Between the Lines Productions, the company behind the “Twilight” parody film “TwiHarder,” is now suing Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate Entertainment because the companies sent repeated letters threatening legal action if Between the Lines did not cease distribution of the parody. Between the Lines now seeks payment for business disrupted and lost because of the cease-and-desist orders.
But the most intriguing part of the lawsuit filed was its implication of racism and sexism within the “Twilight” franchise. Between the Lines points to underage protagonist Bella Swan’s sexual relationship with the century-old vampire Edward and the occasional blood-sucking domestic violence as indicators of the film’s “perverted” treatment of women. As for their treatment of minorities, the suit alleges that the character of Jacob perpetuates harmful representations of the man of color as “sexual predator” or “noble savage.”
While it’s probably not grounds for a legal action, I do recognize harmful and stereotypical ideas on femininity and race in the franchise. The white male, Edward, becomes a Christ-like representation of immortality, capable of saving Bella from her own death. He (unjustly) suffers for the eternal life of those he loves and protects, and he carries with him the weight of religious iconography. Bella, the woman, is weakened by her humanity, and Jacob, the man of color, is painfully human, prone to emotional and physical outbursts of passion. These aren’t prejudices that should be perpetuated, but open and more complex discussions of the pop culture we consume seem more effective in challenging disturbing messages than angry, knee-jerk lawsuits. What do you think?
Thanks to Movie Fone and The Wrap
Images via Screen Crush
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.