Jessica Chastain Responded to Criticism For Her All-White Magazine Cover With A Call For Diversity & Twitter Isn't Buying It
Last week, the Los Angeles Times raised more than a few eyebrows after Envelope magazine published a cover story on sexism in Hollywood that featured six white actors — Jessica Chastain, Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Kate Winslet, Annette Bening, and Diane Krugerand — and zero women of color. Many users on social media were obviously less than amused at the cover. After some backlash, Jessica Chastain responded to the all-white magazine cover with her own criticism of the cover on Sunday, Dec. 24, but a lot of people on Twitter aren't really buying it. Bustle has reached out to the L.A. Times regarding the magazine cover and Chastain's comments, but hasn't received a response at this time.
Chastain is known for speaking out about equality and inclusivity in Hollywood; she was later on singled out for participating in the feature and has since issued her own criticism of the cover via Twitter. "It's a sad look that there's no WOC in this pic of us promoting our female lead films," the actor tweeted. "The industry needs to become more inclusive in its storytelling. What were your favorite WOC lead films this year?" She went on to add in another tweet, "It's TERRIBLE that I can't think of at least 5 female lead films with woc this year."
While Chastain is 100 percent correct about Hollywood's lack of diversity, she kind of missed the mark on this one, seeing as she didn't feel the need to comment on the issue until after the fact. "Honestly @jes_chastain as an outspoken voice for equality how do you pose for a photo like this and not feel absolutely mortified by the blatant exclusion?," a viral tweet from writer Rebecca Carroll read, posted on Dec. 22. "How is it possible to not understand the msg this photo sends?"
All six actors on the cover are contenders in this awards season’s Best Actress race, and the feature for the L.A. Times' Envelope magazine, titled "A Shift In Focus," shows the women speaking on how Hollywood can "change the way stories are told" and be more inclusive in the future. The cover was eventually called out by many Twitter users for not consulting and including a single actor of color in its attempt to speak on and promote change.
Many people on Twitter are currently taking Chastain for to task for her tweets, claiming that just speaking on the issue isn't enough.
Most users are having issues with the fact that Chastain is being hailed as a champion for speaking out on diversity in Hollywood when she didn't have much to say about this issue in particular until she had already received a bit of backlash.
And some believe that if Chastain really wanted to make a point about the industry being more inclusive, she could have spoken up about it before even participating in the photo shoot.
Some Twitter users even pitched actors of color who could have been featured on the magazine cover.
Earlier this year, the Molly's Game actress made headlines when she spoke out about the way that women are depicted in films. Chastain was speaking at a press conference about the film selections at Cannes Film Festival when she said,
"This is the first time I've watched 20 films in 10 days, and I love movies and the one thing I really took away from this experience is how the world views women. It was quite disturbing to me, to be honest. There are some exceptions, I will say. But for the most part, I was surprised by the representation of female characters on screen in these films."
The actress was applauded by many for her comments, and her willingness to be vocal about it is probably left many film fans shocked that she and the other actors did not see any issue with the L.A. Times feature beforehand.
At the moment, Chastain is the only actor who has addressed the controversy surrounding the cover.