I don’t get the internet hate aimed at Kathleen Kennedy.
Hold the angst, Star Wars fans, she might have been a strong executive producer and had a hand in ruining Disney Star Wars, but I’m applying greater damage to the writers and directors than the executive producer. Many have blamed Kennedy for shutting down projects, delaying movies to “get them right” and more.
Is it such a crime to delay a movie to make it better? Look at Sonic the Hedgehog. Sure, different studio, different people, but if that hadn’t been delayed to redo Sonic’s CGI what would have been the results?
Yes, Kennedy has pushed a feminist agenda in a male dominated Hollywood. Sheesh, can we blame her, guys? Really? What would you do if Hollywood was all women and you were the lone industry male leader? Wouldn’t you push a male-driven agenda?
I’m no fan of jamming in social justice crap and feminism where it doesn’t belong, but her crusade to empower women in positions of storytelling and power inside Hollywood is refreshing — and right. It should be about 50/50, just like it is with the population on earth. I refuse to believe there aren’t just as many talented women writers, directors and producers — if they are given the opportunities.
It’s unfair not to consider Kennedy’s resume. Look at all those blockbuster movies at the top of this post. Indiana Jones, E.T, Jurassic Park, Poltergeist, Back To The Future Schindler’s List … and so on.
Sure, she’s been part of duds, but just having a couple of those titles I mentioned on your resume should get you into any movie making Hall of Fame, even if all you did was get coffee for the crew (I don’t believe that’s all she did, by the way, but those who hate her claim that was her involvement).
She’s been involved creatively — the degree of which is the dispute for her detractors — of some truly amazing films throughout her career. She’s been something of a right arm to Steven Spielberg and she’s blamed for why Disney Star Wars sucks, except all too conveniently for The Mandalorian, of course.
The rumor claims Jon Favreau wasn’t all happy with Kennedy’s approach so he enlisted George Lucas and they went above Kennedy to Disney CEO Bob Iger, which resulted in Kennedy being distanced from The Mandalorian (it’s also been said Kennedy has been banned from the Season 2 set, though this rumor says Kennedy is still somewhat involved and attends meetings).The Mandalorian Rumors Include Baby Yoda, Emperor, Rey | Cosmic Book News
I like what Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni are doing with The Mandalorian. I like some of what Kathleen Kennedy is doing these days. Admittedly, less of what she’s involved with in the last 10 years or so has excited me than her first 20 years, but hey, maybe her best works were in the early days. You see that with all sorts of creative people. They only have so many good ideas and then they start to recycle them. There are only so many Stephen Kings in the world.
(Kennedy was involved with Creepshow, too — refer to the filmography at the top of the post)
Let’s not forget that George Lucas chose Kennedy as his successor. Did Lucas believe that she’d take Star Wars the direction he wanted her to? Maybe. Maybe not, but frankly Lucas has been screwing up Star Wars long before Kathleen Kennedy. Lucas created some world-changing films, a ground-breaking special effects company, and essentially retired. That was like 20 years ago he did anything revolutionary and new. The prequel Star Wars were mostly garbage. We need to be intellectually honest about George Lucas in recent times — he hasn’t mattered.
I’m not a Kathleen Kennedy apologist. If she is part of a film that sucks, she deserves the heat associated with it and those reading should know I’ll say so. However, I’ve already gone on record as saying that I don’t think the producers are as responsible as many make them out to be (see: How Important are Movie Producers?). What degree of involvement — good and bad — Kathleen Kennedy has played in many, many great films can be disputed, but one thing cannot:
She’s been a wonderful force for women in Hollywood.