17 Famous Women Who Called Out Hollywood's Sexism & Made A Difference For Women Everywhere

Sexism. Sadly, it seems like it's here to stay, whether you're a part of Hollywood or not. Yes, we've seen drastic changes over the years, but women continue to fight for the same rights as men — anyone else find that preposterous? It's 2015 and women still aren't paid equal wages as men. Unfortunately, women deal with gender discrimination on a daily basis and it's something that needs to change, stat.

Thankfully, we have many women standing up for themselves and other women in Hollywood and all over the world. Actually, many famous women have called out sexism and continue to use their voices in hopes it will cause a major change when it comes to women's rights. Here are 17 famous women who have taken a stand against Hollywood's sexism, all while making a difference in the lives of women across the globe.

Melissa McCarthy

While chatting with Entertainment Weekly, McCarthy took a stand against sexism in the perfect way. She said, “It’s an intense sickness. For someone who has two daughters, I’m wildly aware of how deep that rabbit hole goes. But I just don’t want to start listening to that stuff. I’m trying to take away the double standard of ‘You’re an unattractive b-tch because your character was not skipping along in high heels.’”


Ellen Page

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Page became an inspiration, again, when she said the following about sexism: “In a lot of the roles, especially now that I’m getting older, women are devices for the men in the story and very sexualized. That’s what it’s all about — being seen through this male, patriarchal gaze. Let’s just get real; that’s just what most scripts are.”

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Jennifer Garner

At an Elle event for women in Hollywood, Garner let her voice be heard about gender discrimination. She said, “The fact that there even needs to be a Women in Hollywood event is a little bit sad. I mean, the Men in Hollywood event is every day — it’s called Hollywood. Fifty-one percent of the population should not have to schedule a special event to celebrate the fact that, in an art, tells the story of what it means to be human and alive — we get to play a part.”


Kristen Stewart

It should come as no surprise that Stewart is vocal about sexism. She bluntly told Harper’s Bazaar UK, “Women inevitably have to work a little bit harder to be heard. Hollywood is disgustingly sexist. It’s crazy. It’s so offensive it’s crazy.”

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Jessica Chastain

Like the amazing woman she is, Chastain opened up about sexism to Glamour, “I’m not saying, ‘We don’t want movies about men.’ I’m just saying, ‘Come on, all the men I know love women. So let’s also have some stories about these women. Let’s write something for them, guys — and let’s make room for women writers too.’”


Eva Mendes

Mendes is sick of sexism and everyone who thinks women can’t get along. She said, “I know how people like to believe that, but it’s a very sexist way of thinking. Nobody ever asks that when men work together in an ensemble cast. I’ve been in the business 10 years and I’ve never had a negative situation with another actress — ever.”


Kathryn Bigelow

Bigelow is passionate about sexism, especially since she is the first woman to ever win an Oscar for Best Director. She told TIME, “I have always firmly believed that every director should be judged solely by their work, and not by their work based on their gender. Hollywood is supposedly a community of forward thinking and progressive people yet this horrific situation for women directors persists. Gender discrimination stigmatizes our entire industry. Change is essential. Gender neutral hiring is essential.”


Olivia Wilde

During a panel at UCLA Law School, Wilde didn’t hold back about sexism. She said, “So I’m really interested in that, and it’s not even surprising considering that within the media — within Hollywood — they can’t even figure out their own systems of injustice. And that is something I confront on a day-to-day basis, as any woman working at any level of any part of Hollywood would tell you. It’s really hard to get stories made that are about women.”


Cate Blanchett

During her 2014 Oscar win, Blanchett was honest about sexism: “Those in the industry who are foolishly clinging to the idea that female films, with women in the centre are niche experiences — they are not,” Blanchett said. “Audiences want to see them. In fact, they earn money."


Kristen Bell

While talking with the Huffington Post, Bell said the following about sexism: “I would like to see roles written with a lot more depth. I would like to see roles continued to be written with the depth that Veronica Mars is. Not just the girlfriend — but someone who is a dynamic, multi-dimensional character, just like the guy.”


Anna Kendrick

In an interview with Glamour, Kendrick addressed sexism and said, “There’s [a film I’m considering] now where I have to wait for all the male roles to be cast before I can even become a part of the conversation. Part of me gets that. [But] part of me is like, ‘What the f***? You have to cast for females based on who’s cast as males?’ To me, the only explanation is that there are so many f***ing talented girls, and from a business standpoint it’s easier to find women to match the men. I totally stand by the belief that there are 10 unbelievably talented women for every role.”


Zoe Saldana

In a 2013 interview with Manhattan magazine, Saldana said this about discrimination: “It’s very hard being a woman in a man’s world, and I recognized it was a man’s world even when I was a kid. It’s an inequality and injustice that drove me crazy, and which I always spoke out against — and I’ve always been outspoken.” She added about a role she will no longer play, “No generic girlfriend or wife, and no sexy bombshell. Enough of that already!”


Emma Thompson

At The Hollywood Reporter’s Actress Roundtable in 2013, Thompson talked sexism and said, “Are people writing better parts for women now?” What the ding-dong heck is going on if this is still something we’re talking about?”

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Reese Witherspoon

During awards season, Witherspoon wants reporters to #AskHerMore, which shines an important light on sexism and the fact that actresses are asked more about their appearance compared to actors. The actress said on Instagram, “I love the Oscars AND fashion like many of you — & am excited to share#WhoAmIWearing later tonight… But I’d also love to answer some of these Qs….And hear your suggestions?! (Share em below!) There are so many amazing, talented nominees this year..! Let’s hear their stories! Spread the word.”


Mindy Kaling

While chatting with Lena Dunham for Rookie magazine, Kaling talked sexism and said, “More than half the questions I am asked are about the politics of the way I look. What it feels like to be not skinny/dark-skinned/a minority/not conventionally pretty/female/etc. It’s not very interesting to me, but I know it’s interesting to people reading an interview. Sometimes I get jealous of white male showrunners when 90 percent of their questions are about characters, story structure, creative inspiration, or, hell, even the business of getting a show on the air. Because as a result the interview of me reads like I’m interested only in talking about my outward appearance and the politics of being a minority and how I fit into Hollywood, blah blah blah. I want to shout, ‘Those were the only questions they asked!’”


Kerry Washington

While accepting the 2014 Women in Film Lucy Award For Excellence in Television award, Washington touched upon sexism and said: ”So, I thank Women in Film, and I thank you, Shonda [Rhimes], and I just thank each of you for sharing in this extraordinary evening. And while I do love the word ‘exceptional,’ I hope that it is no longer exceptional very, very soon for women to do anything extraordinary in this business. Thanks.”


Keira Knightley

Knightley is no stranger to sexism and as she told Interview, “Where are the female stories? Where are they? Where are the directors, where are the writers? It’s imbalanced, so given that we are half the cinema-going public, we are half the people [who] watch drama or watch anything else, where is that? So yes, I think the pay is a huge thing, but I’m actually more concerned over the lack of our voices being heard.”