Lack of Gender Inclusivity Becomes Obvious As ‘Lego Masters’ Eliminates Final All-Woman Team
For the second season in a row, the LEGO Masters Top 3 does not have any all-women teams. The teams were challenged to build castles in this week’s episode. Michelle and Natalie, the last remaining all-women team were sent home. Even though this is a competition based on talent and skill, it feels like the show could be pushing more gender inclusivity.
The Season 2 Top 3 teams consist of Caleb and Jacob, Mark and Steven, and Zack and Wayne. There were six all-male teams at the start of the season. There were only two all-women teams. Four teams with one man and one woman were also cast on the season. The fact that the last team of women was eliminated right before the finale speaks volumes.
The teams that made it to the Top 3 in Season 1 were Tyler and Amy, Boone and Mark, and Samuel and Jessica. There were only two all-women teams cast on the show last season. There were six all-male teams and two teams with one man and one woman (both made it to the finale.)
‘LEGO Masters’ Fails to Cast Enough All-Women Teams
Does LEGO Masters have a limit of casting only two all-women teams per season? This week’s challenge was a castle challenge, won by Caleb and Jacob, a team who are experts in building castles. Mark and Steven, another male team have the nickname, “Castle Bros” due to their experience building castles. There is a general consensus on Reddit that the judges have been favoring Mark and Steven this season.
The show displayed a very familiar narrative that we are tired of seeing on television. The all-women team struggled in unfamiliar territory while the male teams basically got to have fun. There definitely was a lot of pressure on Michelle and Natalie, not just to build their castle, but to show that women should not be underestimated in this competition.
Women are very underrepresented in the LEGO community already. The fact that LEGO Masters has a chance to break the mold and they’re not taking it speaks volumes. LEGO can often be viewed as a male-dominated field. There was no better time for the show to change that viewpoint than the episode leading up to the finale. They really missed the mark
How the Show Can Become More Gender-Inclusive
Most major networks have really been working on inclusivity initiatives over the past five years. Fox, home of LEGO Masters, launched a diversity initiative for staff members of unscripted programs in 2020. Other networks like CBS implemented their own inclusivity rules for talent in front of the camera. Season 41 of Survivor has a balanced cast that is half women and half men of all backgrounds. Why can’t LEGO Masters do the same thing?
It all comes down to casting. Like most competition shows, LEGO Masters hopefuls are encouraged to apply online. They must submit photos of their creations along with their applications. There are always people working behind the scenes to recruit contestants too. We see this with America’s Got Talent contestants all of the time. The same is the case for shows like Big Brother and Love Island.
Mark and Steven revealed that producers approached them to join the first season of LEGO Masters but they had prior engagements. They were once again asked to join the show for Season 2 which was filmed in Atlanta, their hometown. If the producers can go out of their way to recruit Mark and Steven, then they probably have time to make sure the cast is gender-inclusive.
All Eyes Are on Brickmaster Amy
Amy Corbett, otherwise known as Brickmaster Amy on the show, is Senior Design Manager and Product Lead at the LEGO Group. Even when the Brickmasters revealed that Michelle and Natalie were eliminated, they thanked Amy for being such an inspiration to other girls who are interested in LEGO. LEGO is obviously a huge part of Corbett’s life.
“I think, to me, it just has endless creative possibilities,” Corbett said about what LEGO means to her. “Whether you’re a child putting a couple of bricks together to make an airplane, or you’re an architect designing amazing buildings, I think it means something different for everyone.”
As one of the judges of the show, Corbett has a lot of power. She could have pushed for female teams to make it farther in the competition. If Michelle and Natalie would have stayed, it would have been a chance at redemption to show everyone what they are capable of. The male teams are considered the best of the best and it would have been epic to see Michelle and Natalie come from behind as the dark horses of the season.
Corbett is advising her followers to dream big. A lot of them are looking to her as inspiration and some of them might even have dreams to compete on LEGO Master. It is hard to dream big when the cards are stacked against you on a show like this. LEGO Master’s will hopefully take the necessary steps to do better if there is a third season.