‘Love, Death & Robots’ suffers from blatant sexism


Short films can find it hard to attract a wider audience, so it’s cool to see Netflix promote a big, splashy showcase of animated sci-fi shorts. Sadly, Love, Death & Robots feels much less cool and boundary-pushing when you take a closer look. Curated by Tim Miller (Deadpool) and David Fincher (Fight Club), this anthology is full of gratuitous onscreen sexism—and blatant gender discrimination behind the camera.

Image result for love death and robots

I did watch this on Netflix,  and I actually enjoyed a few of the shorts featured as they were written by one of my favorite authors, John Scalzi. John Scalzi is not known as an especially “edgy” type of writer. In fact, he’s very progressive, so those shorts seem incongruous next to some of the other, more violent, shorts in the anthology. But this article is correct in stating that in every short that featured violence, female sexuality and nudity was associated with it, and in every instance of female nudity or sexuality, there was an extreme amount of violence involved in that story. In some of the stories the two occur simultaneously.

In all fairness though, not all of the short films feature either topic, and some of them are actually worth watching. Most notable were:

The Day the Yogurt Took Over was written by Scalzi from his anthology titled Miniatures. It’s hilarious.

Ice Age was very interesting. I enjoyed it a lot.

Fish Night is a story I remember reading, in another anthology, a couple of decades ago, and the story just stuck with me.

Lucky 13 was one of the better Scifi stories, and has a Black woman as the lead character.

Three Robots was really cute and it has cats, so some of you will definitely like it, and Suits was frantic and suspenseful.

But the story that affected me the most was Zima Blue, which I consider one of the best stories in the entire anthology. It was emotional and though provoking.


The Wired is a lot more damning of the show than I am though:

Netflix’s Love, Death & Robots is sexist sci-fi at its most tedious


It’s not just a male gaze that ruins Love, Death & Robots, it’s an adolescent male gaze. The sex scenes are so bad they’re funny. At times, the dialogue is borderline farcical. All too often the series leans precariously on visual tricks – and while the worlds created here are vast and vivid, the plots are often non-existent.

3 thoughts on “‘Love, Death & Robots’ suffers from blatant sexism

  1. I read the Wired Article and thought- did we watch the same Love, Death, & Robots?

    I agree with you that in nearly every episode that showed female nudity there was an aspect of violence associated with it- and I would say that was the same for male nudity as well. Namely the hillbillies that die, the man that gets eaten by a megalodon, the noble tied naked to a bed, and the entire werewolf episode. I would say that’s the base behind love-death.

    I think the obviously sexist scenes were in the Hitler deaths episode, which was painful to watch at best, and that abnormally predatory behavior of Sonnie in Sonnie’s Edge.

    In truth though- I found the show to cater to the primal desires and basic ideas behind science fiction and would argue that a lot of the content seems retrograde- the idea that women skirt around evil men and can get back at them with their brains is as sexist as the idea that men are obsessed and absorbed with sex. That is what makes the show sexist to me, in equal measure. I feel that science fiction has moved beyond the gratuitous use of nudity and violence to tell its stories, but I also feel that a show that openly seems to state two stereotypes in a negative light is doing a good thing.

    But that’s my two cents. Not worth any more than the Wired article.

    I love your episode choices, especially 3 robots and lucky 13. They were fantastic.

    Keep writing my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an interesting viewpoint. I hadn’t thought of it that way. I was just noting that they have a point, and that I had favorites regardless. I wasn’t ready to throw the whole thing out, and some of the episodes they disliked, I did find things to like about them, like the one about the were-foxes, which I thought was gorgeous looking, but cringe-worthy.

      But you have a point too, that violence and nudity was paired throughout almost all the episodes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That episode with the foxes was difficult to watch… but I found it to be uplifting and empowering!

        Thanks for taking the time to read my comment- your post really got me thinking about the show and as a scifi writer it was a cathartic experience to re-evaluate my original assessments.

        Liked by 1 person

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