You’d think that in today’s day and age, issues related to sexism and ageism would have subsided in Hollywood. Unfortunately, that couldn’t be farther from the truth—in fact, they’ve gotten worse, at least according to Emma Thompson.
The 56-year-old actress did a recent interview with a popular British magazine and opened up about how she thinks the film industry is “completely shit,” thanks to the way women are treated. “When I was younger, I really did think we were on our way to a better world and when I look at it now, it is in a worse state than I have known it, particularly for women and I find that very disturbing and sad,” Thompson told Radio Times.
She goes on to explain that the biggest problem is the way women are supposed to look in order to bag roles. For example, Thompson plays the role of a 77-year-old hooker in her new film The Legend of Barney Thomson. She says she would have loved to see the role played by a woman who was closer to the character’s age, but she knows that that would never happen in Hollywood. As she said, “It is a bit ageist.”
This isn’t the first time a leading actress has spoken out about sexism and ageism in the film industry. Earlier this year, actress Maggie Gyllenhaal recalled feeling astonished and angry that at the age of 37, she was refused a role because she was too old—it was to play the part of a 55-year-old man’s love interest.
Even Oscar-winner Helen Mirren has voiced a similar opinion about the treatment of women in Hollywood, calling it “f*cking outrageous” and “annoying.” Mirren offered the perfect example: “We all watched James Bond as he got more and more geriatric, and his girlfriends got younger and younger.”
Plunkett, J., “Emma Thompson: sexism in acting industry is worse than ever,” The Guardian web site, July 21, 2015; http://goo.gl/n2G0Wy.