Katherine Heigl's Experience with the Word "Bitch" Has Shaped Her World View
Are we still talking about Katherine Heigl having no filter, her "poor" attitude, and being "rude" on set? Yes. Yes, we are. In a new interview with E! News, the State of Affairs actress opened up about her "bitchy" and "diva" personality, and Heigl makes some extremely valid points. For those who are unaware, the former Grey's Anatomy actress got into some hot water for reportedly being, let's say, unpleasant on the ABC set, difficult to work with, and for saying she didn't think her material as Izzie Stevens "warranted" a 2008 Emmy nomination.
Ever since then, in addition to that time she called Judd Apatow's Knocked Up (which she starred in as the lead) "a little sexist," Heigl has not been well received, and I think it's a shame. How can two comments turn an actress' career around? Other stars have done a lot worse, and I believe Heigl should get a second chance.
Now, the actress is reflecting on her past remarks and as she told E! News,
Back when all that happened, I was a little naïve. I didn't know. At the time, social media and all of that wasn't what it is now. I didn't realize the impact that this comment or that comment would have or that it would catch like wildfire. But it did. It spread and it turned into something a lot uglier than I ever intended.
She now understands that if or when she voices her opinions, then she better be clear about her intentions. Oh, and don't expect her to just not speak her mind, because that's not going to happen: "I'm still going to have opinions and some of them people are going to agree with, and some they won't. But that's life and that's every single person on this planet."
Now that she's married and is the mother of two daughters, Heigl wants to set a good example for her children. She doesn't want them to ever feel wrong, or feel like a bad person for expressing their feelings, or to ever think that having a voice means you are a "bitch." She says, "You voice your opinion and you are made to feel like if someone disagrees with you, that now you're a bad person?"
I don't care what people think of Heigl, because I admire her for her bluntness and honesty. Should any person, male or female, be made to feel bad for how they feel? Whether you agree or not, and whether Heigl is right or wrong, she is entitled to her opinion and shouldn't have to apologize for having a voice. For this, I don't think she should be somewhat exiled from the acting world. What celebrity hasn't expressed her/himself at one point or another? She's surely not the first.
Her interview also brings up a valid question: Would this entire situation have been viewed differently if Heigl was a man? Would a man be seen as a "diva" or a "bitch?" As she says,
Why isn't there the male equivalent for even bitch? It's so derogatory ... But look, I don't want to be a victim, either. I don't want to sit around and complain about the way things are, I want to power through it ... But that's my approach at this point, to not let it make me a victim of society or sexism. It's up to me to bully my way through it.
One of the other things I admire about Heigl is she realizes she needs to learn how to express herself and not be so aggressive with her words,
I know certainly some remarkable women like Alfre [Woodard] and my mother and the women that I work with at the network and studio who exude the most gracious confidence in a non-aggressive, non-egotistical way. That's what I need to learn. I need to learn to be like that and not just vomit my ideas out there.
Heigl also looks inward at herself to ensure she's living up to her standards, and not by everyone elses. "I hold myself to the standard that I think is important," she reveals. "Do I have integrity? Am I compassionate? Am I charitable? Am I forgiving? Am I respectful and decent? That's far more important to me than saying what everyone wants me to say."
Let's stop reflecting on Heigl's past and move forward. Both men and women can learn something from Heigl's mistakes and realizations. She's human, and we all need to remember that. Plus, she's a kickass role model for women.
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