Emma Thompson: Sexism in Industry Has Gotten Worse

Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

The actress says some forms of "sexism and unpleasantness" to women have become more entrenched.

Emma Thompson has called out sexism in the film industry again, saying she hasn’t seen any advancement in the treatment of women. In fact, things have gotten worse for females, she argued.

The British screen icon, speaking to a U.K. weekly magazine, added her voice to a recent spate of complaints from stars such as Maggie Gyllenhaal and Helen Mirren.

“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,” she told Radio Times. “So no, I am not impressed, at all. I think it’s still completely shit, actually.”

Thompson, recently seen playing a 77-year-old prostitute opposite Robert Carlyle in the Scottish actor's directorial debut, The Legend of Barney Thomson, admitted that she used to believe things were getting better.

“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,” she said.

“So I get behind as many young female performers as I can, and actually a lot of the conversations 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,” she added.

Speaking at The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Actress Roundtable in 2013, Thompson said that in her 30s she was offered a “string of roles that basically involved saying to a man, ‘Please don’t go and do that brave thing. Don’t! No, no, no, no, no!,' ” adding that she was proud to have said no to them all.

“Are people writing better parts for women now?" Thompson added at the time. "What the ding-dong heck is going on if this still something we’re talking about?”

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