Jem and the Holograms Producers Want Suggestions? Get Women Involved!

BlogHer Original Post

Three men have asked for input in bringing the truly outrageous and badass Jem to the big screen. Jon Chu, Jason Blum and Scooter Braun don't want to steal your childhood, they say. They want to reinvent the 80s classic and cult favorite chick rock series for the digital age. They published an announcement this week soliciting input for casting and creative direction of the film, sort of like a Kickstarter for social media support and fan involvement instead of cash. 

I have one suggestion, dudes: get women front and center, now. Seeing three men helm the conversation around Jem -- our powerful earring-wielding icon who represented everything amazing about the girl power era of music in the eighties -- is just, well, just wrong.

First and foremost, is creator and television show author Christy Marx involved? If so, how? I need you to show me, and overall to celebrate her.  Because Marx is a ceiling buster and a celebrated icon of female media leadership, and bottom line, she created Jem. According to Variety, the script was written by Ryan Landels.

Screenshot from Jem
Screenshot from Jem

Second, I need you not to make token jokes about moms. Because in your pitch video, we see three powerful media dudes, and then the women you showed us are:

  • Jem (animated clip)
  • Jem (doll)
  • Unnamed women in the background working on their computers
  • A still shot of a peace sign (?) flashing mom (bizarrely saying YOLO?) while Jason Blum says "If you have a cool mom she'll definitely know what it is."

Screenshot from Jem Producer's Pitch
Screenshot from the pitch video from Jon Chu, Jason Blum and Scooter Braun. Because moms are YOLO?

Yes, we do know all about Jem and the Holograms, Jason, and like Jem, we're cooler than that shot and throwaway comment. Jem was made by us and for us. We might be older than you are, but we're still creative powerhouses, and if you are smart you'll have us involved every step of the way, in leadership, in creative and in your social conversation, because you have nothing if you don't infuse the new Jem with the creative force of women. Women are the story, the core truth and the point of Jem, and if you don't see that, you don't get Jem.

I completely agree with your premise that the time is right now for a big screen reinvention of Jem and the Holograms, as the digital world is enabling a creative renaissance for women's voices similar to the way the 80s did, and women from teens to "mom" age and beyond are social media drivers of everything from site traffic to consumer and media decisions. Don't think you can pull off a new Jem without us.

Or, barring that, we'll have no choice but to use Synergy to protect Jem from those who want to steal our childhood idol and dude-ify her. (See clip below.) You should know that Jem/Jerrica taught us well. Your research probably taught you she was not only the lead singer of her band, she also was the owner of Starlight Music, and she constantly had to triumph over the evil maneuverings of that producer dude who sought control of her, her music and her company.  

So, tell me, Jon, Jason and Scooter: Are you evil dude villains talking down to us while taking control of girl-power media, or is Jem and the Holograms in good hands? Show us the smart, cool, badass women involved in your production, or promote some really fast. That's the creative suggestion this truly outrageous "cool mom" offers you.  

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