After the release of Star Trek Into Darkness last weekend, there was some controversy over the (somewhat) gratuitous scene featuring Dr. Carol Marcus (Alice Eve) in her underwear. While the scene was brief, the biggest sin against her character wasn’t the underwear flash, but rather her character being completely underwritten. Over the weekend, screenwriter Damon Lindelof tweeted an apology about the short scene.
I copped to the fact that we should have done a better job of not being gratuitous in our representation of a barely clothed actress.
— Damon Lindelof (@DamonLindelof) May 20, 2013
While director J.J. Abrams was making the rounds on late night talk shows promoting the Star Trek sequel film, he offered up a chance to even the score, or trade off objectifying scenes. Abrams introduced a deleted scene above from Star Trek Into Darkness on the late night cable talk show Conan that featured a bare-chested John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) menacingly taking a shower on the U.S.S. Enterprise after Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Uhura captured him on the Klingon planet of Kronos.
J.J. Abrams also expressed his intent with the infamous Carol Marcus underwear scene and stated that it was from the point-of-view of Kirk, who is a notorious womanizer. The brief scene was also an opportunity to inject some levity in a very action-heavy summer blockbuster. In the end, perhaps J.J. Abrams should’ve kept this scene featuring John Harrison showering, if only to placate other audiences that aren’t straight men.
The Dr. Carol Marcus underwear scene was also in the Star Trek Into Darkness trailer, which also enticed young males to the theater to watch the new film. If Abrams included the John Harrison showering scene in the movie and its trailer, then that could’ve equally enticed more women to show up to the theater on opening weekend. Simply put, it could’ve helped Star Trek Into Darkness’ domestic box office, which it needed considering the disappointing opening weekend numbers.