Advertising “My Week With Marilyn,” Sexist?

Reviews for the super anticipated “My Week with Marilyn” have been released and are rubbing some people the wrong the way.

Williams as Monroe. Via

No, critics are not trashing the film or its leading lady, Michelle Williams. But Slate’s David Haglund points out some flaws its advertisers have created that, in a way, ultimately contradict the film’s purpose: uncovering the relationship Marilyn Monroe had between herself and her public image.

Of course, the advertisers’ goal is to get the audience to develop a connection between Michelle Williams and Marilyn Monroe, which Haglund says is exactly what the actress is doing on screen. It’s an understandable and probably crucial want.

But according to Haglund, modifying critics’ compliments of Williams to instead declare, “Michelle is luminous,” and “Michelle makes the star come alive,” is actually sexist.

“Addressing a woman by her first name rather than her last has a long and unfortunate history. And it’s not as though the practice has faded into the benighted past, either,” says Haglund.

He uses the last presidential campaign as an example, as it was clear that both Hilary Clinton and Sarah Palin were more often called by their first names in comparison to Barack Obama and John McCain.

Haglund notes that the Marilyn ads participate in the double standard, referring to Michelle Williams as “Michelle” and Kenneth Branagh as simply “Branagh.”

Do you consider this to be sexist?


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