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Jessica Chastain Responds to Criticism of All-White Photo Shoot: ‘The Industry Needs to Become More Inclusive’

She calls it "a sad look."

Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain

Amy Sussman/REX/Shutterstock

When the Los Angeles Times released its actress-themed edition of the Envelope earlier this week, readers instantly noticed something about the featured performers: All are white. Jessica Chastain (“Molly’s Game”), Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”), Diane Kruger (“In the Fade”), Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”), Kate Winslet (“Wonder Wheel”), and Annette Bening (“Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool”) lead the cover story, with Chastain — who’s outspoken about inequality within the film industry — taking much of the criticism online.

Her defense, which she shared on Twitter, was that the lack of diversity in the story is reflective of a larger systemic issue. “Its a sad look that there’s no WOC in this pic of us promoting our female lead films. The industry needs to become more inclusive in its storytelling. What were your favorite WOC lead films this year? I LOVED @salmahayek in #BeatriceAtDinner,” she tweeted.

“Its TERRIBLE that I can’t think of at least 5 female lead films with woc this year,” she added. “In 12 months there’s not even 5?!”

Chastain’s followers mentioned both Mary J. Blige in “Mudbound” and Tiffany Haddish in “Girls Trip” as worthy contenders, to which the actress responded that, though she admired both, they were supporting rather than lead performances.


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