Mila Kunis is through putting up with sexism in Hollywood.
In a fierce essay published Wednesday on A Plus, the Black Swan and That ’70s Show star details her experiences with gender bias throughout her career and issues a call for change, in the entertainment industry and beyond.
Kunis, 33, recalls being told by a producer that she would “never work in this town again” after she refused to pose in a revealing outfit on the cover of a men’s magazine to promote a movie.
“I was livid, I felt objectified, and for the first time in my career I said ‘no,'” Kunis writes. “And guess what? The world didn’t end. The film made a lot of money and I did work in this town again, and again, and again. What this producer may never realize is that he spoke aloud the exact fear every woman feels when confronted with gender bias in the workplace.”
She goes on to say that she has endured years of being “insulted, sidelined, paid less, creatively ignored, and otherwise diminished based on my gender” while trying to “give people the benefit of the doubt” and “play by the rules.” But, she writes, “the older I got and the longer I worked in this industry, the more I realized that it’s bulls‑‑‑! And, worse, that I was complicit in allowing it to happen.”
Taking matters into her own hands, Kunis has formed a production company with “three amazing women,” and together they’re working to develop screen projects with “unique voices and perspectives.”
Kunis adds, “I’m done compromising; even more so, I’m done with being compromised. So from this point forward, when I am confronted with one of these comments, subtle or overt, I will address them head on; I will stop in the moment and do my best to educate. I cannot guarantee that my objections will be taken to heart, but at least now I am part of creating an environment where there is the opportunity for growth. And if my comments fall on deaf ears, I will choose to walk away.”
Kunis is the latest high-profile Hollywood figure to speak out against gender inequality in the workplace, joining the likes of Kristen Bell, Patricia Arquette, Jennifer Lawrence, Ava DuVernay, Bradley Cooper, Ethan Hawke, and more.