Mila Kunis is done with the objectifying, sexist bull-hickey in Hollywood. Kunis posted an essay on Medium titled, “You’ll Never Work In This Town Again…” The title references a threat she received after refusing to pose semi-naked on the cover of a magazine for film promotion. The actress says this was the first time she had said “no” in her career and, as we know, she did “work in this town again, and again, and again.”
In the piece, Kunis dissects the challenges of being a woman in the industry, like the pay gap, fear of being “kicked out of the sand box for being a ‘bitch'” or being “insulted, sidelined, paid less, creatively ignored, and otherwise diminished based on my gender.” She also touches on blind gender biases and more.
The actress writes that while she’s learned the rules of the boy’s club, she’s tired and no longer willing to be complicit. Instead, she started her own club—her production company, Orchard Farm Productions which the actress formed with Susan Curtis, Cami Curtis and Lisa Sterbakov. Kunis writes about ways in which Orchard Farm works to empower women, and her intolerance for biases whether they’re explicit or microaggressions. In one anecdote, she writes they withdrew involvement in a project where a producer reduced Kunis to “soon to be Ashton’s wife and baby momma!!!”
The actress also acknowledges her own position and says she hopes to start a larger conversation about women in the workplace:
If this is happening to me, it is happening more aggressively to women everywhere. I am fortunate that I have reached a place that I can stop compromising and stand my ground, without fearing how I will put food on my table. I am also fortunate that I have the platform to talk about this experience in the hope of bringing one more voice to the conversation so that women in the workplace feel a little less alone and more able to push back for themselves.
Kunis’ essay and story reflects a lot of what we hear from women in film. It’s very encouraging to see more and more high profile actors speak about about what happens behind-the-scenes and outspokenly denouncing sexism in the industry. I recommend reading the whole piece here.
(Image via Screen Gems)
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