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SAG Awards 2019: Emma Stone joke brilliantly skewers Hollywood’s ageism

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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Host Megan Mullally asked everyone in the room to mourn for Stone’s career now that she has recently turned 30. 

Emma Stone had plenty of reasons to celebrate at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The actress was one of the night’s scant few dual nominees, with nods for Best Supporting Actress for The Favourite as well as her lead role in television series Maniac. She also made her event debut with boyfriend Dave McCary, a writer for Saturday Night Live who she has been dating for the past two years and who accompanied her to the awards ceremony.

But because Stone is a woman in Hollywood, the SAG Awards were also a night of mourning for the actress. As host Megan Mullally jokingly pointed out in her opening monologue for the evening, Stone has recently turned 30, which means that she will no longer be working in film and television.

“The beautiful Emma Stone, who just turned 30,” Mullally joked. “Our condolences. You had a great run, like a really great run. We’re looking forward to your reverse mortgage loans commercials, they’re going to be great. Chin up, yeah.” 

Mullally’s brilliant skewering of Hollywood’s ageism was one of the best jokes of the night, poking fun at the fact that the film industry has historically proven to be a difficult place for older women who didn’t want to play a roster of, as Meryl Streep put it, ugly old witches.

“Our culture is pretty youth-obsessed, especially people that pass 40,” Streep has said. “I was not offered any female adventurers, or love interests, or heroes or demons. I was offered witches because I was ‘old’ at 40.”

During their tenure as Golden Globes hosts, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler also called to light the complete dearth of roles for older women in Hollywood. When Patricia Arquette was nominated for Boyhood, a role in which Arquette played the same character over the course of more than a decade, Fey and Poehler joked: “There are still great roles for women over 40, as long as you get hired when you’re under 40.”

And of Streep, nominated at the Golden Globes in August: Osage County, Fey and Poehler said: “There are still great parts in Hollywood for Meryl Streeps over 60.” 

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One of the best jokes about Hollywood ageism, though, is Amy Schumer’s ‘Last F**kable Day’ sketch from her series Inside Amy Schumer. In it, Schumer comes across Fey, Arquette and Julia Louis Dreyfus swilling white wine at a gloriously set picnic table in the middle of a park celebrating Dreyfus last f**kable day. 

“In every actress’ life, the media decides when you finally reach the point when you’re not believably f**kable anymore,” Dreyfus says, matter-of-factly.

The trio explain to Schumer the tell-tale signs that your last f**kable day is approaching: you transition from girlfriend to mum roles, the costume designers only give you enormous jumpers to wear, your face becomes removed from the movie poster, you start being offered roles in ambiguously titled films like She Means Well and Whatever It Takes.

“Another telltale sign is when they start remaking your movies with younger, more f**kable actresses,” Arquette adds. “I guess they’re remaking Boyhood with Selena Gomez now.” 

In case you’re wondering, men don’t have a last f**kable day. As Fey put it: “they could be 100 and nothing but white spiders coming out but they’re still f**kable.”

Jessi Klein, the head writer on Inside Amy Schumer, said that the sketch told a story she had long been wanting to tell. “Just like, women who were seen as the ultimate hottest ingenue and just like, when do they know?” Klein has said. “And then once the phrase ‘last f**kable day’ came out of someone’s mouth, we were like, Oh, last f**kable day… Then it became a journey to find the angles who ended up doing it.”

“These chicks were so cool to agree to do it,” Schumer added. “That’s why it was such a fun day, ‘cause we really got to just hang out in that dreamlike situation. They were kind of outraged by the same stuff we thought was unfair also… Everybody was really inspired by this scene.”

Poor Stone’s last f**kable day wasn’t the only misogynistic trope that Mullally skewered at the SAG awards. 

Megan Mullally was an excellent SAG host

“Roles for women continued to break new ground,” Mullally mused in her opening monologue. “Glenn Close played a wife. So that’s new. Melissa McCarthy played a woman who repeatedly apologises and asks our forgiveness. What this is is groundbreaking.”

Emily Blunt played a nanny, and in another film written and directed by her real-life husband John Krasinski, Emily played a mum who wasn’t allowed to speak,” she continued.

Thanks for always telling it like it is, Megan. 

Images: Getty

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.

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