news Jenna Ortega Wants More Female Leads Not Written by Older White Men

Jenna Ortega wants us to rethink who is behind stories about teenage girls.

The “Scream” star, who leads Netflix’s upcoming “Wednesday” series, told Who What Wear that the recent shift in diverse storytelling has dismantled the notion that adolescent women are just a “lame stereotype” onscreen.

“I really see my young generation taking more control of themselves in the industry — whether it’s learning to write sooner, direct sooner, or produce sooner,” Ortega said. “I think it’s really empowering and important because, right now, teenage voices are still being told in the majority by older white males.”

The “X” star continued, “The more that happens, we’ll acknowledge that girls are much more than a lame stereotype.”

Ortega has been certified as a scream queen in her own right as the newest “Scream” final girl to appear in two installments with upcoming “Scream 6” ahead.

“I never really considered it because a lot of what I do is horror, and they all have these moody and nasty qualities, but what I love is that they also have a sassy teenage nature,” Ortega said. “The thing about horror is that it’s become a second home to me at this point. I’ve been on enough of those sets [that] I go and I know what’s expected of me. It feels like a typical 9-to-5.”

Ortega already promised that the upcoming “Scream 6,” the first installment sans Neve Campbell, will be the goriest yet. “I think that this is probably the most aggressive and violent version of Ghostface we’ve ever seen,” the 20-year-old actress said. The film also marks the first franchise movie to travel to New York City.

Iconic scream queen Cassandra Peterson, aka Elvira, reflected on the progression of final girls onscreen, exclusively telling IndieWire that over generations of horror films, the genre has upended the initially sexist portrayals of female characters.

“Women have come a long way in horror movies. They become the killer, they become the survivors,” Peterson said of the trope. “I think that is a reflection of where we are in society, moving in that direction instead of women always being the hapless victim who dies in the end. Women have much more of a presence now.”