Mila Kunis, actress extraordinaire and possibly our new hero, has once again proven that she is a force to be reckoned with. She’s joined the group of A-list celebs who have outwardly spoken out against discriminatory practices in the workforce, especially sexism. Kunis contributed an incredibly well-written Op-Ed piece to A Plus, describing her experiences with gender bias in Hollywood. And she’s done accepting sexism as the status quo.
Kunis begins her piece with a story of her own. She had refused to pose semi-naked for a men’s magazine as a way of promoting the film she was in at the time, “the first time in my career I said ‘no.'” This caused the producer to literally say to her face, “You’ll never work in this town again.” Which is cliche AF.
Beyond the extreme irony that Kunis is now an incredibly successful actress, the producer’s statement shows that sexism in the workplace exists in every kind of job. She speaks out against being objectified and the producer has the nerve to threaten her career over it. But, as Kunis writes, the film was a success anyways and she did work in that town many times afterwards. What angers her isn’t just the incident but:
“that he [the producer] spoke aloud the exact fear every woman feels when confronted with gender bias in the workplace. It’s what we are conditioned to believe — that if we speak up, our livelihoods will be threatened; that standing our ground will lead to our demise. We don’t want to be kicked out of the sandbox for being a “b*tch.” So we compromise our integrity for the sake of maintaining the status quo and hope that change is coming.”
The actress then goes on to illustrate the many ways in which women are systematically disadvantaged in the workforce. She uses her own experience, with facts riddled throughout the piece, to show that women face a series of challenges every day based on ingrained societal sexism. Kunis takes no prisoners as she calls for change, making clear that it’s not the few sexist men that she’s working against but the system of gender discrimination as a whole.
Kunis promises to address instances of sexism head-on as she continues to experience them. As she puts it, “I will work in this town again, but I will not work with you.” And if that’s not the sickest burn to that producer, we don’t know what is.