Meryl Streep Calls For More Women “In the House. In the Senate. At Universal. At Sony.”
Be the person Meryl Streep believes you can be.
In Suffragette, Meryl Streep’s Emmeline Pankhurst gives an inspiring speech about equality atop a balcony but it doesn’t stop off-camera. LA Times recently published this interview with Streep, screenwriter Abi Morgan, and director Sarah Gavron, where the women talk about Hollywood’s attitude toward women. Morgan calls the act of making a movie like Suffragette with so many women “quietly political” (Carey Mulligan made a similar statement a while back).
Real-life hero Streep continues to be amazingly outspoken about representation:
Until men look around the table and say, ‘You know what’s weird? There’s only two women here and there’s eight men.’ When that feels weird to a man, we will have achieved something. We need half. That’s all we ask. Half. In the House. In the Senate. At Universal. At Sony. If it were half, I can’t say the world would be better, but it would be representative.
Streep also emphasizes the need to recognize women in the industry, especially female directors, who are hugely underrepresented in Hollywood:
We need the door to be opened in our industry. In the director’s branch of the academy, there is something wrong that there are so few women. In the directors guild, there is something profoundly wrong. It’s not like the film schools aren’t graduating thousands of young women. They’re going to festivals, they’re winning prizes, their films are seen and they disappear. So then do our stories. My story is disappearing, and I can’t allow it, on behalf of my daughters and also my son.
It would be an important thing for the film to raise the question of why, why this was so difficult and long a process. What is the nature of this resistance? What is it in the human psyche that wants to reinforce a dominance?
Definitely check out the whole interview, which features Gavron and others discussing Streep’s role and how they adore her. Did you know Mulligan is the one who suggested Streep for the role of Pankhurst with the justification “an icon should play an icon?” Meryl 2016.
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