I don’t really have a problem with Channing Tatum. I’ve always kind of enjoyed him (especially in She’s The Man before Amanda Bynes went crazy and started asking Obama to fire the police.). There’s a chunkhead aspect to him that’s endearing in how he’s usually humbly and seemingly insecurely soft-spoken.
But people have been LOSING THEIR MINDS about him now that Magic Mike has come out. Like he’s pioneer of courage and bravery.
(Can you IMAGINE how weird it would be if guys acted like women do about stuff like Twilight and Magic Mike? If grown men were freaking out about a teenage girl who kept taking her shirt off and turning into a wolf or if an entire movie was premised around a bunch of female strippers? How super sketchy would that be?)
The most bothersome thing (and I say bothersome in an annoying way not a moralistic judgmenty way) is that people are like, “Guys. He’s not even like ashamed of his like past. He was like a stripper and like did it to make money and he’s like ok with like making a movie about it because like he’s not like embarrassed by it. He’s like proud of where he came from.”
And if you think I’m embellishing the pervasiveness of this idea, check out this excerpt from an article that almost made my brain commit sepuku:
*He’s Not Ashamed of His Past
“Not ashamed” is practically an understatement. Magic Mike was based on Channing’s own dalliance in the world of male exotic dancing, a fact not everyone would be the most proud of. But when his former boss sold a video of him dancing on stage in a g-string to Us Weekly in 2009, the actor wasn’t shy to come clean about his former line of work. “I’m not ashamed of it,” the actor told GQ in an interview last year. “I don’t regret one thing. I’m not a person who hides sh*t.” Luckily for Channing, director Steven Soderbergh (whom he worked with in Haywire) loved the story of his stripper past so much that he offered to helm the project that later became Magic Mike.
Article excerpt from here.
OK HERE’S THE THING. Being a male stripper isn’t the same as being a female stripper. Diablo Cody took heat for doing some stripping when she was young and people are STILL freaking out about it as though she wrote Juno in the middle of a lap dance for some chubby executive with a gold bracelet and beef jerky breath. No. Male stripping isn’t culturally viewed as shameful.
For guys, it’s like a fun ancedote that makes the guy crazy and fun. For girls, it means she’s unclean, skanky and smells like a breakfast buffet. Obviously, you don’t want your kids doing either, but we’re applying a context to him (the shame of stripping for women) that isn’t altogether relevant
And it’s not like he made a movie about being sexually abused as a kid. For a movie star, to make a movie about your past as a male stripper isn’t being brave. It’s pandering to an audience of your fans who already largely like you for your appearance and doubling down on that relationship.
It’s not like if William H. Macy did Magic Mike where his fan base comes from his excruciatingly detailed character acting and people want to see if he can pull it off. Channing Tatum being a stripper is in the wheelhouse of his wheelhouse a) because he’s really good at it (obvi) and b) because 99.9% of his fans like him for his muscularity and danceability.
That’s totally fine. I’m all for people just doing what they do. Just don’t act like he should win a Purple Hearted Nobel Peace Prize for bravery in playing a stripper in a movie. That’s all I’m asking.