Kit Steinkellner
September 28, 2015 12:08 pm

Over the past few years, Emma Watson has been balancing her A-list Hollywood career with her work as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, collaborating with the United Nations to advocate for gender equality on a global scale. So it should come as no surprise to anyone when Watson combines these roles and turns her feminist lens on Hollywood.

As Watson recently explained in a Guardian piece she participated in regarding sexism in the film industry, we’re still a long, long way from gender parity in entertainment. Though this reality should come as a surprise to, well, no one, the stats Watson provides re: her own career are pretty shocking.

“I have experienced sexism in that I have been directed by male directors 17 times and only twice by women,” Watson says. “Of the producers I’ve worked with 13 have been male and only one has been a woman.”

Watson explains that her work with the UN has made her “even more aware of the problems.” Case in point, she cites a recent work dinner she attended in which there were eight seats at the table. Seven were occupied by men. In that last seat sat Watson, the sole woman at the table.

So who needs to shape up or ship out? In Watson’s opinion, there are several forces in Hollywood that need to really get their act together so that the industry can achieve true equality. Pointing out sexism in the press, she says “Most of the problems I have encountered have been in the media, where I have been treated so incredibly differently from my male co-stars.

Of course, it’s not JUST the media that’s falling short. “If something does go wrong in the workplace, the support network is not brilliant,” Watson reveals. “The men at the top often find it difficult to relate to a lot of the problems women face and therefore we aren’t taken very seriously.”

However, as Watson insists, this is not just about men needing to do better.

“…women are just as guilty of discriminating against women,” she acknowledges. “Some of the best feminists I have encountered are men, like Steve Chbosky who directed me in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and director James Ponsoldt who I am working with at the moment [on The Circle]. Some women can be incredibly prejudiced against other women!”

The entire Guardian piece is well worth a read. Others interviewed include Sarah Gavron (director of upcoming Suffragette), Amma Asante (director of Belle), Ellen Kuras (cinematographer of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Sandy Powell (costume designer for Shakespeare in Love and The Aviator). We are so glad that The Guardian has given a platform to these powerful women to speak out against the inequality in their industry and we’re so glad that Watson took the opportunity to reveal these uncomfortable truths, because the only way to change is to start with transparency.

Related:

Emma Watson is stepping up for girls in STEM

How Emma Watson deals with self-doubt, because even she feels it sometimes

(Image via Paramount Pictures)

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