We know Mila Kunis from her roles in movies like Black Swan, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Bad Moms, but now we might know her as a women’s equality activist. Kunis wrote an open letter about sexism on Medium and in her letter, she discusses just some of the experiences she has had in the entertainment industry regarding sexism and how she will not stand for it.
“You’ll never work in this town again,” was what one producer said when she refused to pose semi-naked on a magazine cover. Kunis decided to stand up for herself and not allow herself to be objectified.
“For the first time in my career I said ‘no.‘ And guess what? The world didn’t end,” Kunis writes.
Her world definitely did not end, and instead of sulking in the corner she decided to take action and create a production company with three other women to produce quality television. When she was pitching networks one executive followed up with this email: “And Mila is a mega star. One of biggest actors in Hollywood and soon to be Ashton’s wife and baby momma!!!”
The executive claimed it was a lighthearted comment, but it stuck with Kunis who says, “it’s these very comments that women deal with day in and day out in offices, on calls, and in emails—microaggressions that devalue the contributions and worth of hard-working women.”
She withdrew from the project. Kunis isn’t damning all men for being sexist, and she knows that society has embedded gender biases into their and our lives. This, however, is no excuse for the pay gap to close at an extremely slow rate, in 136 years, and for people to accept this kind of behavior. While Kunis can choose who she works with and what projects she takes, she knows not all women have that luxury which is exactly why she has to stand her ground.
Her essay ends with this message for that executive: “I will work in this town again, but I will not work with you.”