7 Times Actresses Spoke Out About Hollywood Sexism
Discrimination in the film industry continues to be a problem, with minorities lacking representation and participation on-screen and behind the scenes. Sexism is an issue that is publicly garnering a lot of attention in the media, and often sexism is carried out in conjunction with other forms of discrimination, such as racism and ageism. It’s not easy to be a woman in the film industry, as the anonymous Tumblr Shit People Say to Women Directors & Other Women in Film shows.
In order to be able to make a positive change, it’s important for those that are discriminated against to speak out about their experiences; if a problem isn’t acknowledged, then how can it be addressed?
Check out examples of times when actresses spoke out about sexism in the world of film:
1. Model and soon to be on-screen villain in the film Suicide Squad, Cara Delevingne was quoted in Vanity Fair, speaking out about sexism in superhero movies:
“Generally though, superhero movies are totally sexist. Female superheroes are normally naked or in bikinis. No one would be able to fight like that. Wonder Woman, how the hell does she fight? She would be dead in a minute.”
2. According to the Huffington Post, Emma Thompson, one of Britain’s most accomplished actresses, spoke about improvements for women in media:
“I think it’s still completely s**t actually . . . I don’t think there’s any appreciable improvement and I think that, for women, the question of how they are supposed to look is worse than it was even when I was young.”
3. Salma Hayek, who has produced and directed in addition to acting, spoke about the pay gap in Hollywood in Variety:
“The only kind of movie where women make more than men is the porno industry . . . It’s simple ignorance.”
4. Sandra Bullock, producer and actress who’s won an Oscar and a Golden Globe, on how women are treated in the media via The Guardian:
“I feel like it’s become open hunting season in how women are attacked and it’s not because of who we are as people, it’s because of how we look or our age . . . I’m shocked — and maybe I was just naïve, but I’m embarrassed by it. My son is getting ready to grow up in this world and I’m trying to raise a good man who values and appreciates women, and here we have this attack on women in the media [and] I don’t see a stop happening.”
5. Producer and actress Anna Faris, who first gained notoriety for her role in Scary Movie, was quoted in The Guardian on the gendered lack of acting roles:
“As women, we definitely have to generate our own work . . . Part of it is just the sad fact that something like one in every three to four roles is a woman. So men have more opportunity. And you have all these women fighting for the same roles.”
6. Tatiana Maslany, star of the acclaimed television series Orphan Black for which she’s won numerous awards, on Hollywood sexism via Entertainment Weekly:
“I don’t think that any woman in this industry hasn’t [experienced sexism] – I think we all have in various ways, and sometimes you can’t even tell that it’s happening because it’s so ingrained in the way things are structured.”
7. Quoted in The Guardian, actress, producer, and activist Eva Longoria spoke about women in film, behind the scenes:
“There is definitely under-representation of women in film and television and I think a large part of that is they’re not behind the camera: there are not enough writers and directors and producers that are female.”
Equality is vital, and it’s necessary for women in film to be shown the respect and recognition they deserve. While there’s still a ways to go towards equality, it’s important to note that women are speaking out.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MARIELA S.M.
I’ve known I wanted to be an entrepreneur since I was a kid and this year I founded Verbatim Translations LLC, which specializes in English to Spanish and Spanish to English translations. In addition, I currently co-tweet about women’s sports and female athletes from @WMNSPORTSWORLD. In 2015 I graduated from Boston University with an M.A. in International Relations and International Communications, after completing a B.A. in Humanities from the Universidad del Turabo in Puerto Rico. Writing is a passion of mine and I’m enthusiastic about the opportunity to contribute to Women’s iLab. I also enjoy reading, listening to music, learning, and thinking that I would be a Gryffindor if I lived in Harry Potter’s world.