Fast & Furious star threatens to quit due to poor female representation

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Fast & Furious actress Michelle Rodriguez says she may leave the franchise if its female stars are not treated better on screen.

Michelle made the claim on Instagram on the day the eighth film in the franchise was released online.

She's played the character of Letty in five of the eight movies between 2001 and 2017.

But she thinks hers, and other female characters, have not been portrayed as well as they should be.

"I hope they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one," she wrote on Instagram.

"Or I just might have to say goodbye to a loved franchise.

"It's been a good ride and I'm grateful for the opportunity the fans and studio have provided over the years."

Fans filled the comments of her Instagram post with pleas for her to stick with the series.

The lead roles in the movie series have been played by Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionFast & Furious 6 starred Michelle Rodriguez, Gal Gadot, Elsa Pataky, Gina Carano and Jordana Brewster

Charlize Theron, Nathalie Emmanuel, Devon Aoki and Helen Mirren have also appeared in the Fast & Furious franchise in key roles during its 16 year history.

"The Fast & Furious films aren't great with women," Radio 1's film critic Ali Plumb tells Newsbeat.

"This is the franchise with silk-waving race girls - including Rita Ora at one point - and many gratuitous shots of girls in bikinis slowly getting out of pools.

"In one of the films, Gal Gadot uses the fingerprints of a bad guy who grabs her bum to break into his safe."

Michelle is seen involved in the action in the trailers for 2017's Fate Of The Furious.

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Rodriguez previously spoke out about about the movies while promoting The Fate Of The Furious.

"I'm a complete, sheer, utter feminist," she told Entertainment Weekly in May.

"On day one, I [changed] the character from being something that I could not do in front of millions of people into a character that I'm actually proud of, but at the end of the day, what message are we sending out there for women?

"It does weigh heavy on my head - especially in the male-dominated environment that I work in."

Newsbeat has contacted Universal Pictures and we await a response.

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