, Katniss Everdeen... they're all there. But I doubt I'm the only one who noticed, as the montage continued, that the featured heroes were rather male. In fact, by my rather unscientific count, there were only 7 heroines appearing in the montage (8 if you count Pepper Potts, which I don't, because she's only there to kiss Iron Man), only one of whom appeared prominently twice (that being, of course, Katniss).

It was a very uncomfortable moment, and part of me wishes that the editors had included more famous female characters. But another part of me is glad that they made this omission. Sure, they could have filled this montage with Hermione Granger and Princess Leia and other well-known female characters, and I would have been excited to see it. But including them in the heroes montage would have covered up the fact that they're not the heroes of their stories. Star Wars is about Luke Skywalker. Harry Potter is about Harry Potter. The women in the stories are great characters, but they're also the sidekicks, the allies, the secondary protagonists at best. If we take "hero" to mean "the courageous character that the movie is ultimately about," they don't make the cut.

And so we have Katniss, Sandra Bullock in Gravity, and a group shot of the Avengers. And although I spent the minutes after the montage frowning at the screen, wondering why they cut to Emma Watson when she wasn't featured at all, I think this is better than the filmmakers putting in whatever secondary female characters they can find. They did miss some popular female heroines -- Mako Mori comes to mind -- but not enough big protagonist names were omitted to have brought the count anything close to equal. And nothing reveals the sexism in the film industry more clearly and visually than trying to create a montage of heroic protagonists and realizing you don't have any women to include.