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I am amazed at the sexism and disheveled behavior in Bridget Jones … says author Helen Fielding

I’m amazed at the sexism and disheveled behavior in the Bridget Jones movies, says Helen Fielding – the woman who made her

  • The author of Bridget Jones has condemned sexism in her book series
  • Helen Fielding was shocked at the nasty behavior of Bridget’s male colleagues
  • Ms. Fielding also denied rumors that Mark Darcy is based on Sir Keir Starmer

The creator of Bridget Jones has admitted that she finds it difficult to endure the “ shocking ” levels of sexism in the films of the same name, but is happy with the progress made in the workplace.

Helen Fielding recalled how she and her two children watched one of the popular Hollywood adaptations she co-wrote, with Oscar winner Renée Zellweger in her thirties.

The 62-year-old said she was “baffled” by the disheveled behavior of Bridget’s male colleagues, especially on the fictional TV show Sit Up Britain, where the heroine is told, “No one is ever fired for fucking the boss.”

Bridget Jones author Helen Fielding (pictured) admits she's shocked at the sexism present in her popular book series, especially at the sleezy behavior of Bridget's male colleagues

Bridget Jones author Helen Fielding (pictured) admits she’s shocked at the sexism present in her popular book series, especially at the sleezy behavior of Bridget’s male colleagues

“You can’t write that now,” said Mrs. Fielding. “The level of sexism that Bridget had to deal with, the hand on the bum in so many of the scenes, [Sit Up Britain boss] Richard Finch: “Let’s have a drink.”

“I mean, in the end she turned around and glued it to them, but it was just an essential part of her life.

It was quite shocking to see how things have changed. ‘

Ms. Fielding, who first wrote about Bridget in a 1995 newspaper, said her approach would be different in the post-MeToo era.

In an interview for today’s BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs, she said, ‘I think the social conditions surrounding Bridget were different then back then. I don’t think it would have been possible to write it that way now. Things have changed – luckily. ‘

Fielding's book series was turned into a popular movie trilogy, starring Renee Zellweger (pictured) as Bridget

Fielding's book series was turned into a popular movie trilogy, starring Renee Zellweger (pictured) as Bridget

Fielding’s book series was turned into a popular movie trilogy, starring Renee Zellweger (pictured) as Bridget

Bridget – after leaving the publishing world after her affair with Daniel Cleaver played by Hugh Grant – found love with Colin Firth’s character, Mark Darcy.

For years, it has been alleged that her hero was inspired by current Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer, who was also a human rights lawyer at the time.

However, Ms. Fielding seemed to reject that by saying she was “amazed” at the link.

She said she drew on real life to create Bridget, adding that when the books were released “it was a little confusing that suddenly I had an alter ego that was kind of me and not me. People used to expect me to behave like Bridget and still do. And I do that very often. ‘

The film series also starred Colin Firth (pictured left) as one of Bridget's love interests - Mark Darcy

The film series also starred Colin Firth (pictured left) as one of Bridget's love interests - Mark Darcy

The film series also starred Colin Firth (pictured left) as one of Bridget’s love interests – Mark Darcy

Ms. Fielding denied rumors that Mr. Darcy's character was based on Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer (pictured). Both Firth's character and Starmer both worked as human rights lawyers

Ms. Fielding denied rumors that Mr. Darcy's character was based on Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer (pictured). Both Firth's character and Starmer both worked as human rights lawyers

Ms. Fielding denied rumors that Mr. Darcy’s character was based on Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer (pictured). Both Firth’s character and Starmer both worked as human rights lawyers

She also described how Covid-19 made her think about lost loved ones, including her former partner Kevin Curran, a writer for The Simpsons who died in 2016, and her father, who was killed in a car accident when she was in her 20’s.

“This sounds very old-fashioned, but they don’t go away for me,” she said. “They’re still there in my mind and in the mind. It’s part of the ride we’re all on. I felt it very sharply during the epidemic.

“So much loss around brings back your own losses and you just feel all those people and all that grief and pain.”

Desert Island Discs is enabled BBC Radio 4 today at 11.15 am.

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