Reese Witherspoon was honoured at the Glamour‘s annual Women of the Year fête today in New York, for her production company Pacific Standards and fashion label Draper James.
The talented actress has been outspoken about gender issues in the industry for a long time, but in this speech, she went absolutely H.A.M.. She called out a bunch of issues related to ageism and sexism in the entertainment industry, including the gender wage gap and equal representation.
Her speech was powerful and impassioned:
“I hope, Amy Schumer – and all the other incredible nominees – that you’ll give me the rights to your biopic first. Although, Amy, I’m five years older than you, so I’ll probably have to play your grandmother in the movie, by Hollywood standards, and you’ll probably have to play your own mother.”“Like Elle Woods, I do not like to be underestimated. Films with women at the centre are not a public service project. They are a big-time, bottom line-enhancing, money-making commodity.”“Ladies and gentlemen, I think we are in a cultural crisis in every field, in every industry. Women are underrepresented and underpaid in leadership positions. No wonder we don’t have the healthcare we deserve or paid family leave or public access to early childhood education. And that really worries me. How can we expect legislation with our rights and needs being preserved if we don’t have equal representation?”“I believe ambition is not a dirty word. It’s just believing in yourself and your abilities. Imagine this: What would happen if we were all brave enough to believe in our own ability? To be a little bit more ambitious? I think the world would change.”
Elle Woods, she truly is.
Image: Larry Busacca via Getty Images.