‘I’ve been told that I’m hindering the process by bringing up an opinion or an idea.’
Surprise, surprise! Sexism is still rampant in Hollywood and the media.
Emma Stone, the star of Oscar-buzzy film “La La Land” is the first woman to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine by herself since November 2015. Hillary Clinton was on the cover in March, but she shared it with Bernie Sanders.
What’s more, despite her powerhouse performance, guess what she’s wearing? A freaking nightie.
Now, of course, women can wear whatever the heck they want and shouldn’t be judged for showing a little (or a lot) of skin. However, when a woman hasn’t appeared alone on the cover of a magazine known for a troubling double standard when it comes to cover shots in over a year, and the first one to do so shows up in a photo that will likely be pinned to the walls of boys dorm rooms everywhere … it feels a little unfortunate, to say the least.
So just in case you thought the sexist treatment of women in the entertainment biz had diminished, consider this your friendly reminder it’s still very much alive and well.
In the actual interview, Stone digs deeper into the sexism she’s experienced on set.
Despite having an extensive background in theater, improv, and sketch comedy, she said she found that any ideas she offered during the filming process were often disparaged or cast off by the people in charge.
“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,” Stone told Rolling Stone.
Even worse? “There have been times when I’ve improvised, they’ve laughed at my joke and then given it to my male co-star,” Stone said.
This is the Hollywood equivalent of a woman having a great idea in a work meeting, and a boss taking it and giving it to his best male employee to run with.
Stone joins the ranks of other powerful women in Hollywood speaking up about sexism in the past couple of years.
A month ago, Mila Kunis wrote an open letter about how she’s experienced major bias in her career because of her sex. A year ago, Maggie Gyllenhaal was told at 37, she was too old to play the lover of a 55-year-old man. And “Modern Family” actress Ariel Winter recently called out how shameful it is that people give so much more attention to her outfit choices than her work.
The good news is that for every handful of stories we see about sexism in Hollywood, we’re also seeing stories about progress.
“Shameless’s” Emmy Rossum just won a months-long battle to receive pay equal to her male co-star William H. Macy. Felicity Jones negotiated a salary far and away above her co-stars for her work in “Rogue One.” And Geena Davis is helping to build software that will detect sexism in TV and films to make it easier to root out.
Is the Rolling Stone cover with Emma Stone the worst, most offensive example of sexism in Hollywood or the media today? No. But it perpetuates the idea that a woman’s appearance and how appealing she looks to men is more valuable than her thoughts, talents, ideas, career, or contributions to the world. So, yes, the battle against sexism in entertainment is being fought every day, but as long as covers like Emma Stone’s exist, so will sexism.
Until that changes, why don’t we try a compromise: for every woman who appears scantily clad on a magazine cover, a man must follow in a similar getup. See how much they like only seeing that reflection of themselves in the world.
At least that would somewhat level the sexist playing field.