Emma Thompson criticizes Hollywood sexism

By Tomas Monzon  |  July 22, 2015 at 8:08 AM
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HOLLYWOOD, July 22 (UPI) -- Actress Emma Thompson said sexism is more prevalent in the Hollywood industry than when she started acting more than 30 years ago.

Citing ageism and a lack of opportunities for women, Thompson, 56, told Radio Times that she doesn't think there has been any noticeable improvement and the question of how they are expected to look is worse than it was in decades past.

She additionally criticized the media for being reactionary and homogenized, changing her belief since youth that the world was getting better and instead coming to terms with the disturbing truth that it is actually worse.

An example of ageism is Thompson's casting as a 77-year old-prostitute in her latest film, The Legend of Barney Thomson. Though she agrees the casting is ageist and wishes someone older would have been given the opportunity, she didn't pass it up because of how funny she though the role was.

Thompson's comments join those by other Hollywood actresses criticizing the industry's treatment of women, such as Anna Kendrick, Patricia Arquette, Salma Hayek and Rose McGowan.

During the Cannes Film Festival in May, Hayek spoke about a wage gap between male and female actors and addressed the likelihood of male co-stars getting approval over her casting. In late June, McGowan tweeted a screenshot of a casting note she received that urged actresses auditioning for a movie to show cleavage and be dressed in tight clothing. She criticized the note on Twitter and was later fired by her agent.

McGowan later told People magazine she wants to make the industry better so that upcoming women don't have to be abused for being creative.

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