There have been a number of famous actresses who have noted in their interviews that sexism is still very much alive in Hollywood. In fact, you would be surprised to find that even the most successful and powerful of actresses have witnessed first hand just how real gender inequality is.
You would be shocked to discover that women such as Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson, Lena Dunham, Kristen Stewart, and many more have openly discussed the issue of inequality in their working environments. In fact, the amount of women that have spoken out by sharing their experiences can be also seen by the number of articles on the issue at hand. In Harper Bazaar article titled “25 Celebrity Women on Gender Inequality in Hollywood,” the magazine noted 25 famous women who had been quoted on their experiences on set.
In “Lenny Letter” article on Jennifer Lawrence, the actress discussed how she found out that she was getting paid less than her male co-stars through the internet, and how this made her feel less of an actress because of her gender. Lawrence accounts,
“I would be lying if I didn’t say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight. I didn’t want to seem ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled.’ At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled.'” -Lenny, October 2015
Another actress is famous in advocating for women rights and is an active feminist, Emma Watson. She has spoken out multiple times in several different issues about her stance on the issue of gender inequality in Hollywood. In The Guardian 2014 issue, she is quoted saying, “I have experienced sexism in that I have been directed by male directors 17 times and only twice by women.” This is true, Hollywood is dominated by male producers, writers, and directors, leaving little room for women in their line of work. Watson also spoke on the matter of how each gender shouldn’t have to stay in the gender roles assigned to us in terms of how to feel,
“Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong…It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, not as two opposing sets of ideals.” —At the HeForShe Campaign launch, September 2014
In terms of her work on women’s rights, Emma Watson is staying busy. In 2014 she had been appointed as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, soon after she launched a UN campaign “HeForShe,” which calls for men to help advocate and stand along women in their fight for equality. She gave a speech where she questioned gender based assumptions about both sexes and how each is wrongfully taught to behave within the lines.
The the article by the Gaurdian titled “99% of women working in the film and TV industries have experienced sexism,” the article shared the experiences of 9 famous women in Hollywood. The director of the film “Suffragette” was quoted saying ‘It’s astounding what a boys’ club [the film industry] is.’ The film was about historic women figures who broke gender “taboos” and succeeded in doing so, but of course going through great lengths to achieve their dreams. What is interesting is that the film had only women producer, writer, production and costume designers. Also the director, Sarah Gavron, noted that she is fully aware of how women tend to be objectified on screen, making sure to stay clear of this in her feature film. SO what is the message I am trying to bring in this week’s post? I would say it is to bring awareness to the fact that gender inequality is still a major issue, and although laws have been made and society has changed since the gloomy days of early television, it isn’t truly and fully equal. I wanted to give examples of women who are actively fighting for their rights, as well as ours. We must continue the fight for our rights in the world dominated by males.