This year in Hollywood, the leading ladies of the film industry took a strong stand and voiced their frustrations about the sexism that exists not only in the world of entertainment but in society in general. From the penned essay that Jennifer Aniston added to The Huffington Post to Angelina Jolie being the voice for mistreated refugee women and girls, the female stars of Hollywood are using their status for the good of women everywhere.
Jennifer Lawrence has been one of the most notable advocates for women in Hollywood over the past year after it was revealed that she, as the highest-paid actress in the business, was still making far less than her male co-stars. She candidly expressed that she is “over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way” to negotiate the same pay as her male co-stars. She admitted that in previous discussions over pay she had “failed” as a negotiator because she did not want to appear “difficult” or “spoiled,” but she indicates that those days are past.
The Telegraph shared Lawrence’s reaction to discovering the pay gap following information leaks on the internet.
“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.'”
Emma Watson came on the scene as a campaigner for the United Nations with her #heforshe campaign that focused on enlightening men to the sexism that exists. She wants to remind men that speaking out in support of their female counterparts, instead of opposing their efforts to work for equality, is necessary to eradicate sexism. The publication shared an interview Watson gave to the Guardian, noting her stance on women’s place in Hollywood and her own experience.
“If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop. I have been directed by male directors 17 times and only twice by women. Of the producers I’ve worked with 13 have been male and only one has been a woman. I think my work with the UN has probably made me even more aware of the problems. I went out for a work dinner recently. It was seven men… and me.”
— MuggleNet.com (@MuggleNet) November 3, 2016
Mila Kunis, a soon-to-be mother of two and wife of actor Ashton Kutcher, is also a notable actress in Hollywood. Recently, the beauty shared an experience that horrified her when a producer threatened to end her career in film if she did not agree to pose half naked for a promotional shoot within a men’s magazine. Kunis shared that the man told her, “You’ll never work in this town again” when she declined to take part. The star explained how “livid” and “objectified” she felt after the incident, following which she shared her concerns about gender equality in the workplace.
Mila Kunis is not staying quiet. She’s not backing down. She’s not compromising. Not anymore. https://t.co/Fqp2mYEKXp
— USA TODAY Life (@usatodaylife) November 4, 2016
British talented beauty Keira Knightley, who recently became a mother, was sure to voice her frustration with Britain’s “archaic” maternity laws and the incredibly high price of child care which prevents many mothers from returning to work. The 31-year-old welcomed her first daughter, Edie, in 2015 and shared that she had become “unbelievably aware” of the challenges that women face when they want to return to work following the birth of their children. She became an advocate for equal paternity and maternity leave and said, “There is no option for a woman to go back to work unless she’s being paid really, really well and can afford full-time care before [her child is able to] get into nursery.”
Keira Knightley photographed by Alexi Lubomirski for Harper’s Bazaar UK, december 2016. pic.twitter.com/GdgW08E6Ws
— Keira Knightley FR (@KeiraKfr) November 3, 2016
Additional women of the entertainment industry who have been advocates for gender equality and women’s rights include Patricia Arquette, Olivia Wilde, Claire Danes, Emma Stone, and Anna Kendrick. Change is clearly needed on all fronts involving the rights of women.
[Featured Image by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]