Mila Kunis Condemns Sexism, Gender Bias in Hollywood Through Open Letter

Nov 04, 2016 02:57 PM EDT

Bad Moms star Mila Kunis penned a strong and thorough open letter in A Plus magazine detailing sexism she's experienced in the entertainment industry.

"Throughout my career, there have been moments when I have been insulted, sidelined, paid less, creatively ignored, and otherwise diminished based on my gender," she wrote. "And always, 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. But the older I got and the longer I worked in this industry, the more I realized that it's (expletive)! And, worse, that I was complicit in allowing it to happen."

Kunis, 33, shared two specific experiences of sexism in her career:  A male producer threatened she would "never work in this town again" if she did not pose semi-nude on the cover of a men's magazine to promote a film.

"I was livid, I felt objectified, and for the first time in my career I said 'no,'" she explained. "And guess what? The world didn't end. The film made a lot of money and I did work in this town again, and again, and again. What this producer may never realize is that he spoke aloud the exact fear every woman feels when confronted with gender bias in the workplace."

Kunis eventually founded her own production company to pursue her own projects. But even establishing her independence, Kunis had received an email from a different male producer who referred to her as Ashton Kutcher's "wife and baby momma!!!"

"He reduced my value to nothing more than my relationship to a successful man and my ability to bear children. It ignored my (and my team's) significant creative and logistical contributions," she wrote. "We withdrew our involvement in the project."

"If this is happening to me, it is happening more aggressively to women everywhere," Kunis continued in the letter. "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."

She ended with strong words for that original male producer. "I will work in this town again, but I will not work with you."

Kunis played Jackie Burkhart on the television series That '70s Show. And she voiced Meg Griffin on the animated series Family Guy. Her breakout film role came in 2008, playing Rachel in the romantic comedy-drama Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Her other films include Max Payne (2008), The Book of Eli (2010), Friends with Benefits (2011), Ted (2012), Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) as the Wicked Witch of the West, and the Black Swan (2010).

 

 

Tags : Mila Kunis, Bad Moms, sexism, Hollywood, gender bias, chauvinism in Hollywood, #BadMoms, #MilaKunis, Ashton Kutcher, A Plus Magazine