Reese Witherspoon on Hollywood Sexism: ‘We Are in a Cultural Crisis’

Photo Courtesy: UPI

NEW YORK – November 11, 2105 — (UPI) — Reese Witherspoon took the stage to voice her thoughts on Hollywood sexism and ageism during the 2015 Glamour Women of the Year awards.

The actress who was being honored during the event Monday for her production company Pacific Standard and fashion line Draper James, took the opportunity to call for more female-led films in Hollywood.

“Like Elle Woods, I do not like to be underestimated,” she said referencing her character from Legally Blonde as inspiration. “Films with women at the center are not a public service project,” she said. “They are a big-time, bottom line-enhancing, money-making commodity.”

Witherspoon also tackled ageism in the entertainment industry declaring how at 39 she would be regulated to playing much older characters. “I hope, Amy Schumer – and all the other incredible nominees – that you’ll give me the rights to your biopic first,” she said. “Although, Amy, I’m five years older than you, so I’ll probably have to play your grandmother in the movie, by Hollywood standards, and you’ll probably have to play your own mother.”

As the Hot Pursuit star wrapped up her speech, she referenced how these issues extend beyond Hollywood and urged attendees to believe in themselves and to pursue change.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I think we are in a cultural crisis in every field, in every industry,” Witherspoon said. “Women are underrepresented and underpaid in leadership positions. No wonder we don’t have the healthcare we deserve or paid family leave or public access to early childhood education. And that really worries me. How can we expect legislation with our rights and needs being preserved if we don’t have equal representation?”

Designer Victoria Beckham and reality star Caitlyn Jenner were among the nights other honorees. In October, Witherspoon was recently honored for her body of work at the American Cinematheque gala.


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