Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Megan Fox talks about sexism and discrimination in Hollywood

I think most feminists can agree that Cosmo sucks.  They're more for beauty tips and guilt trips than they are for anything else.  But sometimes they surprise me and manage to push beyond the surface issues that women are interested in and engage their interview subjects in something with more substance.

Megan Fox, who I am a huge fangirl of, appears in the upcoming August issue of Cosmo as part of her promotion for her soon-to-be released comedy action flick, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  She talks about motherhood, sex and the usual Cosmo-esque subject matter, but they also ask her about sexism and female representation in film.

The interviewer says, "It's exciting that you're a woman headlining an action film.  Do you think Hollywood is coming around?"  

She answers bluntly, "I don't. Hollywood is still run by middle-aged men who are intimidated by an assertive woman. I would argue to do something you'd see Shia [Labeouf] do in Transformers and the men involved in the movie would say it seemed 'bitchy.'  Or if my interactions with my [Ninja Turtles] co-star Will Arnett were a little too direct, I would hear "why is your character being so mean to him?"

recently spoke with a producer  from Michael Douglas' company who admitted that they see women directors as a "risk".  So what she is saying sounds pretty accurate.  Hollywood is run by men who not only see assertive women as intimidating, but who are uncomfortable with women having any authority or power at all.  This is not the first time she has discussed sexism on set, as she did in an interview with Peter Travers.

I'd like to point out that it is not always just men who have a hard time with this. I've dealt with women who uphold this kind of sexist attitude as well.  It's usually men though.

In the interview Megan also discusses how she handles unwanted sexual attention on set.  She says "when I'm working I refuse to flirt.  If someone tries, it becomes an endless roast. I'll say, 'nice beard buddy' or 'you look fancy.' I know he spent an hour doing that specific thing to his hair, and the minute I point it out his game is shattered.  I like to have men off their guard.  Then you are in charge.  You don't ever have to feel like someone has power over you."

Sounds like good advice to me!

Also, Megan recently sat in at a round table talk with a group of mom bloggers. They each wrote an article about her and to Mom.me she elaborated on the nature of being a woman in Hollywood:
"In Hollywood, you don't want to show weakness as a woman because it is such a misogynistic industry. To ever go to work and be like, 'I have debilitating cramps,' you can't do that. You can't be like, 'Can I have a hot water bottle for my stomach?' You have to act like you're a superhero in order to be taken seriously or put on an equal playing field as the men. As soon as you like have a woman's body and have women's issues, it's like, 'Oh, you're a hazard for us," basically. So you just have to pretend that you're a lot stronger than you are a lot of the time."
I agree with her and hope that other industry people see this kind of unevenness and take a stance against it when they work on sets.

Cosmo interview source
Mom blog interview source

1 comment:

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