Tony Winner Daisy Eagan Pens Blog About Ben Brantley's OF MICE AND MEN Review
Just last week, James Franco was making headlines for speaking out against New York Times theatre critic Ben Brantley, because of negative remarks in his review of Of Mice and Men. Now, another Broadway star is speaking out about his review, but in this case, because of what he says about 'Curley's' wife', played in the Broadway show by Leighton Meester. Tony winner Daisy Eagan writes in her blog post, titled 'Ben Brantley is asking for it.':
In his review of Of Mice And Men in Wednesday, April 16th's edition of The New York Times, Ben Brantley says Curley's wife, portrayed by Leighton Meister, "provides no evidence" of being either "slatternly" or "provocative" which, "[G]iven the grim events that eventually befall her character... may have been a conscious choice. We don't want to be left thinking, 'Well, she was asking for it.'"
Mr. Brantley, I am a woman of average looks. I'm no model. I'll never be cast in a Carl's Jr. Ad. I am quite short, and, I think it's safe to say, I'm something of a tomboy. Some might even characterize my appearance, on occasion, as slatternly. However, since the age of 13 I have been faced with the unendingly exhausting task of thwarting unwanted attention and advances from strangers and friends, alike. I am in no way alone in this experience. Nearly every woman I know has a story of being harassed, followed, threatened, frightened or raped. In 100% of these cases these women, however they may have been dressed, whatever state of sobriety or inebriation they were in, whether they were "slatternly" or well-groomed, were not "asking for it".
Furthermore, Mr. Brantley, I'm confused. What, exactly is Curley's wife asking for? (Spoiler alert) Is she asking to have her neck broken? If Ms. Meester's portrayal were more slatternly and provocative, would we really be left thinking she was asking to be murdered? What she does ask for is for Lennie to stroke her hair. That's it. This is not an invitation for intercourse. And frankly, even if she says, "Let's have intercourse," once she becomes frightened of Lennie's strength, she has the right to ask him to stop without anyone telling her she was "asking for it". Perhaps Ms. Shapiro made the choice she made with Curley's wife specifically to avoid this kind of ignorant and dangerous line of thinking. If so, it's a sad day for art.
Click here to read Eagan's full blog post.