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Emma Thompson on Sexism in Hollywood: “I Am Not Impressed at All”

Emma Thompson on Sexism in Hollywood: "I Am Not Impressed at All"

Emma Thompson had a few words for Hollywood in a recent overseas interview with Radio Times.

Regarding opportunities for women in the industry, the Oscar-winning actress and screenwriter said “I think it’s still completely s*** actually,” going on to say “I don’t think there’s any appreciable improvement and I think that for women, the question of how they are supposed to look is worse than it was even when I was young. So, no, I am not impressed at all.”

Thompson, who’s doing press rounds for her role in Scottish thesp Robert Carlyle’s directorial debut “The Legend of Barney Thomson,” said that even her casting was “a bit ageist,” since she’s only 56 and playing a 77-year-old. “It would be really nice to get someone who is actually 77 to play her, but it’s a wildly comic role and I couldn’t resist.”

Thompson joins a slew of actresses who’ve recently railed against Hollywood’s gender imbalance, including Helen Mirren and Maggie Gyllenhaal. “When I was younger, I really did think we were on our way to a
better world and when I look at it now, it is in a worse state than I
have known it, particularly for women and I find that very disturbing
and sad,” she told Radio Times.

READ MORE: Edinburgh Review: ‘Legend of Barney Thomson’ Serves Sweeney Todd-Style Slice of Glasgow Life

The two-time Academy Award winner who penned and also starred in 2015 period piece “Effie Gray” has used her global pulpit to this end before. Back during “Saving Mr. Banks” days, Thompson said, according to The Guardian, that in her 30s she turned down “a whole string of roles that basically involved saying to a man: ‘Please don’t go and do that brave thing. Don’t! No, no, no!’”

In Radio Times, she added, “So I get behind as many young female performers as I can and
actually a lot of the conversations I have with them are about exactly
the fact that we are facing and writing about the same things and
nothing has changed, and that some forms of sexism and unpleasantness to
women have become more entrenched and indeed more prevalent.”

Are things getting better, or is Thompson right on the money?

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