‘She-Hulk’: Tatiana Maslany, Jessica Gao Address Double Standard Against Female Hulk

Marvel’s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is here to smash sexism, and bad guys. She-Hulk stars Tatiana Maslany as Jessica Walters, Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo)’s cousin. In an accident, their blood mixes causing Jessica to become She-Hulk. But she won’t let that stop her from living her life and practicing law, even if society tries to hold her back. 

'She-Hulk: Attorney at Law' -- Tatiana Maslany and Mark Ruffalo do Hulk yoga
Mark Ruffalo and Tatiana Maslany | Marvel Studios

Maslany, Head Writer Jessica Gao and director Kat Coiro were on a Television Critics Association panel Aug. 3. They discussed the gender double standards they’re satirizing on She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. The show premieres Aug. 18 and streams new episodes every Thursday on Disney+.

Tatiana Maslany calls ‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’ a metaphor for double standards

Maslany said that all women deal with double standards in society. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law allows them to exaggerate the double standards when a woman is a giant green superhero. 

“Her anger, her largeness, like her taking up space in a room, all of that is fertile ground for us to sort of play,” Maslany said. “And play with it comedically, too, to like flip the standard on its head so that you can laugh at it but you’re also aware that it’s like the truth of every woman walking into a space. And the sort of duality of her two bodies I find so compelling. What is it to walk into a room as a 6-foot-7 woman and what is it to walk into a room as a 5-foot-2 woman? It’s so rife.”

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Jessica already had to cope with male colleagues at her law firm. Now the world had opinions about She-Hulk.

“We’re so fixated on women’s bodies, whether it’s aesthetically or politically or in terms of rights or in terms of autonomy,” Maslany said. “I think what we do in this show is touch on all of these concepts but, again, through Jessica’s hilarious brain. So it’s really deep at the same time as it’s goofy.”

She-Hulk doesn’t get all the advantages Hulk got 

A big part of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is the difference between Jessica and Bruce’s experience. As soon as Jessica unleashes She-Hulk in public, the media treats her differently than her cousin.

“There was a lot of thought and consideration that went into what does it mean?” Gao said. “What is a woman’s experience going through all of this? And especially when there is an existing character who is related to her, who has gone through this exact journey but, at the end of the day, they’re very different people. So you can’t expect two people to go through a similar situation but react the exact same way.”

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Let’s talk about the big green elephant in the room, though. Bruce and Jessica aren’t just different people. Jessica is a woman, even a big green gamma enhanced woman

“Also, there is a double standard to how the world perceives her because she is a woman and because she is the female Hulk,” Gao said. “The way everybody treats her is also very different than the way the world has treated him. And these are all themes that we explore in the show.”

Don’t worry, it’s funny 

These are all very deep subjects for She-Hulk to tackle. Coiro assures fans that they’ll all be handled with comedy. 

“I think the lightheartedness is part of what makes it deep because you are transported, entertained,” Coiro said. “You’re watching a half-hour comedy, and then you have some things to think about.”

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