James Bond is a man, Emilia Clarke. 'Jane Bond' would be ridiculous
PUBLISHED: 16:47 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:56 11 November 2019
We're all for gender equality, but getting a female James Bond is not the way to do it...
Sometimes people get the wrong end of the stick.
They mean well, but they're just not getting it.
Such is the case this week with Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke, who has thrown her hat into the ring to be the next James Bond.
I can see the thinking.
We have a female Doctor Who now and people seem to like her - Jodie Whitaker, who is a wonderful actress and made me cry when I saw her on Children in Need last week, singing a Coldplay song in memory of her nephew.
According to our arts editor, Andrew Clarke, Jodie has been a great Doctor, although 'the writing has let her down'.
However, I find it frustrating that there seems to be a view that gender swapping much loved roles actually makes a difference to gender politics at all.
Women still don't have equal pay or anything like equal status in the boardroom, there are barely any CEOS in the FTSE top 100, #metoo is still a thing, #menow is still going on in offices up and down the country and however much people are shouting about these things on Twitter, none of them will change without legislation.
Turning male characters into women will achieve nothing whatsoever, other than to make male film and television producers go home smug of an evening, feeling like their oh-so-magnanimous gesture will forever let them off the hook when it comes to gender equality for the rest of their lives.
Personally, I didn't really see the point in making the Doctor a woman.
He was always a man, with his own story and past, and what is wrong with being a man?
If you want a female timelord (or should that be timelady?) why not make a different programme with a different character?
Are we too lazy to think up new characters - rich, female characters, who have had uniquely female experiences - these days?
At the weekend, I re-watched my favourite film from childhood, Gone With The Wind.
I imagined what might happen now in 2019 if someone decided to remake it.
Perhaps Ashley could be a woman in the new version? It's a unisex name? And Rhett's frustration about Scarlett's inability to love him for most of the film would take on a whole new meaning.
Such a production would be fascinating and wonderful. But it would a different story.
Perfectly valid to make - but not Gone with the Wind as written by Margaret Mitchell!
Emilia could, of course, be 007 - but she can't be James Bond. James Bond is a man, a well drawn character we know a lot about. The different actors who have played him have all still had the same back story and played the same essential person. They were not different 007s - they were all James Bond, the man as drawn by Ian Fleming, orphaned at the age of 11, who has only really loved one woman, who drives a Bentley or an Aston Martin and enjoys a dry Martini, shaken not stirred.
Gillian Anderson has also pitched for the role of 007 and what a fantastic spy she would make - but James Bond would have to still exist in the franchise in some form. His character - the man he is - is too interesting not to. So, again I say, if you want to make a new spy movie, make a different one, with a brand new female character with a fascinating life of her own; and for heaven's sake don't call it Jane Bond!
This is not the beginning of a beautiful friendship, at all!
On another film matter, what are Tesco doing using Casablanca to promote themselves this Christmas?
To take one of the most brilliant and iconic scenes in film history between Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman and turning into an advert made me sick to the stomach.
Bogart and Bergman would never have said the things that are coming out of their mouths in a million years for one thing, while the commercialisation of such a beautiful piece of art feels like sacrilege to me.
Quite honestly, I feel that what Tesco have done is like wiping your bottom with the Mona Lisa.
Sainsbury's, when it comes to my Christmas food shopping this year, it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship!