Like yesterday’s new Wreck-It Ralph 2 trailer, the Lego Movie 2 teaser contains a similar meta-joke in which the characters acknowledge the patriarchal attitudes of earlier films in the franchise. It’s a typical example of Hollywood pandering to the zeitgeist, but let’s be totally clear, acknowledging the problem is not the same as addressing the problem.
It’s time to see these studios back up their sudden “wokeness” with some meaningful change behind the scenes. Because at the end of the day, Lego Movie 2 like Wreck-It Ralph 2 is written and directed by men, and it contains the same male perspective that we’ve seen in literally hundreds of other Hollywood animated features.
Ninety-nine percent of Hollywood’s animated films in the last decade have had at least one male director, with nearly as high a percentage having male writers on the team. Call it a gender imbalance if you like, but when you combine this all-male hierarchy with the toxic men who run the animation business, you’ve got much more than an imbalance – you’ve got an entire industry with an endemic fear of women’s creativity.
Studios like Warner Bros. and Disney are falling over each other to convince audiences that they understand the female perspective, but it’d be a lot easier to convince audiences of their intentions if they didn’t only hire the people who created the problem in the first place.
Lego Movie 2 is produced by Dan Lin, Phil Lord, Chris Miller, and Roy Lee. Animal Logic is producing the animation. The movie opens in the U.S. on February 8, 2019.