In December of 2017, I was on my way to see The Last Jedi with a male friend. On the way to the movie we discussing the previous movie in the series, The Force Awakens and well-known director, J.J. Abrams.
I asked my friend, “I wonder why he only did one movie and didn’t want to do the next?” After all, I loved it – he was critically-acclaimed and did a fantastic job.* Fans and critics alike were all happy. I then talked about the immense pressure any director must have feel to direct a movie in this beloved series. I’m sure it was intense, knowing the die-hard generations of fans – ones much greater than us having this movie series such a cornerstone of our childhoods and would not want to be disappointed. It had to be an all-consuming journey. We both talked about how we wished he directed this one too.
My friend then added: I’m sure his wife was like ‘no way are you doing this, it was too much.’
Me: (long pause) Did she?
WTF. Why would it be her? Why is his wife the one to blame? Is it really entirely out of the realm of possibility that J.J. Abrams didn’t want that intense pressure for years in a row? Or is it clearly only a woman would be the one to say that. Could it have been that he wanted to spend time with his family? Could it simply have been that he had other projects lined up? Or maybe he just didn’t want to? Why must it have been a female behind this supposedly poor decision?
It didn’t strike me in the moment, but it made me wonder how many decisions made by one of my male counterparts have been blamed on me.
* Yes, J.J. Abrams is scheduled to come back and direct the next movie in the series to be released in 2019.