Oscar-nominated actress Patricia Clarkson sounded off on sexism in Hollywood, the gender wage gap and the backlash against the upcoming all-female Ghostbusters reboot in an interview, explaining that women are “still underpaid” and are still “a vast minority” in the entertainment industry.
In an interview with the Guardian, the 56-year-old Maze Runner star — who began working as a film actress in Hollywood in the mid-80s with roles in The Unntouchables and The Dead Pool — said that women “didn’t speak up as much” then about improper treatment in the industry, as they do now.
“There are still so many movies made starring 50 men and one woman!” Clarkson told the paper. “A white male actor should never be allowed to complain about anything. Shut up and sit in the corner. I mean, seriously!”
The actress added that only a handful of films being made now feature predominantly female casts.
“The odds of us having films made which star women… Everyone still references one movie: Bridesmaids!” Clarkson continued. “Ghostbusters is a great thing and I love these actresses. I can’t wait to see it.”
The topic of sexism and unfair pay practices in Hollywood exploded anew last year, when actress Jennifer Lawrence penned an essay claiming she was paid far less than her male co-stars on the 2013 hit film American Hustle. The topic is back in the spotlight this month with the upcoming release of the Ghostbusters reboot, which stars four women — Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones — as the ghost-wrangling heroes.
The trailer for the film quickly became the most-disliked trailer in YouTube history, leading director Paul Feig to blast criticism of the film as sexist and misogynistic. But critics simply contend that the trailer was objectively awful.
Regardless of Ghostbusters‘s box financial prospects — one box office-tracking website predicts a $63 million opening weekend — Clarkson said she sees a double standard when male-fronted films fail, as opposed to female-fronted films.
“Men make bad movies that bomb all the time but they’re like, ‘Oh well, we didn’t do the marketing right.’ Eat me!” Clarkson told the paper.
Clarkson, who’s gearing up for the release of her latest film, Learning to Drive, also challenged comments made recently by Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington, who said that men also experience sexism in the entertainment business.
“He’s a sex symbol. Get over it,” Clarkson said of Harrington, who plays Jon Snow in the hit HBO fantasy drama. “You have an amazing career and you’re on a hot show. Take your shirt off.”
Read the rest of Clarkson’s interview with the Guardian here.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum