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Olivia Newton-John Defends ‘Grease’ As Fans Claim It’s Sexist

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UPDATED 2/2/2021

Olivia Newton-John recently had to defend 1978’s Grease as people began claiming that it’s a sexist film. The reasons for this include the fact that Olivia’s Sandy Olsson has this almost child-like innocence about her that is changed when she is met with John Travolta’s Danny Zuko, the hot bad boy with a much more sexual recollection of their summer relationship.

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In addition to that, the ending of the film has been criticized for years now. A lot of fans don’t like that Sandy transformed herself into a bad girl when she’s not like that at all, setting an example that you need to change yourself in order to win your man.

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Is ‘Grease’ inherently sexist?

GREASE, Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta, 1978. © Paramount Pictures/ Courtesy: Everett Collection

Despite any of this, Newton-John continues to defend the film. “It’s a movie,” she says. “It’s a story from the ‘50s where things were different. Everyone forgets that, at the end, he changes for her, too.”

RELATED: Why Danny And Sandy Didn’t Return For ‘Grease 2’

She continues, “There’s nothing deep in there about the #MeToo movement. It’s just a girl who loves a guy, and she thinks if she does that, he’ll like her. And he thinks if he does that, she’ll like him. I think that’s pretty real. People do that for each other. It was a fun love story… It was a stage play, it’s a musical, it’s fun. It’s a fun movie musical not to be taken so seriously.”

GREASE, Olivia Newton-John, 1978, (c) Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

Olivia Newton-John adds that people “need to relax a little bit and just enjoy things for what they are” and that she “didn’t see it like that at all – I think it’s a fun movie that entertains people”. A prequel series is currently in the works at HBO Max, called The Rise of the Pink Ladies. According to Yahoo! Entertainment, the prequel will explore Rizzo and Frenchy when they arrive at Rydell High. A prequel movie called Summer Lovin’ has also been in the works at Paramount Pictures for quite some time. Of course, in both of these prequels, it’s highly unlikely we’ll see any of the original cast members reprising their original roles.

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