James Bond, like many other fictional characters from the past, does have some problems when judged by today’s values. Only if we remember the year 2006 when 007: Casino Royale was released – 95% and compared to today, we will notice that so many things have changed and the hyper masculine hero may have ceased to be the coolest thing in existence.
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Daniel Craig has played the British spy in four films, and is about to say goodbye with the fifth, No Time to Die – 83%, who hits theaters this weekend, but their close relationship with the character doesn’t prevent them from admitting that some of his macho attitudes are problematic, they stated in a recent GQ Q&A session.
On No time to die, Craig says goodbye to a franchise he starred in for fifteen years; Although the film was due to be released in 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic led to the delay of many major releases. So far the film has been well received by critics and fans are expected to respond in a similar way.
In the GQ video where we see Craig answering questions from fans, we can see the following appear: “Do you think your interpretation of James Bond has evolved with the current perception of masculinity?”, And this was the actor’s response:
I hope that a lot has changed while I have been part of it, because what I have always tried to do is never judge it. She has flaws and her attitude towards the world and towards women is questionable, and I think that’s interesting, the way we’ve tried to deal with that is to make as many female characters stronger as possible.
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In just five years we have seen some significant changes in the entertainment industry. Since that campaign that transcended borders in 2016, #OscarsSoWhite, which singled out the Hollywood Academy for not taking African-American actors into account, awareness of many problems that had been ignored for decades has been raised.
But the most important moment came in October 2017, when a journalistic investigation revealed that the famous producer Harvey weinstein he had harassed and abused actresses for decades with complete impunity. An open secret within the industry was made public and popular outrage arose. From that moment on, the #MeToo movement intensified and numerous celebrities were “canceled” for having been stalkers or abusers. In our time it is no longer so easy to get away with sexual assaults, even if they accuse you of something you committed 20 years ago, social networks destroy you without mercy.
Masculinity is another of today’s favorite topics, as “toxic masculinity” is called the set of negative characteristics that have been associated with masculinity for a long time, and among the most important we have: sexism, homophobia, repression of feelings and violence for the purpose of control. All of the above were applauded by past generations as the clearest sign of manliness, but today, in 2021, they are outdated and unacceptable ideas.
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Have to Daniel Craig admitting that Bond is a troublesome character should give pause to fans who defend him tooth and nail. Accepting that a fictional being was generated in another time and its values no longer correspond to ours does not mean that someone is burning all the works where it appears, but to improve it is necessary to become aware, it is the first step.
The good news is that, as the actor already pointed out, the most recent Bond saga has tried to compensate for the more questionable aspects of the spy with strong female characters, and in No time to die will not be the exception.