In recent years, Hollywood sexism has shot to the forefront of industry conversation. In 2015, Passengers star Jennifer Lawrence penned an evocative essay on equal pay for Lenny Letter, Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner’s weekly feminist newsletter. After 2014’s Sony Pictures hack, she’d learned that she’d earned less money than her American Hustle co-stars, despite having an equally prominent role in the 2013 film.
Lawrence’s words helped spark a burgeoning discussion around sexism in show biz. Since then, stars including Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, and Mila Kunis have all spoken out about their experiences, broadening the issue to include tabloid scrutiny and matters of representation, too.
Now, Emma Stone has added her voice to the cause. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the 28-year-old actress opened up about how her opinion has been cut down in past projects. As she told the publication:
“There are times in the past, making a movie, when I’ve been told that I’m hindering the process by bringing up an opinion or an idea…I hesitate to make it about being a woman, but there have been times when I’ve improvised, they’ve laughed at my joke and then given it to my male costar. Given my joke away. Or it’s been me saying, ‘I really don’t think this line is gonna work,’ and being told, ‘Just say it, just say it, if it doesn’t work we’ll cut it out’ – and they didn’t cut it out, and it really didn’t work!”
Stone, who’s nabbed leads in hits like Superbad (2007), Easy A (2010), and The Amazing Spider-Man, (2012), will likely be an Oscar contender for her work in Damien Chazelle’s newly debuted La La Land. She appears onscreen for almost the entire movie, and her performance has been hailed as one of her boldest to date. Against that backdrop, her words hold heavy weight: even the world’s elite are subject to inequity.
Still, the backlash against sexism — and diversity in general — seems to have forced Hollywood to make an active change. Last January, following the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, The Academy Awards pledged to increase representation across the board. This fall, Queen Sugar creator Ava DuVernay made a point to hire a team of all-female directors. And Stone has felt the difference. According to Rolling Stone, she considers La La Land a “breakthrough” in regards to how strongly her voice was heard. The steps have been small, but it’s encouraging that things have finally begun to shift.
La La Land is currently in theaters.
Source: Rolling Stone