Amandla Stenberg defends calling out New York Times film critic for objectification

·2 min read

Amandla Stenberg has defended herself after being criticised for calling out New York Times movie critic Lena Wilson.

The 23-year-old actor, who stars in A24’s newest horror comedy film, Bodies Bodies Bodies, told Wilson off for writing in her review that the movie “doubles as a 95-minute advertisement for cleavage”.

A few days after the NYT review was published, Stenberg messaged Wilson on Instagram, saying: “Your review is great, maybe if you had gotten your eyes off my tits you could’ve watched the movie!”

Wilson responded: “Hey, Amandla! Generally a big fan of your work, but this sure is something. Really wishing you well in your career and life. Have a nice night.”

Stenberg received backlash for the comment after Wilson shared a screenshot of the exchange on Twitter.

In a new video posted on her Instagram Story today (18 August), the actor has explained her actions, claiming that she was only trying to be funny.

“I’m receiving a lot of commentary on the internet for being a very naughty girl and for sending a DM that I thought was hilarious,” Stenberg began.

“There’s a film critic and her name is Lena Wilson. She described [Bodies Bodies Bodies] as a 95-minute advertisement for cleavage,’ which I thought was hilarious. I’m proud that a piece of work I was a part of was described as such in such a renowned publication.”

Lena Wilson and Amandla Stenberg Instagram exchange (Lena Wilson/ Twitter screenshot)
Lena Wilson and Amandla Stenberg Instagram exchange (Lena Wilson/ Twitter screenshot)

She continued: “I thought it was hilarious. I thought because Lena is gay, and I am also gay… as gay people, we would both find this comment funny. I was also curious to know what Lena would say to such a statement. Lena decided to publish it and also says that I am homophobic for saying that.”

“It’s quite surprising the amount of commentary I receive on my boobs. I wore this tank top in this movie because me and the costumed designer felt it fit the character well. I do get tired of people talking about my chest. There seems to be a lot of unwarranted conversation about my chest,” Stenberg added.

“Lena, I thought your review was hilarious. I thought my DM was funny. I did not mean to harass you. I do not wish you any harm. You are allowed to have your criticism on my work and I’m allowed to have my criticisms of your work. I wish you the best.”

Bodies Bodies Bodies is out in cinemas now.