Scarlett Curtis Challenges Richard Curtis on Sexism and Size Jokes in Films

Introduction: Scarlett Curtis’ Candid Critique of Father Richard Curtis

During a literary festival interview, Scarlett Curtis, a prominent feminist, artist, and writer, didn’t hold back when she labeled her great-great grandfather, Sigmund Freud, as “sexist and horrible.”

Moreover, she didn’t spare her own father, the renowned creator of “Love Actually,” Richard Curtis, from her critical lens, taking him to task for what she saw as “size jokes” in his films.

Scarlett’s unapologetic commentary provided a candid glimpse into her convictions and her willingness to challenge the legacy of her famous family.

Scarlett Curtis: A Multifaceted Feminist

At 28 years of age, Scarlett Curtis has made a name for herself as an artist, writer, and dedicated feminist.

She curated “Feminists Don’t Wear Pink,” a bestseller according to The Sunday Times, and even lent her artistic talents to designing the artwork for Ed Sheeran’s seventh album, “Autumn Variations.”

Scarlett’s lineage is replete with inspiring figures, as she is the great-niece of renowned painter Lucian Freud and the daughter of two notable personalities, filmmaker Richard Curtis and broadcaster Emma Freud.

Richard Curtis’ Acknowledgment of Past Mistakes

Richard Curtis, at the age of 66, candidly admitted that his activist daughter’s criticism led him to see the error of his ways.

He acknowledged that his previous approach to writing about women and making jokes about people’s size was misguided and insensitive.

Scarlett’s passionate stand against such humor prompted her father to reflect on his work, resulting in a newfound awareness and commitment to change.

A Promise to Retire Certain Words

Richard Curtis pledged never to use the words “fat” and “chubby” again in his work, recognizing the evolving sensibilities and changing social norms.

He acknowledged that in his generation, such language was considered funny, but Scarlett’s critique challenged him to reevaluate the impact of such humor in contemporary society.

The Reexamination of Curtis’ Filmography

Curtis shared his regrets about his work, stating that he was “unobservant” and “not as clever” as he should have been in his past creations. He specifically pointed out the character portrayals in his films, such as Bridget Jones’ “tree-trunk thighs” and the depiction of the Prime Minister’s PA Natalie in “Love Actually” as the “chubby one.”

He admitted that jokes of this nature were no longer humorous when subjected to Scarlett’s scrutiny during an interview at The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival.

A Diverse Future for Film

While discussing his film “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” Curtis defended his choice to write a gay couple into the storyline, despite his initial hesitation.

He expressed remorse for not being more inclusive in his previous works, and he attributed this oversight to his upbringing, characterized by a “very undiverse school” and a circle of “university friends.”

A Legacy of Humor and Change

Richard Curtis, known for iconic works such as “Blackadder” and “Mr. Bean,” has been candid about the evolving reception of his films, describing them as “historical documents” and acknowledging that they may no longer align with contemporary values.

His conversations with his children and Scarlett’s passionate activism have spurred a reevaluation of his work, pushing him to consider how the next generation’s perspective might shape a more inclusive and sensitive future for the entertainment industry.

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