On Thursday, a Tory MP sparked a frenzy on social media after he appeared to link male crime with traditionally ‘male’ characters like Doctor Who and James Bond being replaced with female actors.
It sounded absolutely bonkers, and so the MP, Nick Fletcher, later backtracked and made a statement claiming he was making a point about there not being enough positive male role models on TV and film – role models needed for men not to commit crimes, apparently.
Despite the recorded speech appearing to suggest otherwise, we’re happy to give him the benefit of the doubt and accept Fletcher wasn’t making the link and was just complaining about a deficit of role models.
But even if this was the case, his point doesn’t stack up to even the slightest bit of scrutiny. After all there have been loads of male-fronted films and TV shows released even in the last year that portray the ‘masculine’ traits Fletcher seems to love.
Here’s 34 of them (Warning: There might be some spoilers ahead):
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In this tense dystopian Netflix drama, Seong Gi-Hun emerged as a hero, unwilling to kill friends to get money, but willing to do all he could to survive and thrive so he could escape the game and be a good parent to his child. While the character had to do some questionable things to get through, he is not one of the criminals that Fletcher claim make up much of the male parts on screen.
The Pembrokeshire Murders
Adapted from the true-crime book Catching The Bullseye Killer, this ITV series follows newly-promoted Detective Superintendent Steve Wilkins (Luke Evans) who decides to reopen two unsolved double murders from the 1980s.
He finds compelling evidence that could bring killers to justice. A true hero.
Line of Duty
This BBC drama is not short of ‘bent coppers’ but also features a number of good (and male) coppers too like Martin Compstons’ Steve Arnott.
Watching alphas putting criminals behind bars? Surely that’s something that would turn men away from crime, not towards it.
Spider-Man: No Way Home
This superhero flick, which is to be released in December will see Tom Holland (and potentially other Spider-Men) take on the titular role and fight crime and some of his greatest foes.
That’s fight crime, not commit it.
James Bond – No Time To Die
While hand wringing about the potential that a female actor may play the next James Bond, Fletcher seemed to forget that a male-fronted Bond film came out this year to critical acclaim – so that should at least push crime down for the next few months or so.
Fast and Furious 9
Dom Toretto – played by Vin Diesel is forced to come out of retirement to stop a criminal plot in this edition of the franchise. Of course, as the name suggests, there are also eight other Fast and Furious films sure to keep men glued to screens and away from, we don’t know, robbing banks or something.
Defusing the Cuban Missile Crisis sounds pretty heroic and that is exactly what Benedict Cumberbatch’s character does in this tense spy thriller, based on a true story.
In this film, hero and veritable sexy man Paul Rudd fights ghosts. What could be more manly than that?
Goodness, it seems like men are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding positive male role models on screen. But in case anyone is unpersuaded, here are a few more, including some very well known ones indeed, but also some more niche offerings:
Vanguard – Jackie Chan
Pig – Nicholas Cage
The Marksman – Liam Neeson
Little Things – Denzel Washington
Nobody – Bob Odenkirk
Riders of Justice – Mads Mikkelsen
Stillwater – Matt Damon
Free Guy – Ryan Reynolds
Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins – Henry Golding
Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings – Simu Liu
The Green Knight – Dev Patel
Dune – Timothee Chalamet
The Guilty – Jake Gyllenhaal
Venom: Let There Be Carnage – Tom Hardy
The Last Duel – Matt Damon
The Harder They Fall – Jonathan Majors
Eternals – Richard Madden
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier – Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan
Superman and Lois – Tyler Hoechlin
Cobra Kai – Ralph Macchio
Bloodlands – James Nesbitt
Loki – Tom Hiddleston
Masters of the Universe: Revelation: Chris Wood, Mark Hamill
Invincible – Steven Yeun
Hawkeye – Jeremy Renner
Can someone let Fletcher know?