"Why is Alice Eve in her underwear, gratuitously and unnecessarily, without any real effort made as to why in God’s name she would undress in that circumstance? Well there’s a very good answer for that. But I’m not telling you what it is. Because… uh… MYSTERY?"
ACTUAL quote from Damon Lindelof, writer of Star Trek Into Darkness. When asked about Benedict Cumberbatch’s shirtless scene (which was apparently scripted at some point but then got cut), he wrote:
“As for the shirtless scene… we scripted it, but I don’t think it ever got shot. You know why? Because getting actors to take their clothes off is DEMEANING AND HORRIBLE AND…
These guys don’t even pretend to make an effort, do they? TOO MANY DICKS ON THE DANCEFLOOR.
Hard to tell out of context, but this could be his way of saying, “JJ Abrams/the producer made me do it”?
No, it’s not. Lindelof is definitely joking around, but in such a way that makes it clear that he doesn’t have much respect for the criticism. I’m relatively familiary with his sense of humour (I follow him on Twitter, anyhow), and to me this comes across as him acknowledging the problem but also basically saying, “I don’t give a shit”. The movie’s costume designer also said that the reason Alice Even has this scene is purely because there has to be a gratuitous hot-girl scene, and it was “her turn” because Zoe Saldana did it in the first movie.
The Abrams/Lindelof attitude reminds me a lot of Steven Moffat’s jokey way of brushing off all criticism as the ramblings of ~crazed internet feminazis. And all three share Christopher Nolan’s belief that if you show your scripts to your wife, it’s like an official sexism vetting process. “I’m married to a woman, I CAN’T be sexist!”
Also, Damon Lindelof and JJ Abrams are longtime collaborators so this definitely wasn’t a situation where Lindelof had an artistic vision that was quashed by Abrams. All publicity interviews with JJ Abrams, Damon Lindelof or Roberto Orci (another co-writer and producer, alongside Alex Kurtzman) have them presenting a united front re: attitudes towards classic Trek, the Star Trek fanbase, and women/female characters in general. Orci and Kurtzman are also longtime writing partners, and co-wrote the first two Transformers movies.