Emma Watson Shares Experiences of Sexism in the Film Industry

It’s been just about a year since Emma Watson launched the UN’s HeforShe campaign, which works to involve men and boys in the fight for equal rights for women around the world. Since that time, Emma has been a committed and vocal advocate for feminism and equality. As part of that commitment, Emma recently lent her voice to a report by the Guardian profiling the experiences of women in the film and entertainment industry, 99% of whom have experienced sexism.

Here’s Emma’s story:

I have experienced sexism in that I have been directed by male directors 17 times and only twice by women. Of the producers I’ve worked with, 13 have been male, and only one has been a woman. But I am lucky: I have always insisted on being treated equally and have generally won that equality. Most of the problems I have encountered have been in the media, where I have been treated so incredibly differently from my male co-stars.

I think my work with the UN has probably made me even more aware of the problems. I went out for a work dinner recently. It was 7 men… and me.

If something does go wrong in the workplace, the support network is not brilliant. The men at the top often find it difficult to relate to a lot of the problems women face, and therefore, we aren’t taken very seriously. Yet, women are just as guilty of discriminating against women. Some of the best feminists I have encountered are men, like Steve Chbosky who directed me in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and director James Ponsoldt, who[m] I am working with at the moment [on The Circle]. Some women can be incredibly prejudiced against other women!

Her story is sure to resonate with many Harry Potter fans when we consider how Watson has been treated compared to co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint ever since the trio was debuted as stars of the franchise in 2001. Take the 2007 Order of the Phoenix controversy, where the actress’s breasts were photoshopped to appear larger on certain film posters. The fact that her body subsequently became the focus of commentary across the globe only further highlights the different (and often harmful) standards women face in media. Watson was only 17 at the time.

By sharing their stories of sexism in the industry, Emma and the other contributors are helping to shed a light on the harsh realities of women working in film and television face. Be sure to read the full article here.

Jessica J.

I've been making magic at MuggleNet since 2012, when I first joined the staff as a News intern. I've never wavered from the declaration in my childhood journal, circa October 2000: "I LOVE Harry Potter! If I clean my room, my mom says she'll make me a dinner a wizard would love!" Proud Gryffindor; don't hate.