Invent Anna premiering on Netflix in February. The latest production from Shondaland and Netflix follows one of the most famous recent cases of true white-collar crime. Anna Delvey (Sorokin is her real last name) is a con artist who has robbed luxury hotels and elite banks in New York. Presenting herself as a German heiress, when in reality she came from a German middle-class family, she was able to create an image that appealed to people from the social groups she wanted to belong to.
The eight-episode miniseries is a fast-paced narrative that follows the perspective of Vivian Kent (Anna Chlumsky). She’s a reporter dealing with the backlash of making a serious mistake in a past article she wrote for Manhattan Magazine. When Vivian hears about the case of Anna Delvey (Julia Garner), she is immediately intrigued. Anna and Vivian become the protagonists of a story that seems too incredible to be true, thanks in large part to Delvey’s imaginative lies; as each episode states, “This whole story is completely true. Except for every part that is totally made up.”
Rhimes warns audiences not to view the miniseries as the ultimate truth about what happened, but as a fun story based on unbelievable circumstances, pointing to the postmodern reality that no version of the truth is complete. the truth. The two characters, both based on real people (just like every other character in the series), have to deal with a lot to be able to tell their story. Among the hardships they have to endure is the fact that they are both women trying to make a living in male-dominated environments. This has led to many debates about sexism and what “white feminism” is, among other things.
Shonda Rhimes’ latest Netflix miniseries has received controversial reviews almost as much as Anna Delvey herself. Some claim the show denounces sexism and others use Anna as an example of non-inclusive feminism. Here is a brief explanation of how Invent Anna tackles sexism.
Sexist moments in the show
The protagonists of the series are two women who experience very different situations. Vivian Kent is a journalist who works for an online magazine. At the start of the series, she is constantly being punished for a supposed journalistic error she made a few months ago. Vivian must constantly fight against her boss and her superior (the two men) to continue Anna’s story – which she thinks is more complex than it seems.
Later in the series, the audience discovers that she made no mistake: she asked her superior to fact-check a story, and he said he would. However, he didn’t, and there was misinformation in one of the stories that made up the article they published. This led to her being punished and having only the worst stories to write while her superior got a promotion and a new office, and Vivian is therefore seething with the desire to break the patriarchy.
Anna Sorokin consistently deals with sexism, albeit in a different way from Vivian. Anna isn’t taken seriously once she starts trying to get a loan for her fake foundation. The bank managers say they just want to get into his bed. They also say she won’t be seriously considered for a loan because she dresses like a woman in her early twenties (her real age) and is stereotypically feminine. Anna then changes her appearance to try to appear older and “more serious”.
After that, she has a lot of business appointments in expensive restaurants, with a majority of male lawyers. In one instance, she is having dinner with two bank managers at the restaurant of the hotel she lives in (one of several hotels she has ripped off and failed to pay her bill). Dinner is over and she heads for the elevator. One of the men follows her. He then tries to touch her body and insists that he wants to come to her room, even when she specifically tells him she doesn’t. He only leaves when another woman, Neff (Alexis Floyd), who works at the hotel and becomes Anna’s friend, gets involved.
Anna Sorokin is not a girlfriend
The term ‘girlboss’ is loosely used these days. It should portray a self-made woman who owns her business and is her own boss. It’s easy to see why people started calling Anna a girlboss when the show came out. However, just like the real person she’s based on: she’s a criminal. The show’s main flaw is trying to get audiences to root for Anna when she’s the villain of the story. Anna constantly says that if she were a man, she would already have the loan for her foundation. This is most likely correct. However, this is not an excuse to scam people and commit crimes.
Even though the series depicts sexist situations, Anna Delvey is not a feminist character. She is based on an extremely intelligent woman who ripped off New York’s elite. Although she had to overcome sexist environments, she did not take a single feminist action that did not benefit her. She scammed her (female) friends like everyone else on the show. The idea that she represents the “if every woman wanted to do it, she could” fantasy is very simplistic. Anna is a white European immigrant: she represents a small percentage of women. It is impossible to say that her ethnicity had nothing to do with the outcome of the trial and the way people perceived her. Anna has committed various serious crimes, for which she went to prison, and is not someone who should be seen as a role model for young girls. In fact, she’s a heinous and unlovable monster, and if the world was filled with her, it would be a much darker and nastier place.
The Netflix true-crime series is an admittedly fun watch. The incredible wardrobes, electric soundtrack, and incredible acting (especially from Julia Garner) are entertaining and capture the audience’s attention from the get-go. True Crime shouldn’t be overlooked, however, due to Garner’s accent, charisma, and acting skills, combined with being a Shonda Rhimes and Shondaland TV show.
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