18 Celebrity Women Who Have Spoken Out About Sexist Treatment In Hollywood
Sexism in Hollywood is sadly still the norm these days, but there is definitely one major step in the right direction happening among female celebrities: They're speaking out about the sexist treatment they've faced, which only serves to shed light on what's existed in the entertainment industry as long as there has been an entertainment industry to speak of. If there is ever to be positive change among the film and TV industries, speaking out about their experiences is the best thing that female celebrities can do, since exposing the harsh reality of sexism is the only way to ensure it doesn't happen in the future. These ladies have taken brave steps to admit when they've been treated unfairly, and it's inspiring.
Of course, the stark reality is that sexism exists in every industry, not just in Hollywood, but by these celebrities speaking out about the sexism they've experienced, therein lies a glimmer of hope that positive change can exist for all women, celebrities and non-celebrities alike. These women should certainly be applauded for igniting conversation about sexism and expressing their desire for change — and it's my sincere hope that positive change will happen soon, thanks to these celebrities and their openness.
1. Carey Mulligan
In 2015, the actor told The New York Times ,
2. Cate Blanchett
Blanchett told The New York Times about instances where she's questioned on screen nudity, revealing,
3. Melissa McCarthy
After receiving backlash from movie critic Rex Reed in 2013 due to her weight in a film, McCarthy explained to Entertainment Weekly in 2015 that the same critic later approached her to praise her for a different movie role, and she told the magazine she asked him, "Are you the one who wrote I was only a good actor when I looked more attractive and that my husband should never be allowed to direct me because he allowed me to look so homely?"
According to EW,
4. Jennifer Garner
At a 2014 Elle Women in Hollywood event, Garner addressed the blatant sexism that both she and then-husband Ben Affleck faced when doing press junkets for their films. In a speech at the event, which honored Garner, she said,
She went on,
5. Amy Adams
In 2016, the actor told British GQ of being paid less than her male co-stars for American Hustle:
6. Emma Watson
The actor and advocate for gender equality told The Guardian in 2015, "I have experienced sexism in that I have been directed by male directors 17 times and only twice by women. Of the producers I’ve worked with 13 have been male and only one has been a woman."
7. Geena Davis
Having starred in the feminist cult classic Thelma & Louise back in 1991, Davis told The Guardian that she "became hyper-aware of how women are represented in Hollywood," and said she hadn't experienced sexism on a level as bad as some of her peers, except for one instance that sticks out in her mind. According to Davis, a director once said he enjoyed hugging her every morning, saying, "It’s the only chance I get to feel you up."
Davis replied, "'OK, that made me uncomfortable'… And he would not stop defending himself, saying: 'But I am a feminist, I am such a feminist, and you know that.' I said: 'Nevertheless, I didn’t like it, that’s all. Just deal with it.'"
8. Patricia Arquette
Arquette has put herself in the front of the line to fight against sexism and the wage gap in Hollywood, and in 2015, she told Fortune about an experience she once had with a director: "I remember a director telling my agent that it would be great if I could lose 10 pounds as long as my boobs didn’t get smaller. I didn’t want to lose 10 pounds and I didn’t."
9. America Ferrera
Ferrera told The New York Times in 2016 of sexism she faced early in her career:
10. Chloë Sevigny
At Variety's Cannes Film Festival panel in 2016, Sevigny revealed she's had some sexist experiences on set. She said, "I've had the ‘what are you doing after this?' conversation. I've also had the ‘do you want to go shopping and try on some clothes and, like, I can buy you something in the dressing room' conversation. Just like crossing the line weirdness." In another instance, a director told her, "You should show your body off more. You shouldn't wait until you're as old as this certain actress who had just been naked in a film, you should be naked on screen now."
11. Maggie Gyllenhaal
The actor spoke about ageism she faced, telling The Wrap in 2015, "There are things that are really disappointing about being an actress in Hollywood that surprise me all the time. "I’m 37 and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55. It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made me feel angry, and then it made me laugh."
12. Zoe Saldana
In 2015, Saldana told an interviewer she was once hired for the way she "held a gun while wearing panties." She told Philly.com, "That story is true. A producer once told me he hired me for the way I held a gun while wearing panties, not for my opinions. I wish I'd recorded it, so I could play it for every girl in elementary school and tell them never to let anybody treat them that way."
13. Rose McGowan
McGowan made headlines in 2015 by sharing a casting note about showing off cleavage to Twitter, and she explained to Entertainment Weekly that this wasn't the only sexism she'd faced in her career. She said, "When I did my first film, I was told by my agent that I would need to have long hair so men in this town would want to f*ck me and hire me. That was said to a 17-year-old."
14. Anna Kendrick
Hot on the heels of her success in Pitch Perfect and its sequel, Kendrick revealed to Glamour in 2015 that she still faced plenty of sexism when going for roles. She said,
15. Amy Poehler
Poehler revealed to Fast Company in 2015 that sexism happens on the production end as well. She said,
16. Allison Janney
Back in 2000, Janney recalled to People a harrowing moment she had early in her career in regards to her height:
17. Rooney Mara
In 2015, Mara told The Guardian that she has been called "horrible things" in her line of work. She said,
18. Brie Larson
After her 2016 Oscar win for Best Actress, Larson told reporters backstage, according to The Guardian:
These celebrities are doing exactly what needs to be done in order to break the mold of sexism in Hollywood, and they should certainly be applauded for speaking out about their experiences, no matter what backlash may come of it. Bravo, ladies.