Sydney Sweeney attends the 35th Annual GLAAD Media Awards

Sydney Sweeney Responds to Producer Who Disparaged Her: ‘How Sad’

Sydney Sweeney has responded to producer Carol Baum’s disparaging remarks about her, noting “how sad” it is that Baum used her platform and status to tear down another woman.

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Sweeney has been rising through the ranks of Hollywood at an unprecedented rate since her breakthrough role as Cassie Howard on the hit series Euphoria. She recently gained attention for appearing in the wildly popular rom-com Anyone but You alongside Glen Powell and showing off her scream queen skills in the horror film Immaculate, which she also produced. Despite being an accomplished actor with numerous accolades to her name, the public discourse around Sweeney has often turned bizarre and gross. Since she is a woman in Hollywood, many feel that gives them the right to comment on her physical appearance.

For example, after her SNL hosting gig, the conversation was dominated by right-wing extremists who bizarrely decided to label her the mascot of “traditional beauty.” Even major media outlets stooped to the low of publishing full articles about her body. She has also experienced sexism within the industry, recounting one instance of a male director telling her she didn’t have the “right look” to be an actor. It’s well known that women constantly face double standards and misogyny both inside and outside the industry. The knowledge of what women experience makes it all the more confounding when a woman decides to add to the negativity by attacking another woman.

Sydney Sweeney addresses Carol Baum’s attack on her

Sydney Sweeney dressed as a teenager pausing in a school doorway in Euphoria
(HBO)

Baum recently voiced her criticism of Sweeney. However, it wasn’t constructive criticism or fact-based opinions; it was largely just an unprovoked attack on the actor. Baum is a movie producer best known for serving as an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences member and teaching producing at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. In an interview with the Daily Mail, she revealed she didn’t “get Syndey Sweeney” and the fame surrounding the actor, so she decided to watch her movie Anyone but You during a plane ride.

However, she came away from the movie with nothing but criticism. She told her class, “Explain this girl to me. She’s not pretty, she can’t act. Why is she so hot?” Her comments quickly gained traction, as they were wholly unprovoked and bizarrely included a jab about her appearance. As a producer with such expertise, it’s extraordinary that she couldn’t analyze Sweeney deeper than “she’s not pretty” and “she can’t act.”

Sweeney has now issued a statement to PEOPLE via her representatives. She commented on “how sad” it was that a woman with Baum’s experience and expertise used her status and platform to attack another woman. It also mentioned how “shameful” it is if learning to criticize other women is all Baum has truly learned throughout her decades in the industry. The full statement read:

How sad that a woman in the position to share her expertise and experience chooses instead to attack another woman. If that’s what she’s learned in her decades in the industry and feels is appropriate to teach to her students, that’s shameful. To unjustly disparage a fellow female producer speaks volumes about Ms. Baum’s character.

The brief statement succinctly captures everything wrong with Baum’s statement. She is a celebrated female producer who inexplicably disparaged not just a female actor but a fellow female producer. For a woman who teaches producing and seemingly wants to play a role in raising the next generation of producers, it’s shocking she would so mercilessly lay into a young, rising producer. It’s already bad enough when male losers on the internet fixate on Sweeney’s appearance, but now even members of the Academy are claiming that a woman’s appearance is one of the only reasons she’d gain attention in Hollywood?

Immaculate producer Teddy Schwarzman also slammed Baum’s “terribly ugly comments,” noting that Sweeney is, indeed, “one of the most talented actresses” he has ever worked with. Additionally, he stated that he found her to be “smart, kind, and humble,” making her “beautiful on the inside,” which is the only kind of beauty that anyone should be concerned about.

Baum reportedly told TMZ she regretted her statement and that it wasn’t like her to be so publicly critical of others. However, she notably has not issued an official statement nor offered an apology to Sweeney. As a female teacher and producer who has spent decades in a male-dominated industry, Baum is in an incredible position to help raise women up and vouch for equality and representation in the field of producing, making it difficult to understand why she’d choose to do the opposite and attack a woman who has already experienced more than enough of the industry’s and public’s ugliness toward women.

(featured image: Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / Getty)


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.