I'll be up front here and say this: When Meryl Streep talks, I listen. It doesn't matter what she's saying — I'm all ears. Over the years, she's proven herself to be one of the most intelligent and articulate supporters of a number of causes, most notably feminism and inequality in Hollywood. That's why it was no surprise that Streep claimed over the weekend that she is in the know about an alleged upcoming exposé on sexism and misogyny in the film industry that's apparently being put together for The New York Times by journalist Maureen Dowd.
Update: Bustle reached out for comment from the Times, and was told by Head of Communications Eileen Murphy that "prior to publication, we don't comment on stories that may or may not be in process."
If anyone's going to keep us up to date on women's issues, it's got to be Streep, right? While at the Telluride Film Festival to discuss her new movie Sufragette, in which she plays British voting-rights activist Emmeline Pankhurst, Streep claimed that Dowd is busy working on a serious takedown of the discrimination women face in Hollywood. The piece, she claimed, would discuss how men are still largely running the show, despite the amount of talented females in the industry.
"[Young female filmmakers today] do exist, they graduate [from top film schools], they're good — and then they don't get hired. Why?" Streep asked, before claiming, "Maureen Dowd is writing a great big exposé about this question in The New York Times Magazine, coming up soon."
Whether or not Dowd's piece is actually happening — and I'd like to think that Streep knows what she's talking about — it's certainly high time that someone brought the issues facing actresses in Hollywood to the forefront in such a major publication like the Times. Many female stars have been vocal about the misogyny and ageism they've faced while forging their careers — most recently, for example, Anne Hathaway claimed that at 32, she's already started to lose roles to younger actresses — but as a society, we're still not paying nearly enough attention to the issue. We need to all have a serious conversation about this inequality, and soon.
If Dowd does indeed delve into what's really going on in Hollywood, I'll be interested to read what she has to say, though I likely won't be surprised about it — the entertainment world is a brutal industry that's known to be unkind to even the toughest who enter it. Still, the more we talk about these important issues, the closer we'll get to change.