Why On Earth Is Amandla Stenberg Beefing With A New York Times Critic?

"Maybe if you had got your eyes off my tits you could've watched the movie."

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We live for inconsequential beefs here at Junkee, so we’re thrilled to announce that actor Amandla Stenberg and New York Times critic Lena Wilson are presently stoushing over a review of Bodies Bodies Bodies.

The latest offering from indie sweethearts A24, Bodies Bodies Bodies is a satirical slasher movie about a bunch of 20-something women who get stuck in a mansion during a hurricane, and as you can imagine — at one point someone ends up dead.

We’re already hooked by the premise alone, but many are taking umbrage by a rather negative review of the movie published by the New York Times, which you can read here.

The Review Of Bodies Bodies Bodies Prompts Backlash

The review, penned by critic Lena Wilson, was pretty scathing; and seemed to characterise the movie as overhyped and unoriginal. “The only thing that really sets Bodies Bodies Bodies apart is its place in the A24 hype machine, where it doubles as a 95-minute advertisement for cleavage and Charli XCX’s latest single.”

And look, reviewers can say what they want to say. We definitely do! But it’s Wilson’s focus on cleavage that is freaking people out, with people who have watched the movie pointing out that it’s unfair to accuse the cast of dressing in an overly sexualised way.

This Twitter user, for example, points out that the four women who lead the cast are dressed in a very normal way.

Amandla Stenberg DMs The Critic On Instagram

According to a TikTok posted by Wilson, Bodies Bodies Bodies actor Amandla Stenberg DMed the New York Times critic, writing: “Ur review was great, maybe if you had gotten ur eyes off my tits you could’ve watched the movie.”

According to the TikTok, Wilson replied: “Hey, Amandla! Generally a big fan of your work, but this sure is something. Wishing you well in your career and life.” It seems as though Wilson then blocked Stenberg.

In a face-to-camera TikTok, Lena says she was “devastated” to have received the message.

“I’m posting this because I don’t think it’s ok for this person who has more social power than me to think it’s okay to do something like this, and that’s all.” Lena then throws up a peace sign before the video ends. Watch the TikTok below.

Lena Wilson Reportedly Accuses Stenberg Of Homophobia On Twitter

In tweets that have now been made private, Lena Wilson reportedly suggested that Stenberg’s message contained homophobic undertones. For context, both Wilson and Stenberg are gay.

According to Buzzfeed, though, the tweets asked whether Amandla would so readily DM other critics and stressed that she wanted to show that A24 “objectifies young women to sell content.”

Allegedly, she suggested that Amandla’s DM was homophobic; also evident from the caption of her TikTok video which reads: “Unfathomably weird to get “i don’t want you in the locker room while i’m changing” bullying from a whole other lesbian.”

Amandla Stenberg Responds To Lena In An Instagram Story

These people are making full use of our social media landscape, that’s for sure! Stenberg apparently responded to Lena’s TikTok in an Instagram, and while that ephemeral video is no longer live, she apparently confirmed that she sent a DM to Wilson, who she thought would find it funny.

“I thought it was hilarious. I thought because Lena is gay, and I am also gay… as gay people we would both find this comment funny. I was also curious to know what Lena would say to such a statement. Lena decided to publish it and also says that I am homophobic for saying that,” she was reported to have said. 

Stenberg then added that the comment was also born of being tired of getting comments about the size of her breasts. “The amount of commentary I receive on my boobs is so extreme. This has happened since I was a teenager,” they continued. “In this movie, I’m wearing a tank top — and I know that when I’m wearing a tank top, there’s going to be some cleavage.”

“I knew that this comment was probably mostly directed towards me. I think Lena was trying to make a comment about A24 sexualising me … I understand the angle, [but] I can tell you I wore this tank top in this movie because me and the costume designer thought it fit the character well.”

“Lena, I thought your review was hilarious. I thought my DM was funny. I did not mean to harass you. I do not wish you any harm. You are allowed to have your criticism on my work and I’m allowed to have my criticisms of your work. I wish you the best.”

Well, that’s it folks: both these people are clearly livid with each other but nevertheless, wishing each other the best.

Watch the trailer for Bodies Bodies Bodies below.