At the Entertainment Weekly Brave New Heroes panel at Comic-Con yesterday, moderator Lynette Rice asked a panel full of men who have played an assortment of badass heroes about their experiences with sexism in the industry. But it was Orphan Black’s Jordan Gavaris who nailed the question.
On the panel were Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead), Zachary Levi (Heroes Reborn), Sam Heughan (Outlander), Kevin Durand (The Strain) and Rob Kazinsky (Pacific Rim), and Gavaris. While others on the panel had specific instances of sexism they called out, Gavaris explained why the issue is so widespread:
I feel like it can be more pervasive. Whenever we think of sexism, we think of sexual harassment but I feel like it’s way more pervasive than that. And it’s very subversive and it’s twisted.
And it’s not just in a sense of sexual exploitation but like the mythology of the man — that men are either manly or they’re not. There’s no wiggle room in terms of gender. If you were to make a list of all the qualities that men have and women have, no person in life would completely conform to one side of the list. There’s always some crossover. But there’s pressure to be a certain way, look a certain way, act a certain way. And it’s silly, it’s really silly.
I think the mythology of the man is just ridiculous, it’s got to stop. And that’s another thing that Hollywood in particular is really bad about exploiting, in terms of sexism. I just think there needs to be more room for all different kinds of men — and not just men! Non-binary genders! I don’t know if anybody’s familiar with the cisgender stuff, but it’s not just about being a cisgender man, it’s about being a fully multi-faceted, multi-dimensional. I’m looking for that. And I’m looking to exploit more of that.
In a panel where Gavaris was the only one who didn’t have an answer for what the most “badass” thing he/his character had done in the last year—and took a bit of ribbing for it—he gave a very considered answer.
Contact the author at email@example.com.