Actresses are coming together to speak out against the Hollywood double standard and the demeaning practices to which they have been forced to submit just to pursue their dreams. Mila Kunis is the latest to step up, but Kunis isn’t just asserting her desire for gender equality in the filmmaking business. Mila is also revealing some of the darkest deals and demands placed upon her by producers, all in the name of entertainment. As Kunis openly rants in an essay published on A Plus, the website co-founded by husband Ashton Kutcher, it can only be hoped that the mistreatment Mila experienced in the past can be a learning experience for a new generation of Hollywood actresses.
Mila Kunis Bares Her Soul, But She Won’t Bare Anything Else
From the very beginning, Mila Kunis was met with sexism in Hollywood on a level that is rarely revealed publicly, and, as Variety reports, those Hollywood producers preyed upon Kunis’ ignorance and her hunger for success. Mila recalls being told she would have to pose for the cover of men’s magazines to promote her film and, if she refused, which she did, she would never work in Hollywood again. Her career would be over.
Obviously, as Mila’s long list of acting credits proves, that was an empty threat.
“It’s what we are conditioned to believe — that if we speak up, our livelihoods will be threatened; that standing our ground will lead to our demise. We don’t want to be kicked out of the sandbox for being a ‘b—-.’ So we compromise our integrity for the sake of maintaining the status quo and hope that change is coming,” Kunis writes.
While Kunis could hardly be considered a pushover, the problem of gender inequality in Hollywood is so widespread that tackling it by herself seemed like an insurmountable task. The only solution Kunis could see was a temporary fix: creating her own production company. Joining with three other women, Mila hoped to eliminate the issues of male dominance in the Hollywood workplace and to ensure equal pay for the actresses employed by the new Orchard Farm Productions.
It wasn’t long before Mila’s own dream company soon fell prey to the same old problems.
Mila Kunis Calls Out Her Own Producer For Sexism
All was going well, writes Kunis in her A Plus essay, until Orchard Farm Productions partnered with another Hollywood producer on a major project. Even though Kunis and her partners discussed every detail with the producer, it wasn’t long before he attempted to wrestle control from the women. The actress turned producer says she was belittled in emails sent from this producer to the network executives with whom they were scheduled to meet in order to pitch the show.
While the email began by promoting Kunis as a major Hollywood celebrity and actress, it went on to detail her as the wife of Ashton Kutcher and mother to his child.
“He reduced my value to nothing more than my relationship to a successful man and my ability to bear children. It ignored my (and my team’s) significant creative and logistical contributions,” wrote Kunis.
By attaching her to Ashton Kutcher, Mila says the unnamed producer devalued her as a filmmaking professional, even after having spent so many years establishing herself in Hollywood. Now, Mila says she hopes that sharing her story will contribute to helping other women in the industry. Kunis asserts her determination to reach a place in society where women will be regarded for their professional accomplishments without having to rely on another’s good standing as clout.
“If this is happening to me, it is happening more aggressively to women everywhere. I am fortunate that I have reached a place that I can stop compromising and stand my ground, without fearing how I will put food on my table,” writes Mila Kunis in closing her essay.
“I am also fortunate that I have the platform to talk about this experience in the hope of bringing one more voice to the conversation so that women in the workplace feel a little less alone and more able to push back for themselves.”
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]