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Emma Thompson Says Hollywood Sexism Is Worse Than Ever

Emma Thompson Says Hollywood Sexism Is Worse Than Ever

By Joanna Robinson

Even though Emma Thompson broke into the film scene more than 25 years ago, she says things for women are worse in Hollywood than she's ever seen it.

In a recent interview with The Radio Times, the actress didn't pull any punches, saying, "I think it's still completely s*** actually. I don't think there's any appreciable improvement and I think that for women, the question of how they are supposed to look is worse than it was even when I was young. So, no, I am not impressed at all."

Thompson is just the latest of many women speaking out about some unpleasant truths of the film industry, from Rose McGowan's public battle against her agent to Amanda Seyfried's intriguing blind-item reveal about a male co-star who made 10 times her salary. Older actresses like Thompson, Meryl Streep, and Helen Mirren have been among the most fearless in speaking out, with a veteran status that seemingly makes them bulletproof — but not immune to the sexism that pervades the industry.

But, truth be told, Thompson has never been shy about advocating for women in her industry. There's a story that Kate Winslet often tells of working with Thompson on Sense and Sensibility back in the mid-90s. Winslet was new to the film world and showed up to the set of the Jane Austen film looking somewhat undernourished. Thompson took Winslet under her wing and, according to the Titanic actress, said, "If you ever lose weight, I will never . . . talk to you again."

Thompson is still looking out for young actresses. She told The Radio Times, "I get behind as many young female performers as I can and actually a lot of the conversations I have with them are about exactly the fact that we are facing and writing about the same things and nothing has changed, and that some forms of sexism and unpleasantness to women have become more entrenched and indeed more prevalent." Thompson adds, with regret, "When I was younger, I really did think we were on our way to a better world and when I look at it now, it is in a worse state than I have known it, particularly for women and I find that very disturbing and sad."

More From Vanity Fair:
• Emma Thompson is Mrs. Potts in the New Beauty and the Beast
• The A.C.L.U. Demands Investigation into Hollywood Sexism
• Meryl Streep Has a Perfect Explanation of Sexism in Hollywood
Sexism in Hollywood May Be Rampant, but Now There’s at Least a Place to Talk About It 

Photo Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images