Except for one anonymous guy — yeah, pretty sure it's a guy — who emailed to say “solitary confinement is profoundly troubling. It is easy to take the snarky high ground when you have no skin in the game but a blog entry. It feels a little like virtue signalling."
Since I don’t know who the anonymous emailer is, I'll respond here. I’m also assuming the guy is sincere in trying to understand this issue.
Despite not working on Passengers or being trapped alone on a spaceship, I actually do have a good bit of skin in this game.
You see, I’m a human male in a world where too many human males do evil things like stalk, manipulate, and abuse women.
I’m also a SF writer who sees the effect stories have on our world. Stories define who we are. Stories create the world we live in.
So when I see a big SF film like Passengers have the main character do this BS with no repercussions, that disturbs me.
The main character’s actions are also not in line with any heroic ideal of what a person should do in a similar situation.
Imagine if in The Martian the astronaut decided not to "science the shit out it” but instead trick NASA into marooning a woman with him.
That would be evil & viewers would scream. Why? Because in situations like this we expect people to rise to the better angels of our nature.
Doesn’t mean people always rise to these better angels. Many don’t. But there are moral, societal, and mental repercussions if they don’t.
The man in Passengers traps a woman in a hellish situation for his own manipulative ends. The film acts like that’s no big deal.
That’s creepy and disgusting. And that’s why I rewrote the script for Passengers to show how the story should have gone. THE END