Utah filmmaker finds 'Hot Chicks' occupying Wall Street
Steven Greenstreet, the former Utah documentary maker, is on the streets of New York City covering the Occupy Wall Street movement - and he's found an interesting angle on what's happening at Zuccotti Park.
It's all on his new, suddenly viral, website: "Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street."
The first post, put online on Oct. 7, was an artful four-minute video, edited by Greenstreet and shot by him and Brandon Bloch, capturing images and interviews with several protesters - all of whom are young, female and quite attractive. (There also is a high quotient of tattoos and piercings, but not too much above the average for that demographic.)
So far, the video has attracted more than 200,000 viewers.
It - and the accompanying Tumblr page - have also stirred up conversation on Twitter, with some calling the whole thing sexist and "degrading women."
It's been linked to by CBS, CNBC, The Daily Dot, The New York Times (where blogger Clinton Cargill countered with the "Underappreciated Hunks of Occupy Wall Street") and Salon.com - where staffers had a hourslong argument about whether the site is sexist, a belittling of the cause, an invasion of the women's privacy, or all of the above.
Greenstreet, writing on his own website, agreed that the "Hot Chicks" idea, at first, was "admittedly sophomoric." But once at Zuccotti Park, he wrote, "it evolved into something more":
"There was a vibrant energy in the air, a warmth of community and family, and the voices we heard were so hopeful and passionate. Pretty faces were making signs, giving speeches, organizing crowds, handing out food, singing, dancing, debating, hugging and marching.
"It made me want to pack my bags and pitch a tent on Wall Street. And it's in the light that we created this video.
"And we hope it makes you want to be there too."
Greenstreet also welcomed his critics. "I encourage you to use that as an excuse to create constructive discussions about the issues you have," he wrote. "Because, to be honest, any excuse is a good excuse to bring up the topic of women's rights."
Greenstreet's street cred as a card-carrying liberal, by the way, was made in Utah. He directed the 2005 documentary "This Divided State," which captured the mayhem surrounding Michael Moore's controversial 2004 visit to Utah Valley State College. He also was a producer and co-director on "8: The Mormon Proposition," Reed Cowan's 2010 documentary about California's anti-gay-marriage ballot measure and its support from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
One of the women in the "Hot Chicks" video, an Egyptian-born woman named Dania, wrote to Greenstreet, thanking him "for capturing the feminine side of the story and [letting] you know that i do not care if you call me a hot chick. It's actually humorous and i love it!"