Actress Sandra Bullock has revealed she considered leaving Hollywood and quitting acting altogether after being made to feel less worthy than the men in her industry simply because she is female.
“My career has been a domino effect of people who said, ‘I would like this person to fill this role,’ ” Bullock said in an interview with USA Today.
“And not just in the industry, but people in my life. My mother raised me like, ‘You don’t need to get married, you forge your own path. You make your own money, and be your own person,’ she explained. “And I literally went out into the world thinking there was no disparity, that everyone was equal, and I can do whatever a man can do.”
Bullock then described that she had a “wake-up moment, where I was like, ‘What is this feeling? Why do I feel so (expletive)? Oh my God, I’m being treated this way because I have a vagina.’” However, she did not offer any specifics of the sexist treatment to which she was allegedly subjected.
“It was hard for me, because I walked with blinders on through life and got to where I (felt) like I was less than because I was a woman,” the Ocean’s 8 star noted.
“And that was a hard pill to swallow. I had a lot of sadness from that. I was like, ‘Wow, maybe I need to step out of here. Maybe I need to do something else for a living.’ And that was in the middle of when I was getting work — I didn’t want to be a part of that world where there was that experience.”
It is not the first that the 53-year-old actress has spoken about questions of gender equality, explaining in an essay published in Variety in 2015 how Hollywood should be held accountable for supposed wage inequality between the sexes.
“Hollywood has always been at the forefront of pioneering a new road and a new movement,” she wrote. “So it’s a blessing that they got caught, and there are a lot of outspoken, narcissistic actors like myself who are very happy to talk about the issue and keep it alive.”
Bullock has also revealed how she taught her 5-year-old African-American adopted son about the issues of sexism, racism, and homophobia, to prepare him for racism in American society.