Last night Megan Ellison attended the Oscars as a producer of Zero Dark Thirty. The out bisexual heiress helped to finance the film about the killing of Osama Bin Laden, which was up for several awards but only took home Best Sound Editing (in a tie with Skyfall).
Ellison has been considered out as bisexual since she had it listed on her MySpace profile in 2007. She also dresses quite androgynously, which had her standing out amongst the gowns and heels worn on last night’s red carpet. I wouldn’t quite say that Vanity Fair‘s “slacker” assessment of her in this video is correct, though — she simply seems to be more of a tomboy.
Vanity Fair put together both the video and a written profile in the March issue about Megan’s work, all without comment from the producer herself as she’s not a fan of interviews.
Megan, whose father Larry Ellison is the CEO of Oracle, give millions of dollars to help films she believes in get made. Besides Kathryn Bigelow‘s movie starring Megan’s friend Jessica Chastain, she’s also been a part of The Master and True Grit under the name Annapurna Productions. Next up is Spring Breakers and another Terminator film, among several other projects in the works. One of real interest is called Her, and stars Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde and Amy Adams to be directed by Spike Jonze.
It’s interesting to see how Megan has been handled by the press. She may not have had to work to make the billions her father gifted her with on her 25th birthday, but she’s putting it to good use and staying a part of the production process, something that seems to be respected by her peers and the people that she works with. So why is the Vanity Fair article somewhat negative about her work? Compared to the likes of Paris Hilton whose popularity came from socializing and scandalizing, it seems Megan might be more deserving of some kudos for her work. Anonymous sources provide the bizarre commentary on how she’s “obsessed with Jessica [Chastain]” and how she’s just giving her money and time to hob nob with celebrities. Considering the films she seems to be working on have been award-winning and hotly anticipated with strong women involved, it would seem she’s worthy of some more accolades, none of which, of course, she seems to be asking for as she turns down press and otherwise remains in the background.
What do we expect of heiresses like Megan or women like Lena Dunham and her privileged class of Girls co-stars, who were criticized for having famous parents that helped them into their starring roles on the HBO series? If they weren’t able to do the work, they’d likely be out of jobs. And should we want them all to be less motivated or doing only charitable things we deem worthy with their name and money? As a fan of Zero Dark Thirty, Girls and films with women-at-the-helm, I appreciate where they are investing their efforts. Curiously, the Vanity Fair piece was penned by Vanessa Grigoriadis, who once spent a night out with Paris to profile her for Rolling Stone.
Congrats to Megan for a great year of work in a sexist environment that seems to extend to profiles of her written by other women.