As 2017 was a year of Hollywood's long history with sexism being exposed to real consequences, this one will hopefully bring more solutions — and Emily Blunt already has one. In a recent cover story with Vanity Fair, the actress revealed her own approach to correcting the industry's systematic oppression: "aggressive action."
"I took it on as my personal responsibility to make sure that I don’t feel shortchanged or less than," Blunt told Vanity Fair. "Especially in this new climate, I think that it’s O.K. to reclaim the words ‘making an aggressive deal’ as a positive. Usually people are making so much money off your back that it comes down to a sort of justice thing for me. I make it a point to not be too concerned with ‘I hope they think I’m a team player.’ The people who are calling and making the deals are business affairs. It’s not the producer. It’s people who are billed to f--- you up. To shortchange you. . . . In a way, because we are inundated with those types of stories now, it has created a much safer climate to ask for what you want.”
Indeed, other actresses have said the same. In 2016, House of Cards star Robin Wright revealed that she had to threaten going public about Netflix's decision to give her $500,000 less than her co-star Kevin Spacey in order for the streaming service to oblige. "I was like, 'You better pay me or I’m going to go public,'" she said at the time. "And they did."
Not everyone is in a position to put their livelihood at stake while negotiating fair wages though. Similarly, not everyone is equipped to endure the entertainment industry's hardships while forging a career, as Blunt explained. “You are part of a machine that is moving and will overwhelm you and drown you if you are not tough in it," she said of Hollywood. "It’s a very precarious industry that can often be quite crushing, so any advice I have for anyone going into it is to do something else.”
Blunt also offered her thoughts on social media: “I don’t think it does s---, to be honest," she said. "I think a movie lives or dies on word of mouth and the trailer. I have seen people do endless social-media campaigns and the movie tanks, so I don’t see a correlation. . . . I strongly believe that my job is to persuade you that I am playing somebody else, so exposing too much personally is just something I can’t get on board with.”