Emma Watson Discusses the Hollywood Pay Gap and Modern Feminism
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, co-stars in the upcoming film The Circle , will be featured on the April cover of Esquire as a part of their “Women & Men” issue. In this issue, Emma Watson discusses the eminent wage gap in Hollywood, her HeForShe campaign, and why feminism should be everyone’s concern.
The interview begins with discussion about the Hollywood pay gap between men and women, which was, unfortunately, brought into limelight in the recent past. Actresses such as Jennifer Lawrence and Charlize Theron have come forward and addressed this issue, while others like Kate Winslet have considered talking about them “vulgar.”
I’m not sure who put out the wage gap [between Theron and Hemsworth on the first film], but it took a hack, unfortunately, the Sony hack, for Jennifer [Lawrence] to talk about the extent to which the prejudice was there for her, [her American Hustle co-star] Amy Adams and women generally.
Watson talks about how not discussing the discrimination is becoming a less popular opinion with every passing day, and the misogynistic accusations that may be hurtled toward her for addressing them are vastly ineffectual.
We are not supposed to talk about money because people will think you’re ‘difficult’ or a ‘diva’. But there’s a willingness now to be like, ‘Fine. Call me a “diva”, call me a “feminazi”, call me “difficult”, call me a “First World feminist”, call me whatever you want, it’s not going to stop me from trying to do the right thing and make sure that the right thing happens.’ Because it doesn’t just affect me, it affects all the other women who are in this with me, and it affects all the other men who are in this with me, too. Hollywood is just a small piece of a gigantic puzzle, but it’s in the spotlight.
Armed with factual statistics and a candid voice, Emma Watson goes on to speak about how feminism isn’t just a concern for women, but for all human beings.
So often, feminist issues are being discussed in a room labelled for women, with women, talking about women’s issues, focusing on women. But this is an issue that affects everyone. Everyone. That is what HeForShe is about. This is affecting men, too. I want to really talk to men about it […] I think it’s important to note that it’s not about us convincing you that gender equality is worth engaging in only because there might be something in it for you.
She also discusses how she, like any other woman, has experienced sexism.
I don’t talk about these experiences much because coming from me they’ll sound like a huge deal, and I don’t want this to be about me, but most women I know have experienced it and worse… this is unfortunately how it is. It’s so much more pervasive than we acknowledge. It shouldn’t be an acceptable fact of life that women should be afraid.
You can read the interview here, which is on sale now and available as a digital edition. Tell us what you think about this issue in the comments below!