Susan Sarandon Slams Hollywood for Rewarding ‘Mediocrity,’ Obsessing over ‘Sexual Currency’

Kin Cheung/AP Photo
Kin Cheung/AP Photo

Veteran actress Susan Sarandon didn’t mince words about her views on Hollywood during a panel discussion in the U.K this week.

“It’s certainly not a requirement to be smart in my business. Mediocrity is rewarded time and time again,” Sarandon said, according to the Hollywood Reporter, during a Q&A while promoting her documentary Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, about glamours actress Hedy Lamarr, whose genius was overshadowed by a 1940s film industry enamored with a woman’s beauty more than her brains.

A lot of the time you’re hired because you don’t ask questions. It takes more time to ask questions, it takes more time to fight for something with integrity,” the Academy Award-winner said.

“It’s very complicated, in my business especially, because it’s all about your sexual currency,” Sarandon said, echoing similar remarks she made last month at the Tropfest short film festival. “Whether you actually deliver to anyone in charge to get a job that way — people hire women they want to be with and men they want to be. And anyone that falls in between is a character actor.”

“I think that we can’t condemn someone, we can’t slut-shame somebody for embracing their seductiveness,” she said, adding that “at the same time, you want to have enough power and economic stability to able to say no, to not be in a Harvey Weinstein situation where your work is held hostage and you’re forced to do things you don’t want to do.”

Indeed, last month, the Thelma and Louis star, who has a four decade-spanning career in her industry, slammed what she called a culture of unimaginative remakes and reboots and a corporatization that’s one of the root causes of Hollywood’s sexism, racism, and ageism.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson


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