Variety has apologized for using “insensitive language” about Carey Mulligan in its review of her new film “Promising Young Woman.”
“Variety sincerely apologizes to Carey Mulligan and regrets the insensitive language and insinuation in our review of ‘Promising Young Woman’ that minimized her daring performance,” the Hollywood trade said in a statement Thursday morning.
Mulligan had called out Variety’s review of her movie in a New York Times interview published Wednesday. She said she “took issue” with the reviewer fixating on her looks and comparing her to Margot Robbie, who produced the film.
“I read the Variety review, because I’m a weak person,” Mulligan told the Times. “And I took issue with it. It felt like it was basically saying that I wasn’t hot enough to pull off this kind of ruse.”
She added, “It drove me so crazy. I was like, ‘Really? For this film, you’re going to write something that is so transparent? Now? In 2020?’ I just couldn’t believe it.”
In “Promising Young Woman,” Mulligan plays Cassie, a woman who seeks vengeance against men who attempt to sleep with her when she’s seemingly very drunk. The catch, as the men eventually learn, is that she was never drunk in the first place, and even if they positioned themselves as “nice guys,” they were more interested in date rape than in taking her home safely.
The Variety review, written by Dennis Harvey, addressed Mulligan’s casting in its final paragraph:
“Mulligan, a fine actress, seems a bit of an odd choice as this admittedly many-layered apparent femme fatale — Margot Robbie is a producer here, and one can (perhaps too easily) imagine the role might once have been intended for her. Whereas with this star, Cassie wears her pickup-bait gear like bad drag; even her long blonde hair seems a put-on.”
Mulligan appeared on the cover of Variety earlier this month to promote the movie, which opens in theaters on Dec. 25.