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Playboy: don’t hate the player, hate the game.

As someone who works with existing footage, witnessing the creation of ‘original’ material was one of most enlightening and frustrating experiences of my professional life. Working on the set of a Martin Scorsese “Shutter Island” film changed and challenged my notions of the phrase “big budget” and the resulting power dynamic between the studio system and the audience.

When the trailer for Shutter Island came out, I was intrigued. Then it was remixed and I was vindicated…the production wheel of participatory culture has come full circle! Sort of.

Here is Playboy’s remix of the Shutter Island trailer. Yes, Playboy is now making mash-ups and, in this example, illustrating that women are criminally insane and men are passive victims of their CRAZY pursuit to be their wives.

On one hand, I think this is funny. Those hetero women ARE crazy for wanting to be a wife and mother SO badly that they’ll compete against each other in what seems to be a small scale Miss America contest to be the chosen girlfriend. On the other hand, aren’t we just criticizing these women for being players in the hetero game they’ve been encouraged to play since birth? A phrase predominately used by men to justifying their womanizing ways comes to mind: don’t hate the player, hate the game.

Ultimately, this is a good lesson in cooptation. Here’s the corporate cooptation of the mash-up/remix genre to perpetuate a stereotype in order to enhance a brand’s identity. What kills me is that the brand’s identity is patriarchy and essentially fucking over women.

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