Mila Kunis has joined the group of powerful Hollywood women who have opened up about their experiences with sexism in the workplace. The 33-year-old actor is calling out Hollywood’s sexist practices in a piece published on aplus.com, in which she describes being “insulted, sidelined, paid less, creatively ignored, and otherwise diminished based on my gender.”
Kunis paints a grim picture of turning down a cover shoot where she would have to pose “semi nude” to promote one of her films. The director (who Kunis doesn’t name, just adding to our curiosity) was furious that she objected, and told her that she’d never work in the film industry again.
But she did, obviously. And she continues.
“We don’t want to be kicked out of the sandbox for being a ‘bitch.’ So we compromise our integrity for the sake of maintaining the status quo and hope that change is coming,” she writes.
Kunis’ letter echoes the sentiments found in similar pieces written by the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Amanda Peet and Jennifer Aniston. Each woman dishes the dirt on the less-than-fair treatment in Tinseltown, so we’ve heard it before. But Kunis’ experiences still hit home for us. Who hasn’t received an email that was just slightly derogatory, or had an idea brushed off in a formal meeting like it was nothing? And while we’ve all fantasized about how we would set our misogynist boss/colleague/peer straight, Mila actually did.
But it didn’t come easy. The actress admits that it has taken her a long time to reach the point where she feels comfortable taking a stand against misogynistic comments. “I tried to give people the benefit of the doubt; maybe they knew more, maybe they had more experience, maybe there was something I was missing. I taught myself that to succeed as a woman in this industry I had to play by the rules of the boy’s club,” writes Kunis. But she’s fed up with these double standards, and finally speaking out.
As Slate points out, most women can’t afford to just quit their job when confronted with something derogatory, and most women’s partners don’t run lifestyle websites on which to publish such opinion pieces. Fair. But, hey, Mila’s open letter has us talking about sexism in the workplace, and that’s worth something.
Actually, it’s worth a lot.