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Gemma Arterton has had enough of sexist Hollywood: “it’s easier to conform and shut up”

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Harriet Hall
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Gemma Arterton has become the latest Hollywood star to speak out about sexism in the industry.

In an interview with The Guardian, the St Trinians star revealed how, for a long time, she’d put up with it, saying that “it’s easier to conform and shut up,” but she eventually reached the end of her tether:

“There was a point about four years ago where I decided I couldn’t do it anymore.”

Arterton explains how, when she started out in the industry and voiced her opinions, they were not received well, so she kept her mouth shut. She noticed sexism in casting, in finance meetings and in the way people perceived her. But, eventually, Arterton became fed up with the constant unequal pay and body image issues.

Now at a point in her career where making such comments is less likely to hinder her, the actor says she will no longer sit back, and doesn’t care if people won’t work with her as a result, saying:

“It’s easier to conform and shut up. That’s the way it’s always been with women. Easier than putting yourself out there and having an opinion, to which someone might retaliate. I’m sure there are people who don’t want to work with me because they think I’m difficult – ‘one of those feminist girls’ – but to be honest with you I don’t want to work with them. And that’s fine. Now.”

st trinians

Gemma Arteron in St Trinians

Arterton says that Hollywood has a body image problem, questioning: “Why does [being a size zero] go hand in hand with the acting profession? It shouldn’t.”

As a result, she has deleted all social media from her phone, saying she’s “determined to do things differently” and not be dragged into posting images of herself and building followers just to secure roles.

The 30-year-old, whose film The Girl With all the Gifts is in cinemas this month, is also becoming more assertive, describing how she no longer requests things in a passive language of:

“So, I’ve got this little idea, and I mean, you’re probably not into it, but I thought maybe we could have a cup of tea, I’m buying!”

Instead, she says, her new tactic goes something like this:

“I’ve got an amazing idea, meet me on Wednesday at two.”

And it looks like these are only her first steps.

“A revolution is happening, but in its own quiet English way, because people work fucking hard, and it’s hard to live, and everybody’s had enough of being fucked over.”