Fans of superhero movies might be excited for Captain Marvel, but Brie Larson already has her eye on more projects. As reported by The Wrap on Thursday, Larson’s upcoming Netflix movie Lady Business tells the story of some real-life ladies who went to pretty extreme lengths to get their business off the ground. Namely, the two women invented a third founder for their company — who just happened to be a man — so that they could be taken seriously.
The two ladies, Penelope Gazin and Kate Dwyer, founded an online marketplace called Witchsy. But after noticing that potential contractors they wanted to work with were dismissive with them, they invented a new online persona named Keith, Fast Company reported in 2017.
"It would take me days to get a response," Dwyer told the magazine at the time. "But Keith could not only get a response and a status update, but also be asked if he wanted anything else or if there was anything else that Keith needed help with."
It’s not clear which of the women Larson will be playing in the new movie. But according to early reports, acting might not be her only role in the Netflix film. Larson may also direct the movie, Deadline reported. If she does, it will be her second time behind the camera. Larson also directed Unicorn Store, which will debut on Netflix in April, according to The Wrap.
The idea of a pair of women creating a fake man in order to get their company off the ground sounds like the perfect start to a feel-good comedy. But this isn’t fiction, and the fact that the two of them had to go to these lengths shows how much sexism is still alive in the business world.
It’s even more depressing to consider that, as The Guardian noted, the emails from Keith went to developers and graphic designers, and other contractors the duo wanted to work with. This isn’t just sexism in a boardroom meeting, or skepticism among potential investors — it’s people at the lower level who weren’t showing the Witchsy founders respect as their superiors.
Of course, it’s not exactly a secret that the corporate world is dominated by men. Of the current crop of Fortune 500 companies, just 25 had women as their CEOs, Business Insider reported in August. The fact that sexism still exists at every step of the process, as Gazin and Dwyer’s story suggests, isn’t exactly heartening, either.
As for Larson’s other upcoming Netflix movie, Unicorn Store focuses on an adult woman who moves back to her parents’ house, The Wrap explained. It’s not clear from the description if she gets a job at said store or is just a customer there, but it sounds like the store will play a part in a delayed coming-of-age moment. The movie premiered in 2017 at the Toronto International Film Festival, so it’s nice to see that it’s finally going to reach a wider audience.
Larson’s directing Unicorn Store, along with the reports that she might direct Lady Business, show that the actor is just as interested in being behind the camera as she is in front of it. And it looks like she’s dedicated to telling women’s stories — Lady Business sounds like it will do the Witchsy founders justice.
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