Now, the Academy Award nominee has sent a powerful message to women in the wake of the sexual harassment scandal that led to Bill O’Reilly’s exit from Fox News after 21 years at the helm of “The O’Reilly Factor.”
“Women are strong, we are powerful, formidable, we are a force to be reckoned with, we are half of the population and we are not going anywhere,” the actress said on Friday at Variety’s Power of Women Luncheon in New York City, during which she was honored.
She later added, “Recently, women said no to a certain Fox News anchor. After years of sexual assault accusations and settlements were unearthed, women’s rights groups called for advertisers to pull their support from the show and companies listened and so did Fox, and as a result this new news hour will now be known as simply ‘The Factor.’ This is our collective power in action.”
Chastain called women to take action. “Talk could be powerful, but actions more so,” she said. “We need to ask ourselves, ‘what am I doing to make a difference in this world?’ It begins with saying no to sexual harassment, it begins with demanding fair pay and turning down jobs where you make half as much as your male counterpart with equal experience.”
The actress also spoke about Hollywood’s gender pay gap, a topic she has been very vocal about in the past.
“I see gender discrimination in my industry every day. There is no shortage of female talent and yet, women make only 7 percent of filmmakers today,” she said, later adding, “It is time that we say no to being outnumbered and undervalued.”
Chastain spoke of how very happy and proud she is to star in “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” a film that is directed by a woman (Niki Caro), adapted for film by a woman (Angela Workman), based on a novel written by a woman (Diane Ackerman), and “telling a heroic true story of a woman.”
“Not only did the world keep turning, but that movie is currently the highest grossing specialty film of 2017,” she said. “So, women are good for business.”