American movie critic Jeffrey Wells has been slammed for a tweet he wrote suggesting Leonardo DiCaprio’s new film The Revenant is too brutal for women.
After catching an advanced screening of the film, Wells tweeted: “The Revenant is an unflinchingly brutal, you-are-there, raw-element immersion like something you’ve never seen. Forget women seeing this.”
Wells’s appraisal received immediate backlash for its suggestion that women are unable to cope with violence in cinema.
“The Revenant” is an unflinchingly brutal, you-are-there, raw-element immersion like something you’ve never seen. Forget women seeing this.
— Hollywood Elsewhere (@wellshwood) November 24, 2015
One user commented: “What should I call the female human sitting next to me who loved it?”
“Dude, you don’t have to adopt the sexism of the period the film is portraying when writing a review of it,” another added.
Some of the responses parodied Wells’s seemingly archaic view of gender stereotypes.
“That’s right. Men everywhere are putting down their axes & dragging their pet grizzly bears to viking movie theatres,” one Tweeter joked.
Wells was forced to take to his blog to defend himself against the Twitter critics.
“Agreed — I shouldn’t have said that. ‘Forget women seeing this’ is a gross simplification,” Wells wrote.
“If I had given the matter 15 or 20 seconds worth of thought I would have rephrased and qualified in some way. I’m not stupid, and I know that generalizations always get you into trouble.”
Early screenings of The Revenant have attracted glowing praise from some critics, with many suggesting DiCaprio is a chance at winning a Best Actor Oscar for his performance as a man defying the elements to avenge his son’s death.
The two-and-a-half hour film is reportedly incredibly gruesome, with The Hollywood Reporter noting several people walked out of its first official screening this week.
The film is due in Australian cinemas on January 7, 2016. The film also stars British actors Tom Hardy and Domhnall Gleeson.