It was announced on Thursday morning that actor-director Jon Favreau would executive produce and write a new live-action Star Wars series — but the news dropping on International Women’s Day didn’t go over well with everyone.
There has been plenty of outcry from fans and some in the industry for a woman or person of color to helm a Star Wars project.
The timing of the announcement from Disney that Favreau will be working on a new series came across as a slap in the face, with some Twitter users hashtagging the news with #HappyInternationalWomen’sDay.
“Bad PR timing,” noted Anne Thompson, IndieWire editor and founder of entertainment industry blog “Thompson on Hollywood.” “But women have a tough time getting the experience they need to compete for plum jobs like this. Even few men boast the array of proven skills — writing, acting, directing, VFX — that Jon Favreau has. Hollywood needs to give more women chances to build that toolset.”
“I hope the Favreau hires inclusively,” tweeted Constance Gibbs, writer for Black Girl Nerds. “I don’t even trust D&D from GoT to hire other white women, so they’re out. I just… I wanted better for this franchise that women of color love and support with equal measure.”
She continued, “You’re either ignoring us or prioritizing these white dudes. Both are bad looks. Do better, Star Wars. Let women of color be in charge of major stories in the franchise, especially because I would trust them more to hire WoC/diverse directors, writers, producers.”
“I’m excited by this news, but Lucasfilm really needs to announce someone working on their shows at this level that isn’t a white dude fast,” tweeted Bryan Young, who hosts the Full of Sith podcast.
In a statement with the Thursday news, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said, “I couldn’t be more excited about Jon coming on board to produce and write for the new direct-to-consumer platform. Jon brings the perfect mix of producing and writing talent, combined with a fluency in the Star Wars universe. This series will allow Jon the chance to work with a diverse group of writers and directors and give Lucasfilm the opportunity to build a robust talent base.”