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Feminist academic complains that no women speak for the first 20 minutes of Oppenheimer

Keryn Donnelly

| Last updated 

Feminist academic complains that no women speak for the first 20 minutes of Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer has been called the one of the biggest and the best movies of 2023.

But, according to one feminist academic, the movie is lacking women who actually... speak.

Dr Tanya Roth criticised the box office hit on Twitter, saying that there is a huge lack of female voices at the beginning.

"Fun fact: no women speak until 20 minutes into Oppenheimer and then within a minute there’s a sex scene," she tweeted.


Dr Roth also claimed the movie lacks representation for people of colour.


"To add to this: no people of colour appear for at least 30 minutes, and I believe there are two Black men in the entire movie," she added to her tweet.

The film, which is directed by Christopher Nolan, explores the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the man who created the atomic bomb.


Cillian Murphy plays Oppenheimer, while Florence Pugh plays his troubled lover Jean Tatlock. Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr, Rami Malek and Matt Damon also star in the film.

Dr Roth's tweet was met with criticism online.

"It must be exhausting to be this miserable," one person commented.

Another added: "Anyone who says 'fun fact' is never actually saying anything fun and is always annoying. It’s a historical movie."


A third said: "Should they have changed history to make it more inclusive for your feelings? That’s the epitome of what’s wrong right now. Do you know what that word means?"

Dr Roth then doubled down on her comments.

Credit: Universal Pictures.
Credit: Universal Pictures.

"Also, there are at least two scenes in which you see Florence Pugh topless, one of which is a sex scene," she tweeted.


She added: "Fun fact: I clocked seven min, 35 seconds before a man spoke in Barbie. No sex scenes."

Oppenheimer is the first film in which Nolan has directed a sex scene.

He told Insider he was 'nervous' about approaching new territory.

"Any time you're challenging yourself to work in areas you haven't worked in before, you should be appropriately nervous and appropriately careful and planned and prepared," he said.


The famed director said the movie couldn't be made without exploring the relationship between Oppenheimer and Tatlock.

"When you look at Oppenheimer's life and you look at his story, that aspect of his life, the aspect of his sexuality, his way with women, the charm that he exuded, it's an essential part of his story," he explained to Insider.

He added: "It felt very important to understand their relationship and to really see inside it and understand what made it tick without being coy or allusive about it, but to try to be intimate, to try and be in there with him and fully understand the relationship that was so important to him."

Oppenheimer is showing in cinemas around the world now.

Featured Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Topics: News, TV and Film, Oppenheimer

Keryn Donnelly
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