Sandra Bullock Recounts Experiencing Sexism On Set

It’s clear that Sandra Bullock is happy that the tide is changing and more women are talking about how they’re treated in Hollywood. From ageism to the gender pay gap, stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Anne Hathaway have kept the discussion rolling. Bullock is just another actress to join them in highlighting the vast differences that actresses experience over their male counterparts.

In her latest interview with Variety, Bullock highlights the moment she realized that being a woman on a film set wasn’t as unique as she might have thought. The actress at first saw herself as equal, but she called herself naive in having this mindset, and most would probably agree with her. It all came crashing down during an experience on an unnamed set 10 years ago (from the timeline it sounds like Miss Congeniality 2). Bullock is vague when she talks about being treated unfairly, but she goes on to say that this experience widened her perspective.

“I found myself yelling and being angry. And I was like, ‘What is happening to me?’ I was literally fearful. And I realized, it’s because I’m female. It dawned on me. At that day and age, at that point in my career, it was the worst experience I ever had.

“It was the way I was being treated, because I was female, versus the way others were being treated. It took me a while. It took a year and a half, where I regrouped, and thought, ‘Okay, this is an isolated case.’ I’ve had other subtle experiences, but nothing that blatant. It was a big eye opener, because it wasn’t just men on women. A lot if came from women as well. The blessing of that film was that it opened my eyes.”

The fact that she experienced this 10 years ago, at a point where she was already an established actress, speaks volumes. Though perhaps she had experienced it in a subtle way before and just couldn’t speak up. Bullock doesn’t exactly say that, but she does add that women are expected to deal with sexism.

“Only like 1 or 2 percent of us get to do this job. I’m not money oriented. I lucked into money most of the time. But money is the byproduct of everything. How do you explain to your son that the ERA hasn’t passed? I want him to think I’m the boss and women are equal, but I can’t really support that in the outside world.”

As stated, this isn’t the only time she’s jumped into this sort of conversation. When Jennifer Lawrence wrote about the gender pay gap, Bullock commended her for the conversation. She spoke more about this particular issue in the Variety interview.

Although she thought the pay gap was an important issue to speak about, she said at the heart of it, it’s really just one piece of the pie. It highlights a bigger issue in Hollywood — in that women aren’t equal to men. She even takes up issue with how women in Hollywood are discussed and disseminated in the media.

“We’re mocked and judged in the media and articles. Really, how men are described in articles versus women, there’s a big difference.”

She brings up the fact that at award shows, women are asked about what they’re wearing, while men are asked about their political views or their performances in a film. This is because it’s often that people paint women, especially those in Hollywood, as vain figures who are only interested in fashion and looking fabulous, while men are taken seriously.

What do you think about Sandra Bullock’s comments about sexism?

[Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images]

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