Jennifer Lawrence joined Mary J Blige, Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain, Allison Janney and Saoirse Ronan for a round table discussion for The Hollywood Reporter.
The female entertainers discuss how women are treated in the industry.
‘I’ve had this happen: I finally made the decision to stand up for myself, and then I went to go to the bathroom at work and one of the producers stopped me and was like, “You know, we can hear you on the microphone, you’ve been really unruly,”‘
‘Which was not true, but basically my job was threatened because the director said something f***ed up to me and I said, “That’s sick, you can’t talk to me like that,” and then I was punished, and I got afraid that I wasn’t going to be hired again.’
Emma adds, ‘Yeah, you were “difficult.”‘
Jennifer, continued: ‘Yeah, I was called difficult and a nightmare.
‘I think a lot of people aren’t coming forward because they’re afraid they’re not going to work again.”You need to be able to say, “This is wrong” and have somebody do something about it instead of saying, “Oh, it’s wrong? Well, you’re fired.”‘
‘The big misconception, though, is that this is just in the entertainment industry.
‘Once again, the entertainment industry is kind of the stage on which you can see the inner workings of problems that are all over the world. If a flight attendant comes forward about a pilot, it doesn’t end up in the news because nobody knows about it.
Chastain said: ‘I hope the entertainment industry will never be the same. If you look at Louis B. Mayer and Fatty Arbuckle and Jack Warner, if you read Shirley Temple’s book, you find out what happened to her when she was a child — there is a history of abuse against women in our industry, and it’s never been addressed.’I’m devastated by all the stories that have come out because it’s heartbreaking, but at the same time I feel hopeful because we’re not ignoring it anymore.’
‘That doesn’t mean that there’s less sexual abuse going on anywhere else in the world, in any other place of work. But fortunately, we’re starting the conversation now.’
Emma said;What she was essentially saying was if women were paid equally in every industry, this would not be occurring.
‘Women have had to fit into these different boxes for so many years just to get work, and if these things are happening and they bring them to people’s attention, they are much more likely to be fired or to be dismissed than a man in a more powerful position.
‘So it’s a huge conversation for our industry, but I would hope that this is only the tipping point for us to discuss equal pay for equal work for women across every industry.’
Janney said: ‘I’m very fortunate that I have never experienced any kind of harassment, and the only reason I can think of is that I’m 5-foot-15 and my career didn’t start till I was like 38.
‘I was always aware of the casting couch — that was just something I thought women had to navigate growing up in the business. But it’s exciting to think of a time where kids growing up won’t know what that is, that it will be a thing of the past, and there won’t be any more abuse of power. It’s exciting to think of our culture changing.’
Ronan said: ‘I was very lucky that I was protected from a lot of that. I never was really exposed to what went on at parties, I was never left on my own with anyone; my mom and dad were always around.
‘The really disappointing thing about all this is that [journalists and others in Hollywood] had all of this shit on all of these men and women for the last few years, but they hadn’t done anything with it. It’s just been swept under the carpet.’
‘Well, in the [music] industry, I never had that problem. I was always kind of a tomboy and one of the guys.
‘I feel sad for the women, but I’m happy that they’re free because they had to hold on to a secret for years. And I believe that things will change because this is making other women say, “Me too,” “Me too,” “Me too” — it keeps happening every day because people are tired of sitting around with that secret that holds them prisoner.
‘Women have been going through this since they were children. As a child, I went through it all the way up until adulthood. When I got in the music business, I never had it because I went through so much of it in childhood.’
|Mary J Blige