Actresses Who Spoke About Sexism In Hollywood

Sarah Kester
Mila Kunis selfie of her eating something
instagram | @milakunis

Enough is enough. 

Many women in Hollywood have spoken out about the sexism they’ve experienced at the hands of men, either at the start of their careers or when they were well-established in the industry

These proud feminists haven’t been afraid to shed light on these issues, such as small-minded comments or gender pay inequality pay. 

We applaud these 14 women for speaking out!

1. Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon in dress
instagram | Reese Witherspoon

Through her production company, Hello Sunshine, the Legally Blonde star has made it her life's work to bring women's creative work to life. The desire to create this company came after she received a sexist message from a financial advisor.

In an interview with the 'Los Angeles Times,' she recalled the man saying:

Reese Witherspoon in Big Little Lies
Giphy | Big Little Lies

"You need to start saving right now, because you're going to be making drastically less money in your 40s. Basically, you're not going to have much of a career." Oh, how wrong it was. It's a good thing Reese fired him!

2. Rooney Mara

In a 2015 interview with The Guardian, Mara admitted that sexism in Hollywood goes beyond the pay gap. "To me, the thing that's more unfair than the pay is the terminology that's used to describe actresses who have a point of view, and want to have a voice in their life and their career, and what they choose to do," she said.

3. Elisabeth Moss

Elisabeth Moss selfie
instagram | Elisabeth Moss

The Handmaid Tale actress has fallen victim to gender inequality in Hollywood. She has said that she's "100% positive" that she's earned less money from her male co-stars. The icing on this sad cake is when her all-female pitch was rejected.

"It was everything, the fact it was a female lead, a female protagonist, was led by a woman, made it too female, which I was shocked by," she told 'Metro.'

Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid's Tale
Giphy | HULU

"It wasn't said to my face, I would dare a male executive to say that to my face now," she added.

4. Emma Stone

Emma Stone sitting in an audience smiling
Giphy | The Academy Awards

As an actress who has a flair for comedy, it's been disheartening when her jokes have been given to male co-stars.

"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 co-star. Given my joke away," she told Rolling Stone.

5. Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling in black outfit
instagram | Mindy Kaling

After years of acting, writing, and producing on The Office, she had no thanks to show for it. That's because the Television Academy wanted to cut her name from the list of producers after the show was nominated for an Emmy for outstanding comedy series.

"They made me, not any of the other producers, fill out a whole form and write an essay about all my contributions as a writer and a producer."

Mindy Kaling on The Office
Giphy | The Office

"I had to get letters from all the other male, white producers saying that I had contributed, when my actual record stood for itself," she said during an October 2019 interview with Elle. 

6. Jennifer Lawrence

 Jennifer Lawrence  shaking her head

Even though Jennifer defended Leonardo Dicaprio earning more than her in the Netflix film, Don't Look Up, she has spoken out about the unfair pay gap between men and women in Hollywood before.

She wrote about this in an essay for Lena Dunham's (now-defunct) newsletter. 

“I’m over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state my opinion and still be likable,” she wrote.

Jennifer annoyed
Giphy | Film4

“F--- that. I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It’s just heard.”

7. Carey Mulligan

Carey Mulligan with a small smile walking
Giphy | Searchlight Pictures

As a woman on movie sets, the actress has felt "lesser-than" her male counterparts.

"I've definitely experienced sexism in terms of how I've been treated," she told Vogue Australia

"When I've tried to assert my opinion on scripts, for example, I feel I've had to fight a bit harder to get my voice heard."

8. America Ferrera

The actress was asked some ugly, sexist questions while starring in Ugly Betty.

These were questions men would never get asked, such as "what was it like to play an ugly character?" At a panel for ATX, she said that it's "sad" that the bravest thing an actress can do is be ugly.

9. Zoe Saldana

Zoe in Miami
instagram | Zoe Saldana

Being one of the few women on movie sets has been lonely for the Marvel star.

"I feel lonely on set. And it's not just that you're the only woman in the cast. There are very few women on the crew. You hardly ever get to work with a female director," she told Time.

10. Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart saying "do something"

As someone who's worked in Hollywood almost all of her life, Kristen has seen the good — and the bad. “Hollywood is disgustingly sexist," she said in an interview with Harper's Bazaar, saying, “Women inevitably have to work a little bit harder to be heard. It’s crazy. It’s so offensive it’s crazy.”

11. Gemma Chan

As an Asian actress who was trying to break into a prominently white industry, the early days of her career were filled with racism and sexism. She recalled to the Telegraph being turned away from auditions because they were "only going to see white people."

12. Jennifer Lopez

If a man is powerful in Hollywood, he's praised. But if a woman acts the same, she's labeled a diva. "I've always been fascinated by how much more well behaved we have to be than men," Jlo once said in an interview.

"I did get a moniker of being a diva, which I don't deserve."

Jennifer Lopez annoyed
Giphy | NBC World Of Dance

An example of this is when she called out the Super Bowl by having two women host the Halftime show. "We [as women] are not allowed to have certain opinions or be a certain way, or be passionate," she said. 

13. Gina Rodriguez

Gina Rodriquez selfie
instagram | Gina Rodriquez

The Jane the Virgin actress once had producers ask her to return for an audition "with a tight black dress."

When she questioned this decision for the character, they told her that they needed to know if she was "pretty enough to be on the cover of a magazine."

14. Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis selfie
instagram | Mila Kunis

In an open letter for A Plus Magazine, the Bad Moms actress revealed that a producer once threatened that she'd "never work in this town again" if she didn't pose semi-nude in a men's magazine. 

"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."