Jessica Chastain, a constant advocate for gender equality in Hollywood, recently opened up about a past brush with sexism she faced while speaking to a male director. Chastain told American Way in a new interview, “I had one male director say to me that I talk too much about all of this ‘women stuff.’ This is a person I love, and maybe he was concerned I would hurt my career.” She continued, “I’m not attacking anyone. I’m trying to create more inclusiveness, compassion and empathy, which in turn makes better movies, better art.”
Chastain founded the production company Freckle Films in order to combat Hollywood gender inequality. When asked about the company, Chastain expressed her frustrations with gender issues today: “I just don’t know why it’s not changing…I’m doing my part to make the change, so why isn’t everyone else?”
Chastain has been outspoken about gender equality in the workplace, and addressed “gender imbalance” in Hollywood before. Chastain wrote a letter for The Hollywood Reporter, where she addressed the issue of sexism on a film shoot: “When you have both genders represented, then you have a healthier point of view. The energy is great, you all are working together as a community, and everyone is participating in the exchange of ideas. You don't feel a hierarchy; you don't have anyone feeling like they are being left out or bullied or humiliated. Sometimes being the only girl on a set, you can feel like a sexual object.”
Chastain has also spoken about the gender pay gap in Hollywood. In a 2016 interview with Variety, Chastain said, “We’re supposed to be a mirror that’s held up to society and tells the story of what’s happening around us. And sometimes the American film industry only tells the stories of a few and I don’t want my story to be erased. I want to see women out there and I want them to be equally compensated for the work that they do.”
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