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"The world is in a worse state than I have known it for women" Emma Thompson hits out at "disturbing and sad" Hollywood sexism

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Emma Thompson has launched a scathing attack on sexism in Hollywood, saying the situation is worse than ever.

The double Oscar-winning actress, a doyenne of the industry, says the pressure on women to look good, and the lack of good roles for women beyond a certain age is "completely shit".

"I don’t think there’s any appreciable improvement and I think that, for women, the question of how they are supposed to look is worse than it was even when I was young," the Sense and Sensibility star says, in the new issue of the Radio Times.

Thompson, 56, also hits out at the "deeply reactionary and homogenised" press.

 "When I was younger, I really did think we were on our way to a better world and when I look at it now, it is in a worse state than I have known it, particularly for women and I find that very disturbing and sad," she says.

"So I get behind as many young female performers as I can and actually a lot of the conversations I have with them are about exactly the fact that we are facing and writing about the same things and nothing has changed, and that some forms of sexism and unpleasantness to women have become more entrenched and indeed more prevalent."

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Emma as an ageing prostitute in The Legend of Barney Thomson

Emma will take on a role of a 77-year-old prostitute in her latest film, The Legend of Barney Thompson.

The actress admits that, given she's more than 20 years younger in real life, the casting is "a bit ageist".

"It would be really nice to get someone who is actually 77 to play her, but it’s a wildly comic role and I couldn’t resist," she says. 

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Emma Thompson says sexism is worse now than when she was younger (on a TV programme in 1983)

In speaking out, Emma joins a slew of celebrities who've become increasingly vocal about sexism in the industry.

In May, Maggie Gyllenhaal revealed that she'd been turned down for a role because at 37, she was deemed "too old" to play the love interest of a 55-year-old man.

And Twilight star Kristen Stewart recently branded Hollywood "disgustingly sexist".

"Women inevitably have to work a little bit harder to be heard," she said, in an interview with Harper's Bazaar in April. "Hollywood is disgustingly sexist. It's crazy. It's so offensive it's crazy."

Thompson has spoken out about Hollywood sexism before.

She previously revealed that there was a period in her 30s when she was offered "a whole string of roles that basically involved saying to a man: 'Please don’t go and do that brave thing. Don’t! No, no, no!'

"That’s a trope, the stock woman who says: 'Don’t do the brave thing.' I said no to all of them. I’m so proud."

Thompson is not shy in making her voice heard on a number of issues; last year, she took to the streets along with thousands of other protesters (above) to demand action to end the climate crisis in the People's Climate March. 

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Emma on the People's Climate March last year

Read the full interview with Emma Thompson in this week's Radio Times out now

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