Mila Kunis refuses to stay silent any longer about the sexism that occurs in the entertainment industry. She wrote a powerful open letter in A Plus recounting her very own experiences with gender inequality.
“You’ll never work in this town again.” Those were the words a producer told Kunis when she refused to pose half-naked for the cover of a men’s magazine. It was then that she realized how relevant gender bias is in Hollywood, and she wasn’t going to stand for it any longer.
“I was livid, I felt objectified, and for the first time in my career I said ‘no.’ And guess what? The world didn’t end,” Kunis wrote. “The film made a lot of money and I did work in this town again, and again, and again. What this producer may never realize is that he spoke aloud the exact fear every woman feels when confronted with gender bias in the workplace.”
“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. “
Mila Kunis continued her letter by discussing the pay difference between men and women. According to the American Association of University Women, it will be 136 years before women will be paid the same wages as their male peers.
Kunis admits she used to go along and play by the rules of the “boy’s club.” However, she said she realized, as she got older, that she didn’t have to. She didn’t have to succumb to the insults and pay differences, and she didn’t have to be ignored in the background. Kunis realized she could have a voice, and could stand up to those in the industry that allowed sexism to take place.
“Throughout my career, there have been moments when I have been insulted, sidelined, paid less, creatively ignored, and otherwise diminished based on my gender,” she wrote. “And always, I tried to give people the benefit of the doubt; maybe they knew more, maybe they had more experience, maybe there was something I was missing. I taught myself that to succeed as a woman in this industry I had to play by the rules of the boy’s club. But the older I got and the longer I worked in this industry, the more I realized that it’s bullshit! And, worse, that I was complicit in allowing it to happen.”
For Mila Kunis, enough was enough. Together with three other women, Kunis started a production company that was devoted to treating everyone, both male and female, equally.
“So from this point forward, when I am confronted with one of these comments, subtle or overt, I will address them head on; I will stop in the moment and do my best to educate,” she said. “I cannot guarantee that my objections will be taken to heart, but at least now I am part of creating an environment where there is the opportunity for growth. And if my comments fall on deaf ears, I will choose to walk away. I will work in this town again, but I will not work with you.”
What do you think about Mila Kunis’ views on sexism in Hollywood? Leave your comments below.
[Featured Image by Chris Weeks/Getty Images]