Throughout her life, actress Carrie Fisher was an advocate for many things, including mental illness awareness, drug rehabilitation and her gender. Much of Fisher’s public persona was crafted on advocacy for women.
On Tuesday Carrie Fisher passed away, days after suffering cardiac arrest on a flight to Los Angeles on Friday. Tributes quickly poured in from around the world. One of those honoring her memory was Fisher’s contemporary in Hollywood, actor Steve Martin.
“When I was a young man, Carrie Fisher was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. She turned out to be witty and bright as well,” Martin wrote.
Shortly after his message was posted, Martin began to receive flack for the tweet. Many believed that he was expressing a view — that a woman’s intelligence and wit came as a secondary surprise to her beauty — in opposition to how Fisher viewed women in society.
In New York Magazine, writer Claire Landsbaum pointed out this disparity and reminded readers that Fisher fought against the over-sexualization of women her whole life.
“Let’s not forget that these movies are basically boys’ fantasies,” Fisher told Rolling Stone of the “Star Wars” franchise in 1983. “So the other way they made her more female in this one was to have her take off her clothes.”
Despite the negative reaction to Martin’s tweet, others trusted that it was written with the best of intentions and not as any slight to Fisher.
“If you were upset by Steve Martin’s tweet about Carrie Fisher, congratulations! You are officially addicted to outrage,” Peter Cooke wrote.
Martin has since deleted the tweet, though he has not issued any public comment on it.