Boots Riley’s Sorry To Bother You film has been in theatres for close to a month now and although the comedy centred around telemarketer Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) has received all kinds love, it’s also received some hate with critics going after Tessa Thompson’s character, Detroit. A lengthy review was posted that called Detroit more a symbol than a person.
“I can’t blame the characters for not taking her seriously, though, because at no point in the film are her values made plain to the audience,” the Bitch Media post wrote.
Boots has taken some time to respond to the backlash (FYI the full letter has spoilers) defending Detroit and everything he thinks she stands for.
“She engages in actions and projects that have nothing to do with Cassius, and the things she does or believes are not the thing that makes Cassius change,” he writes. “Detroit is not a prize to be won in this movie. She fucks who she wants because she wants to and when she wants to.”
He adds: “I will put Detroit up against most the movies that do pass the Bechdel test and will confidently say that most them will not have a character close to as radical or feminist as she is.”
Tessa even chimed in herself saying her character did just what every character should: make you want to know more about them. “For me, the hat trick with any supporting character, no matter how well drawn they are —is they should leave an audience wanting to know more about them. @BootsRiley made a film about a lot big ideas & a question—& Detroit is both.”